Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Bernard Juchli
Howdy, Driver? When an agency throws a parking fine at you, you can fight the charges. Of course, you would have to know how to get out of a parking ticket to be successful.
To get out of a parking ticket, you have to present relevant parking evidence/proofs during the hearing for considerations. And make sure to compile concrete evidence to increase your chance of getting out of the parking ticket.
It is judicial for drivers to fight or dispute parking tickets in various states. Moreover, though your state may give a 7-day or a 30-day deadline to appeal, endeavor to dispute/appeal the parking ticket immediately.
Avoiding to pay a parking ticket is not a challenging feat. However, it demands some level of intelligence on your part to be successful. In the sections of this article below, you will discover the various ways to get out of a parking ticket.
How to Get Out of a Parking Ticket
In this section, I will reveal the steps I often use to get out of parking tickets. Below are the steps to get out of a parking ticket:
1. Read and Scrutinize the Ticket
Regarding how to get out of a parking ticket, you need excuses not to pay parking ticket. So, you have to scrutinize every detail/information on the ticket and identify faults.
If you find that you deserve the ticket and there is no fault on the ticket, do not dispute. Though it may regard how not to pay your parking ticket, you might find yourself paying twice the initial fees.
If you do not deserve the ticket, seek for hearing. First, read over the deadline from the day you received the citation and file for a hearing. Note that the appeal window varies between 7 and 30 days depending on the state.
2. Spot Errors on the Ticket
As a method regarding how to not pay your parking ticket, every detail on the ticket is essential. If single information does not correspond with your car, you will win the appeal.
Go through the ticket and confirm whether the following details correspond:
- Vehicle model
- Vehicle color
- License plate
- Parking address, etc.
Nonetheless, if the color of your car is, for instance, maroon, but the ticket reads ‘dark red’, do not contest the ticket. Admittedly, it is not a reason enough to get out of a parking ticket.
3. Capture the Scene with Your Camera
When you find the ticket on your car, do not drive off the car. To get out of a parking ticket without paying, you require photos and video evidence. Use a couple of minutes to capture pictures and videos with your camera.
You do not necessarily need a digital camera, so you can use your phone’s rear camera. And if you find that the paring notices or signs are not there or blocked, it is good evidence to dispute the charges.
Make sure to snap from all angles and focus on the errors you can identify. If you have neither a digital camera nor a smartphone on you, ask a passerby for assistance.
4. Check Whether the Parking Meter is Broken
An excellent excuse to avoid paying a parking ticket is to spot a broken parking meter. If the parking meter is broken, take a video of it to serve as proof. Also, confirm whether it read correctly when you first deposited money before parking your car.
If the reading is false, put another money into the meter and video it closely. If it reads incorrectly or does not read at all, there, you have your evidence on camera.
5. Find a Witness
A willing witness can play a huge role with regards to how to get out of a parking ticket. The witness could be a passerby or the person that you are driving with.
If possible, record the conversation on camera and have the person give reasons why you do not deserve the parking ticket. You will also need the phone number of the witness to testify against the parking ticket from the issuer.
6. Request Hearing Immediately
Though your state gives several days to the deadline, you must request a hearing immediately. First, contact the issuer of the parking ticket using the contact details on the ticket.
If you find no contact detail, you are at the advantage of winning the dispute with regard to how to get out of a parking ticket.
Contact the judge now to request a hearing. Of course, the judge will require parking evidence in the form of pictures and videos. Make the proofs available and keep in touch. And if your car was stolen, you can present the proofs too.
Recommended Read: How a Crook Makes a Stolen Car Legal
7. Understand the Law
You require some knowledge of the laws governing the issuance of parking tickets in your state. Though you have requested a hearing, you have to learn about a few of the local laws in your state. It will boost your chance of getting out of a parking ticket even without paying when you apply them.
Where necessary, you may ask a knowledgeable lawyer to explain specific terms and laws. Of course, it does not have to be the lawyer(s) involved; it could be someone of judicial knowledge within your state.
8. Make Yourself Available in Person
Although you may choose not to appear before the court hearing, it is advisable to do so. Your lawyer may be able to do the job, but your appearance matters the most. If you decide not to show up for any reason, it might ruin your attempt to get out of a parking ticket.
Meanwhile, make sure to up early enough for the hearing. If you show up late, the case may be dismissed, and you have to pay the fine. Also, if the officer who issued the citation does not show up, the court will likely dismiss the parking ticket.
How to Dispute a Parking Ticket
If you plan to win a parking ticket dispute, below are the steps to win a dispute against a parking ticket:
Capture the Scene
When you find a parking ticket on your car, do not immediately zoom off. Inspect the entire place for errors. When you encounter errors such as broken parking meter, unclear parking signs, etc. take photos for evidence. Also, make a 360 shot and video around your car so that nothing is left out.
If the parking meter has been obscured by another vehicle or any item, take photos and videos too. It is good practice regarding how to fight a parking ticket and win without paying.
If you already drove off, it somehow ruins your chances of successfully disputing a parking ticket. Nevertheless, make sure not to forget the appearance of the parking spot. But to have proofs, it is advisable to get back to the location and inspect for faults.
Do Not Immediately Pay the Fine
The first step regarding how to fight a meter ticket is to not pay the fine. When you pay the fine, it becomes challenging to win the dispute and get your money back. And if you request a hearing after paying the fine, it gives the judge the impression that you deserve the parking ticket.
Besides, every state gives a deadline from the day you receive a parking citation; it could be 7, 14, or 30 days. Simply review the local parking laws of your state for the appeal window. Of course, as long as you are yet to pay within the appeal window, you will not incur extra charges. On the other hand, if you violated the rules, pay the fine because it will less likely be reversed.
Compose a Letter to Dispute the Parking Ticket
You are at liberty to write a letter to request a hearing or dispute your ticket, but you must do so within the appeal window. Though you can mail the appeal letter to the address on the parking ticket, you can as well dispute online.
Several persons involved prefer to fight parking tickets online because it is more convenient and comfortable. Go through the ticket for instructions regarding how you can dispute the parking ticket. If you receive no response, endeavor to resend the letter to edge you closer to avoiding a parking ticket fine.
Attach Your Evidence on the Dispute Letter
Regarding how to fight a meter ticket to win, you will, of course, require evidence to support the appeal. If you are submitting the appeal letter online, attach scanned copies of the photo and video proofs.
Make sure also to include a video statement of a witness stating that you do not deserve a parking ticket from the officer. Additionally, if your car was faulty at the time you received the parking ticket, endeavor to attach the repairs receipt from the mechanic.
And if you are sending the letter and attachments through the mail, get tracking information and preserve the return ticket.
If, after a few days, you are unable to confirm the delivery of the letter, call the office. Tell them that you sent an appeal letter alongside evidence and that you have a tracking number confirming the delivery of the letter.
You should further request the date to expect a response and make sure to voice-record the call.
If you do not receive a response after the deadline of the appeal window, the call record will help to fight the parking ticket. Nonetheless, endeavor to check your mail or any medium the agency will likely use to get back to you.
Be Present at the Hearing
Your presence at the hearing helps to dispute a parking ticket successfully. It does not also mean that you necessarily have to be present. In some states, depending on the evidence, the hearing officer may opt for hearing over the phone.
Before the hearing, gather all proof that you do not deserve a parking ticket. Also, do not make the mistake of requesting a hearing if your evidence is not concrete enough. You will end up attracting extra fines instead of fighting a parking ticket for a fee reduction or without paying.
When to Dispute a Parking Ticket
You should dispute, fight, or appeal a meter or parking ticket if:
- The ticket has the wrong date of issuance
- The ticket is not eligible
- Wrong time from when you parked
- Wrong country
- Incorrect car information such as vehicle color, model, type of plate, license plate number, etc.
- No specification regarding whether you parked on the opposite or front of the address.
- Warning signs are either wrong or unclear
- The parking meter was obscured (you need a photo/video proof)
- Your car was faulty (you need repairs receipt)
- The ticket officer overcharged you
- The parking meter is faulty
- The car did not belong to you as at when the ticket citation was issued
- You received a parking ticket for not having a parking permit although your permit was visible
Do not dispute the parking ticket if you violated the rule. You will be fined if the hearing officer finds that you are manipulating the appeal to get out of a parking ticket.
How to Write an Appeal Letter to Dispute a Parking Ticket
It is more challenging to appeal a parking ticket and win when it comes to making a convincing appeal letter. Fortunately, you do not require templates online to comfortably write a letter of appeal that will get you out of a parking ticket.
When making an appeal letter to dispute a parking ticket, you want to pay attention to the parking scene.
First, introduce the parking scene and the citation you received. Then, highlight that to the best of your knowledge, and of the witness’ knowledge, you adhered to the parking rule.
Secondly, describe every error and proof that you collected before driving off after finding the parking ticket. Capture every description briefly in one paragraph and do not criticize the officer for issuing you a parking ticket. The error could be that the warning sign was invisible or unclear. You may also include that your vehicle was faulty if necessary.
Finally, state that you have proofs attached to back up your claims and that you are confident you did not violate the rule.
Throughout the letter, do not take responsibility for the action by using an expression like, “maybe I did not park in the right place and I am sorry.” Of course, you have confirmed that you deserve the parking ticket. No agency would easily let you go because they need your money.
If the council accepts or rejects your appeal, you will receive a notification regarding your next step.
Steps to Appeal a Parking Ticket Online
In this section, I will highlight the steps to appeal a parking ticket. Below are steps to appeal a parking ticket online:
Submit the Form and Await the Decision
Visit the website of your state or council, fill, and submit the complaint form. Within the shortest time possible, you should receive a confirmation email.
After the state reviews your appeal, they will decide and get back to you within 2 weeks.
Await the Outcome of Your Appeal
If your appeal is declined, you have to pay the parking ticket within the stipulated days to avoid penalty charges.
Otherwise, you may call the parking clerk and request a hearing within the appeal window. And if an over-the-phone or in-person hearing is decided upon, you will be notified with the address, date, and time. Make sure to show up on or before time to avoid losing the appeal to the issuers of the parking ticket.
If you found a parking ticket on your car, you may informally dispute or fight the fine. However, if you received a parking ticket by post, you do not require an informal appeal.
Make sure to include all evidence including your address, ticket number, and vehicle registration number, to increase your chance of avoiding the parking ticket payment.
Before you proceed with a formal appeal, you would have been sent a notice to pay for the parking ticket. You will be sent a notification if:
- You made no informal appeal during the appeal window
- Your appeal was declined
- You received parking tickets by post
If the formal appeal fails, you will receive a notice and an appeal form further to dispute the parking ticket at an independent tribunal.
Note: You may seek advice from a lawyer in your state or council regarding the laws governing parking tickets charges. Nevertheless, the manner of appeal is similar in several states.
Below are the things you require to appeal online:
- Name and mailing address
- Plate number and car registration
- The state you registered your car
- Your parking ticket number
- Attached proofs (images, video, and audio)
Can You Negotiate Parking Tickets?
Yes, you can negotiate parking tickets if you feel you do not deserve the citation.
What Do You Say to Fight a Parking Ticket?
To fight a parking ticket, you must state the errors you find at the parking address. You can further support your claims with photos and videos of the scene.
How Can I Get Out of a Parking Ticket?
You can get out of a parking ticket by presenting evidence of faults from the agency. Some of such defects could include a broken parking meter, obscured warning sign, incorrect vehicle name, model, color, parking address, etc.
What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Parking Ticket?
You will not go to jail if you do not pay a parking ticket. However, your fine might increase by 50%, and your fine will be sent to a collection agency. Of course, the money will be charged out of your tax return and the DMV may decline you from renewing your vehicle registration. In a worse scenario, your car may be towed and possibly impounded, especially if you have outstanding debts. Meanwhile, you can get your vehicle out of impound without insurance and title or registration.
Why are Parking Tickets So Expensive?
The answer is that parking tickets are a source of revenue for any state. Since it is fine for offenders, the government makes it expensive to deter drivers from violating the rules.
The first method, regarding how to get out of a parking ticket, is to pay the fine. It also brings about the impression that you violated the parking rule.
Disputing is the second option to getting out of a parking citation and several car owners prefer this measure. However, the process will take time and you may not win the appeal. Moreover, you may be subjected to a penalty charge of up to 50% if you lose the appeal.
The third option, and, of course, the final option is to ignore a parking ticket. Unfortunately, the parking ticket will accrue late charges that can increase to several thousand. You can’t escape the fine as legal actions would be used to collect the debt from you. It will also reflect on your credit score which is pretty bad for your financing.
If your car gets towed, you should read how to negotiate a towing fee without paying.