Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Lawrence Berezin
Parking in NYC without getting a parking ticket
Parking in NYC without paying a parking fine is the number one goal of our website visitors. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the ways I learn the information our website visitors need to know is by checking the search terms they type into their browsers to arrive at our website. For example, “How many feet do I have to park from a fire hydrant?” Or, ” What’s the difference between standing and parking?”
I will share my answers to 7 recent search term questions our readers typed into their browsers to arrive at our website.
1. “What type of offense do you have when you get a parking ticket for parking 10 feet from a fire hydrant?”
Larry’s reply: A costly offense ($115). Many visitors to our fair City assume that the “no-fly zone” for an NYC fire hydrant is the same as Provost, Utah, or San Francisco, California. Sadly, it’s not. In NYC, it’s 15 feet from all sides of a fire hydrant unless you leave a person sitting behind the wheel of your passenger chariot with the keys, ready to move on request by a warrior or cop, between sunrise and sunset.
Check the basic rules of the curb before you get your motor running and head out on the roadways of NYC.
2. “I lost my NYC parking ticket?”
No problem. Here’s a link to the lost and found on the Evil Empire’s website. Plug in your plate number, plate type, and state of registry, click, and you shall find your parking ticket.
Once you find this nasty orange epistle, you may wish to check for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. If you find one or more, you win upon application. If none, investigate whether you have a winning substantive defense, such as stopping temporarily to drop off or pick up a passenger in a no-standing zone. If so, fight your parking ticket. Please be sure to support your defense with the proper proof to win a dismissal of your parking ticket.
3. “Can you boot a car in someone’s private driveway?”
Larry’s Reply: This is a super question. The answer lives:
“Immobilization and towing of illegally parked vehicles.
(i) Time and manner of immobilization. Any illegally parked vehicle found parked at any time upon any public highway in the City may, by or under the direction of any person authorized by the Commissioner, be immobilized in such manner as to prevent its operation and, after that, may be removed to a tow pound as provided in these rules; provided, however, that no such vehicle shall be immobilized by any means other than by the use of a device or other mechanism which will cause no damage to such vehicle unless such vehicle is moved while such device or mechanism is in place.”
HOW DOES BOOTING WORK? If you owe more than $350 in parking, red light camera, or bus lane violation tickets in judgment and are parked on a public street, you may have a boot attached to your vehicle. Call the toll-free phone number on the boot notice (877-207-2134) and give the customer service representative your debit/credit card number to get the boot off. You will then receive a release code. Once you enter the code, the boot will unlock, and you can remove it. You need to return the boot to a return location near you within 24 hours.
According to the Rule and FAQ, towing or booting a vehicle in a private driveway is verboten (not allowed). If it were me, I wouldn’t challenge a sheriff or marshal by leaving your scofflaw vehicle in plain sight in a private driveway.
On the other hand, if a stranger’s car stakes a claim to your private driveway, boot and tow to your heart’s content. It’s legal.
4. “How far should I park from a driveway in NYC?”
Larry’s Reply: The driveway rule prohibits parking in front of a driveway. Unlike a fire hydrant violation, the rule tells you the exact distance (15 feet). I suggest ensuring that no part of the front or rear of your chariot breaks the plane of the driveway entrance/exit. Err on the side of respect and consideration for the property owner.
Larry’s Driveway Guide
Here is one of Larry’s all-time favorite cheat sheets. You’ll learn:
- The NYC Traffic Rule, 4-08(f)(2)
- The definition of a “driveway”
- The NY State Law stating how to remove a driveway blocker
- Five Driveway Mistakes That Spell Disaster
- A fascinating list of the ten most blocked driveways in NYC
- And much more…
5. “Why are vehicles susceptible to towing in NYC?”
Larry’s Reply: Once upon a time, a long time ago (1956), the NY State Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, passed a law declaring NYC a tow-away zone (no notice required). The only cure for this toxic legislation is public transportation. Here’s a blog post you may wish to read, “The Complete Guide to Evils of an NYC Tow.”
I wouldn’t say I like towing in all of its shapes and sizes, except when a vehicle is endangering public safety.
6. “Is lettering on a car’s back window considered commercial?”
Larry’s Reply: There are a series of rules prescribing the dress code of a vehicle that wants to take advantage of commercial parking rules in NYC. Here’s the definition of a commercial vehicle contained in 4-01:
(i) For purposes of parking, standing, and stopping rules, a vehicle shall not be deemed a commercial vehicle or a truck unless:
(A) it bears commercial plates and
(B) it is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings, except the front seats, removed to facilitate the transportation of property, except that for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the seating capacity within the cab shall not be considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered; and
(C) it displays the registrants’ name and addresses permanently affixed in characters at least three inches high on both sides of the vehicle, with such display being in a color contrasting with that of the vehicle and placed approximately midway vertically on doors or side panels.
(ii) For the purposes of rules other than parking, stopping, and standing rules, a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of property or for the provision of commercial services and bearing commercial plates shall be deemed a commercial vehicle.
(iii) Vehicles bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries shall not be deemed trucks or commercial vehicles unless they unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in (i)(B) and (C) of this definition, above.
Writing alone on the rear window does not a commercial vehicle make.
A little knowledge goes a long way in keeping your money where it belongs (in your wallet). Please don’t assume that common sense applies to NYC parking rules or that you will wing it when deciding whether it is safe to park in a space. The space may be empty for a reason…It’s not a legal space to park your chariot.
Remember what happens when you assume.