The mayor’s office in Washington, D.C., has remained silent on widespread license-plate violations in the city following a Daily Signal investigation of the phenomenon of unlicensed drivers.

Men and women alike—many of them in the country illegally—are driving motorized bikes around the District of Columbia without license plates. Some of the riders of the motorcycles and other motor-driven cycles are using the bikes for food delivery in the city.  

The Daily Signal sought comment from the Metropolitan Police Department during an initial investigation into the illegal operation of the bikes in the city, and police said those riding motor-driven cycles without a license plate are “testing their luck.” 

The Daily Signal then reached out to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser by email and phone to find out whether the mayor was aware of the situation and working with local law enforcement to enforce the city’s license-plate laws, but did not receive a response.  

Because the Biden administration is not enforcing immigration laws at the border and is instead allowing illegal aliens to remain in the U.S., that “passes the buck to the states and cities, who have to deal with the federal government’s failure,” Simon Hankinson, a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, told The Daily Signal. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

“Nonetheless, public safety is job No. 1 for any elected official,” Hankinson added. “Letting unscrupulous motorcycle vendors and their unlicensed, uninsured, illegally present riders off the hook will only encourage more lawbreaking.” 

The Daily Signal became aware of an increased number of motor-driven cycles without license plates operating in the District. If operating a motorized bike in the District at speeds above 20 mph, not only does that vehicle require registration, the driver is required to “have on his or her possession a valid [driver’s] license” and insurance, per the city’s Department of Motor Vehicles.    

D.C. law requires that a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle—a motor vehicle that has a gas, electric, or hybrid motor no larger than 50 cubic centimeters (cc) and cannot go above 30 mph—be registered with the District’s DMV within 30 days of purchase and display a license plate on the back of the two- or three-wheeled vehicle.  

The Daily Signal launched an investigation to determine whether the drivers of these motor bikes have the legal requirements to operate them, and whether D.C. police are striving to eliminate the operation of vehicles that are not registered in the city.  

After speaking to about 10 drivers, a retailer at a motor-driven cycles shop, and the Metropolitan Police Department, The Daily Signal determined that illegal aliens are acquiring motorized bikes through a number of sources and that D.C. police do not appear to be enforcing registration laws.