(a) It shall be unlawful:
(1) For any person to operate any motor vehicle or trailer upon any public highway of the District of Columbia (except motor vehicles or trailers operated by nonresidents exempted under the provisions of § 50-1401.02 ):
(A) If such motor vehicle or trailer is not registered or covered by a dealer's registration or by a special use certificate as required by this subchapter;
(B) If such motor vehicle or trailer does not have attached thereto and displayed thereon the identification tags required therefor; or
(C) If such person does not have in his possession or in the motor vehicle or trailer operated the registration certificate or special use certificate required therefor.
(2) For the owner of any motor vehicle or trailer knowingly to permit the operation thereof contrary to any provision of paragraph (1) of this subsection;
(3) To use a false or fictitious name or address in any application for registration or for a special use certificate, or any renewal or duplicate thereof, or knowingly to make any false statement or conceal any material fact in any such application; or
(4) For the owner of any motor vehicle to knowingly use or permit the use of any motor vehicle with a counterfeit, stolen, or otherwise fraudulent temporary identification tag.
(a-1)(1) For the purposes of subsection (a)(1)(C) of this section, the term “registration certificate” includes an electronic image of a registration certificate that is displayed on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device.
(2)(A) The presentation of an electronic image of a registration certificate on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device shall not constitute consent for a law enforcement officer to access any other content on the cellular telephone or other portable electronic device.
(B) A law enforcement officer presented with an electronic image of a registration certificate on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device shall be immune from liability for damage to or loss of the cellular telephone or other portable electronic device; provided, that no immunity shall extend to recklessness or intentional misconduct.
(b)(1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person violating any provision of this subchapter or the regulations made or promulgated under the authority hereof shall upon conviction thereof be subject to a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. All such prosecutions shall be in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia upon information filed by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or any of his assistants in the name of the District of Columbia.
(2) A motor vehicle being used in violation of subsection (a)(4) of this section shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to the standards and procedures set forth in Chapter 3 of Title 41. Such forfeiture may be in addition to the imposition of a fine or imprisonment as provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3) The fines set forth in this section shall not be limited by § 22-3571.01 .
(c)(1) A person violating subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section shall be assessed the following civil penalties for a failure to maintain a valid and current registration:
(A) A fine of $200 for a lapse in registration between one and 30 days; and
(B) A fine of $200 for each additional unregistered month or portion thereof, up to a maximum of $2,400.
(2) Violations under this subsection shall be adjudicated pursuant to Chapter 23 of this title.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as impeding the ability of a public safety officer to impound a vehicle that poses a threat to public health or safety.
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