Unlike speeding tickets and other traffic violations, parking tickets have no bearing on driving records, points, or car insurance rates.
This does not mean, however, you can ignore a parking ticket. Just like you would with moving violations, you will face additional repercussions if you refuse to pay a parking ticket.
The exact penalties for not paying vary by municipality. Generally, municipal police departments issue and handle parking citations (transit authorities generally manage parking tickets in major metropolises). You could face some or all of the following penalties if you avoid paying:
- Late fees.
- Your vehicle may get booted. This generally occurs after ignoring several tickets. In San Francisco, for example, authorities boot vehicles with five or more unpaid parking tickets.
- If the ticket is handed over to a collection agency, you will also face additional collection agency fees.
NOTE: It’s not unusual to get a bench warrant for arrest if you ignore your traffic ticket, but you won’t get one for ignoring a parking ticket.
Pay Your Parking Ticket
Just like a traffic ticket, all of the information you need for paying will be listed on your parking ticket. You must submit payment before the ticket’s posted due date. In most scenarios you’ll have two to three weeks.
Follow the instructions on your parking ticket. Depending on the municipality you may have the following payment options:
- Mail: Send payment to the address clearly listed on the citation.
- Online: Submit credit card payment to the internet address be posted on the ticket.
- Phone: Submit credit card payment via the phone number posted on the citation. In some cases you may be charged a small transaction fee.
- In person: Pay ticket at the address or one of the addresses listed on the parking ticket.
For questions regarding your specific parking ticket or other traffic laws, contact the citing police department.
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