Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2303.04. Civil liability.

(a)(1) The operator of a vehicle shall be primarily liable for the civil penalties imposed pursuant to this subchapter. The owner or lessee of the vehicle, even if not the operator thereof, shall also be liable, unless the owner or lessee can show that the vehicle was used without the owner’s or lessee’s express or implied permission.

(2) An owner or lessee who pays a civil fine or penalties pursuant to this subchapter shall have the right to seek recovery of the amount of the fines and penalties from the operator and shall have a cause of action against the operator of the vehicle for those amounts.

(b) Where a lessor of a vehicle has paid a fine or penalty for which the lessor is liable and the Department thereafter collects from the person to whom the vehicle was rented or leased the amount of the scheduled fine and penalties, or any portion thereof, the lessor shall be entitled to reimbursement from the Department of the amount of the fines and penalties paid by the lessee, less the Department’s cost of collection.

(c) Where a lessor of a vehicle is liable for an infraction, the lessor’s answers to the notice of the infraction mailed to the lessor shall be consistent with § 50-2302.05. The lessor’s failure to answer the notice of infraction within 30 days after mailing shall result in the imposition of monetary penalties established by § 50-2302.05, in addition to the potential civil fine for the infraction. If the lessor fails to answer the notice of infraction within 60 days, the lessor shall be deemed liable for the violation and the civil fine shall also be imposed.