Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
A step-by-step guide to fighting an NYC parking ticket
We have been very successful fighting NYC parking tickets and winning. One of the reasons is that we developed a process through pain, suffering, trial, and error that works! Likewise, we follow the same steps for each parking ticket.
Our mantra is, “fight when you’re right.”
Most importantly, the only reason we lose is that a rogue judge closes his eyes and writes guilty.
First step: Check out the only image of the parking ticket and save it to your computer. Don’t rely on the information contained in your copy of the ticket because the judge doesn’t.
Second step: Write the pertinent data entered on the parking ticket on a separate, blank sheet of paper. To clarify, I write the:
-Violation code (i.e., VC20, VC40, VC 46) to remind me of the enemy we’re trying to defeat
-Place of occurrence
-Days and hours the rule is in effect
-Otherwise, I look at the ticket
I like working from a clean, separate document. Better to see the errors with.
And the beat goes on
Third step: Check your parking ticket with a fine-tooth comb for omitted, misdescribed, and illegible required elements.
For an expired meter violation, the warrior must enter, the
The limit entered is 5M (meaning the 5 minute grace period was honored).
For mechanical meters, the limit is the parking time limit in your parking zone (those old dinosaurs are gone with the wind)
For an expired registration or expired inspection sticker, make sure the sticker’s expiration date and sticker number are entered on the parking ticket. (You’ll find this data in the comments section of a printed parking ticket).
If you find one or more defects, you win upon presenting the proper proof properly.
For example, if the registration expiration date is omitted and your plate displays the month and year of expiration (for certain out-of-state vehicles), you must submit:
- A copy of your vehicle registration (optional, but I recommend if you’re car was born out-of-state)
- Two photographs of your car. One of the front and a second a close up of your plate clearly showing the month and year of expiration
Two more to go
Fourth step: Research your parking ticket to determine whether you have a substantive defense.
For example, I always check the place of occurrence to make sure the parking rule and days/hours displayed on the actual parking sign match the parking rule and days/hours entered on your parking ticket.
For another example, always check the place of occurrence for a fire hydrant violation. Often, the location of your parking space entered on the ticket is MORE than 15 feet from a fire hydrant, doesn’t exist, or there is no fire hydrant in the vicinity.
Here is some resource to use to check the information without leaving the cozy comfort of your home:
5th step: Present the proper proof, properly
This is the step where many of the wonderful members of our driving community lose their fighting form and are vanquished by the Evil Empire. Every parking violation code (99) has one or more specific defenses that will set you free. It is a must for all our Luke Skywalkers to match the proper defense to the parking crime.
Crying the blues, or explaining that you left a note for the parking ticket warrior that you’d be right back, or worse yet, advise the judge that his honor is free to call you if she has any questions…are not examples of winning defenses.
This step-by-step approach works because it focuses on the task at hand and helps you avoid missing critical steps in the fighting process.
Never, ever pay an NYC parking ticket “no questions asked,” and when you’re right-Fight, but please present the proper proof properly.
To all our Lukes…Good luck fighting the good fight!