Handling a Lost Parking Ticket

By: Staff Writer July 12, 2012
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Need Information About Traffic Tickets? 

Find state-specific information on our Traffic Tickets page, including how to pay, fight, or find a lost ticket.

Just like with lost traffic tickets, a lost parking ticket is not the type of thing to shrug off with "it will eventually show up."

You need to act fast in either finding it or contacting the proper authorities. All parking citations are time sensitive. Each one comes with a posted due date. If you fail to submit payment by the ticket's due date, you could face late fees, collection agency fees and, depending on your situation and area, have your vehicle booted and vehicle registration suspended.

Lost Parking Citation: Who to Contact

If you cannot find your parking ticket, here's what to do:

  • Local police departments are responsible for issuing parking tickets, so you'll need to recall the municipality where you were ticketed. You do not need the exact street, only the town or city.
  • Next, depending on the municipality, you will either need to contact the citing police department or the presiding municipal court. (NOTE: For major metropolises, parking tickets may be handled by a separate parking department. Parking tickets in Philadelphia, for example, are managed by the Parking Authority.)
  • If it's the police department, have your license plate number at the ready. Some police departments may require you to appear in person at the Traffic Bureau counter.
  • If you must contact a municipal court you may be able to access the lost parking citation via the court's website, using either your name or license plate number. If not, call the court and ask for assistance. A court clerk should be able to to access your ticket based on your name, unless, of course, you recall the citation number.

Depending on the court or department, you may be issued a copy of the lost parking ticket or given information on how to respond. Be sure to pay in a timely fashion. Saying "I lost my ticket" will not earn you sympathy.

Have you ever lost a parking ticket? How did you retrieve it? Or, if you didn't, what penalties did you face?

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