Parking Tickets

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US Large City Parking Tickets

Although New York City does not currently have any parking ticket provisions in place that are directly noted as being for low-income earners, the state of New York as a whole is currently considering some options along these lines. In the meantime, low-income earners in New York City can take advantage of a range of different programs designed to lessen the burden of parking ticket fines. Among these are payment plans, fine reductions, and in some cases, exemptions/dismissal of fines. There are various criteria that need to be met to be eligible for these options, however, none are directly based on income specifically.

Installment Options & Payment Plans

  • New York City allows individuals to go on a payment plan (also referred to as an installment plan/agreement).
  • The installment agreement allows the individual to pay their owed amount over a period of time, as opposed to paying it off in one lump payment.
  • Individuals who opt for this payment plan can avoid additional pitfalls by doing so. Additional pitfalls could be having a vehicle booted or towed.
  • The downside to this plan is that it charges interest, thereby increasing the overall total amount that is owed. The interested is added until the balance is paid off in full.
  • In order to be eligible for a payment plan, the vehicle's registration must be valid for at least 40 more days and the vehicle must have been insured for at least 30 days. Additionally, the outstanding parking ticket violations must be in excess of $350 but below $10,000. (Balances above $10,000 requires additional paperwork).
  • A minimum down payment of 33% of the total balance must be paid in order to activate the payment plan.

Exceptions and Discounts

  • Individuals who dispute their parking ticket within 30 days of receiving the ticket may get a discount on their fine. To do so, individuals have to plead not guilty.
  • The Department of Finance has the authority to dismiss parking tickets if they are unreadable or inappropriate, even without the case being brought before a judge.
  • Some parking tickets are eligible for an automatic reduction. These are usually tickets that are given for less severe offenses, such as having an expired meter.
  • Severe parking infractions are not eligible for reductions, such as blocking an intersection. Additionally, commercial vehicles, tow trucks, and delivery trucks are not eligible for reductions.

Parking Tickets Among Low-Income Residents of New York City

  • New York City may be currently thinking of options for how to lessen the burden of parking tickets for low-income individuals.
  • In April of 2019, New York Senator, Tim Kennedy, introduced a bill that would end the state's practice of suspending driver's licenses due to unpaid traffic tickets, as a recent report found this issue has been disproportionately affecting poor residents. The bill would further "usher in a series of reforms to help low-income drivers and their families."


The NYCSERV eService Center has a section of Frequently Asked Questions about parking tickets related to payments and transactions. These questions cover the following topics:
  • Additional charges for paying parking tickets online.
  • Payment processing time frames.
  • Transaction notifications.
  • Handling multiple payments.
  • Online payments for overdue tickets.
  • Handling late payment notices after payment has already been sent.
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Parking Ticket FAQs

Common questions that people have when they receive a parking ticket include where to pay, how to pay online, how to contest the ticket, how to get a payment extension, among others.

Common Questions

How do I pay a parking ticket?

How do I go about contesting a ticket?

  • Answer: For someone that wants to contest a ticket, they must schedule a court hearing within 20 days (in some cities it is up to 30 days) of receiving the ticket. Hearing can be scheduled online.

Can my Vehicle be towed for an unpaid parking ticket?

  • Answer: The city of Los Angeles and Pasadena both answer that a vehicle may be towed if there are five (5) or more unpaid parking tickets issued to the license plate.

How do I pay my citation online?

  • Answer: The City of Houston answers that all a person needs is his/her citation number and a credit card and then directs them to the online portal where payment can be made. The City of New York adds that there is an additional convenience charge of 2.49% when payment is made online.

How do I find out how many tickets I have?

  • Answer: The City of Pasadena and Pittsburgh directs the individual to call a number and provide their license plate number for the automated voice response system to help them answer the question.

I sold this car. Why am I getting tickets in the mail?

  • Answer: The city of Los Angeles answers that if the person was the registered owner at the time the ticket was issued, they remain responsible for it. However, if the ticket was issued after the car was sold, it is probably because the records have not been updated and that the person is responsible for providing DMV with the name and address of the new owner. The City of Pasadena has a similar response to the same question.

Can I get a payment extension?

  • Answer: The City of Los Angeles answers that they do not grant payment extensions and that the ticket must be paid within 21 days. The City of Pasadena has a similar response to the same question.

I received a ticket for Handicap Parking, but I have a valid Handicap placard issued, am I still responsible?

  • Answer: The City of Las Vegas answers that the person should provide his/her driver’s license, a copy of the citation, and a copy of the valid handicap placard that was active/valid at the time of the citation in order to be eligible for a fine reduction. The City of Houston also demands for similar documents in addition to a handwritten signed letter from the disabled person stating what happened when the citation was issued.

When paying by check, who should it be made out to?

Why is my parking citation not in the online payment system?

  • Answer: The City of San Diego answers that "handwritten citations can take several weeks to be entered into the parking citation system and the due date is set once the citation is loaded into our system. This might be 21 days from the date of issuance, or 14 days from the date on the Notice of Parking Violation, whichever is greater."
  • The City of Las Vegas answers a similar question by stating that it may take up to 14 days for the citation to appear in their system while some tickets are not payable online. The further encourage the person to contact their office.