What Happens When You Fail to Pay Parking Tickets


Parking tickets are a royal pain. The second you see the little slip of paper on your windshield, you know your weekly budget is about to take a hit. Considering how tight money is these days, it’s perfectly natural to wonder what would happen if you simply threw the parking ticket in the trash and pretended it never existed.

The good news is that you won’t be arrested for failing to pay a parking ticket. It’s not a criminal act, but don’t assume that just because you won’t go to jail that your actions won’t have consequences. They will.

The first thing that happens when you fail to pay your parking ticket on time is that the amount you owe increases.

The next step is if an officer notices that you’ve collected five unpaid parking tickets they can arrange to have your vehicle towed and impounded. At this point you have two choices, you can pay the tickets, the cost of the towing, and the impound fees, or you can appeal the decision.

If you decide to fight the impounding of your vehicle, you need to contact the city offices and find out when the tow hearing will take place. During this period it’s up to you to prove that the vehicle was either towed illegally or that you, the registered owner, weren’t notified when the vehicle was towed. Or that the tickers were paid and there was simply a glitch in the system that made it appear that you had several outstanding parking tickets. If you’re able to prove your case, all the fees connected to the towing and impounding of your vehicle will be waived. If you can’t, the impound fees will increase daily until you’ve paid all of your outstanding bills.

One of the more irritating things many drivers report is that they continue to get parking tickets for a vehicle that they no longer own. This isn’t just costly, it’s also irritating and can do severe damage to your reputation. The most likely reason this happens is that the person you sold the car to failed to register the vehicle to themselves and is still using the same license plate that you put on the vehicle.

In order to fight parking tickets that were actually issued to the driver of a vehicle you sold, you’ll have to go to court and show a bill of sale that includes the date you sold the vehicle. Pulling the plate off any vehicle you sell should prevent you from getting into a similar situation in the future.