The same violation in most states ends with just a ticket, not time in jail. It's a practice the Midlantic AAA is asking the city to stop.
"We believe that such arrests raise eyebrows and questions," said John Townsend, spokesman for AAA. "Although the D.C. code allows the officer to arrest a driver with an expired tag, it seems draconian."
D.C. law says drivers with expired tags can face a $1,000 fine and be imprisoned for up to 30 days. In nearby Maryland, the fine is a simple $290.
AAA has asked the city council to reconsider the law.
FoxNews.com says one of the arrested folks was Nycci Nellis, a mom of five and food writer. Her registration was three months overdue, the website said, something she said was a mere oversight.
She spent the night in two jail cells according to Fox News, until her husband picked her up six hours after her arrest.
"They didn't make a single dollar off me," she told the web site. "I just don't understand."
The news outlet also says another mom was arrested while her three-year-old was in the back seat of the car and she was on her way to pick up her other child from school.