Thursday, October 30, 2014

6 Ways to Successfully Dispute Parking Tickets


Since the recession, many major cities have increased the number of parking tickets generated per month.  Just this morning, I was at home and saw a parking enforcement officer driving down my residential street looking to give tickets to residents who were parked in front of their homes.  Parking tickets can range from $15 to $150 or more depending on where you park and where you live.  You should always pay yourself first and make money for yourself instead of making someone else rich.

When parking on any street read the signs carefully to ensure you don't violate them.  Take a picture of the sign in the event you get a parking ticket.  If there is no sign read the parking meter sign.  Take a picture of the parking meter and a picture of your parked car showing that no parking sign was present.  In some cases, fraudulent parking tickets are written and drivers pay these tickets without investigating to ensure the ticket is valid.  I have experienced this myself parking in Washington DC.   I parked at 10:30pm at a parking meter that ended at 10:00pm.  I received a ticket at 11:00pm stating that I parked in a no parking zone. How can a parking meter be installed in a "No Parking Zone"?  Here are 6 ways to dispute a parking ticket:

  1. Call to dispute the ticket the next day after you received the ticket to try to find out why you received the ticket.  Be pleasant and the agent may dismiss the ticket.  If not, dispute the ticket by mail along with your documentation. 

2.      Verify the ticket is valid by verifying the location, date/time, car make and model, tag number, date of registration, type of registration, registration expiration date, description of the car, VIN, meter number, and violation reason which should match the posted parking sign.  If any of this information is incorrect you can dispute the ticket.

3.      Search for the traffic laws applicable in your city and make sure you have followed them and reference the law in a non-offensive way when disputing the ticket. 

4.      Dispute the ticket by writing a letter and provide all the facts including: the make and model of your car, the date and time when the violation occurred, a valid explanation why you feel you were not at fault, list any parking signs and parking meter signs you saw, and identify any errors on the parking violation along with digital photos which is much harder to be denied.  Staple all the documentation together putting the letter on top and the photos behind the letter.

5.      Request a hearing within 30 days from the date of the ticket.  Bring all evidence and photos and witnesses with you and hope the officer doesn't show up.

6.      If you dispute a ticket and are unhappy with the decision you can request an appeal.  Rewrite the original letter and be even more pleasant in the letter. End the letter by stating that if they still stand by the original decision you request that the fine be reduced.

Remember, the regular laws may not apply when a city government is experiencing a financial crisis.  If you do go into the city take public transportation or catch a cab to prevent the risk of getting a parking ticket.


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