The NYC parking ticket story involving an “unaltered commercial vehicle”
I got a telephone call the other day from Joe from Jersey. He parked his van with commercial plates in a commercial meter zone in NYC. He paid the toll on a pole and went about his business. When Joe returned forty-five (45) minutes later, he found the dreaded orange envelope containing an NYC parking ticket on his windshield. Joe asked, “Why did I receive a parking ticket when I paid the meter?”
“Unaltered Commercial Vehicle”
Joe didn’t have the name and address of the owner, as shown on the registration, permanently affixed in letters and numerals, at least, three (3) inches high on both sides of the vehicle. The parking fine is $115, and Joe doesn’t even get a chicken dinner with his donation.
-The NYC parking rule
34 R.C.N.Y. 4-08 (K) Special rules for commercial vehicles.
“(1) Parking of unaltered commercial vehicles prohibited. No person shall stand or park a vehicle with commercial plates in any location unless it has been permanently altered with all seats and rear seat fittings, except the front seats, removed, except that for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the seating capacity with the cab shall not be considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered, and has the name and address of the owner as shown on the registration certificate plainly marked on both sides of the vehicle in letters and numerals not less than three inches in height, in compliance with Section 10-127 of the Administrative Code and is also in compliance with paragraph (i) of the definition of commercial vehicle as set forth in Section 4-01 of these rules.”
Let’s take this analysis one step at a time because the rule is confusing, and it is applied without mercy. First, it matters not in which state your vehicle is registered, and what the laws of the state of registry say. If you venture into NYC with a vehicle bearing commercial plates, you are burnt toast unless it is altered.
You do not need a Moyal to alter your commercial vehicle; but if you don’t follow the rule, you will be issued a $115 parking ticket. Your commercial vehicle must have the name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle permanently affixed on both sides in lettering, at least, three (3) inches high. You got it:
- Name and address
- Registered owner
- Three (3) inches high
- Permanently affixed
- Both sides of the vehicle
Here are some of the excuses I hear: “I really own the vehicle but its registered in my Uncle’s name because he lives in Utah, and insurance is less expensive.” Ca-ching. “Why can’t the lettering be 2 1/2 inches high?” Ca-ching. “It is very difficult to remove the lettering, isn’t that enough?” Ca-ching.
Next, your vehicle bearing commercial plates must be “permanently altered with all seats and rear seat fittings, except the front seats, removed.” You got it:
- Think Moyal… permanent
- Permanently altered
- All seats permanently removed
- All rear seat fittings permanently removed
Please, I beseech you, rear seats (gone forever), rear seat fittings (gone forever). Or else, you risk a $115 parking ticket.
You cannot stand or park a vehicle with commercial plates anywhere in NYC, regardless of where your vehicle is registered; without altering it according to the above Rule.
Has this Rule caused you parking ticket pain? What action did you take to eliminate the pain? Please comment, your opinion matters to all of us.