How to beat an NYC parking ticket for improper registration
A good friend and client of ours, Dan, purchased a used post office van to move drive around New York City. Dan wanted to register his van as a passenger vehicle, but there were no permanent rear seats in his vehicle.
He registered the van as a passenger vehicle, parked it in our fair City, and guess what? A parking ticket warrior issued him a parking ticket for violating Code 83: Standing or parking a vehicle which is not properly registered.
Can our hero beat an NYC parking ticket for improper registration
Our Parking Ticket Defense
We sought to prove that Dan’s van was not a commercial vehicle under the Rules of the City of New York by referring to defining a commercial vehicle, as follows:
- It bears commercial plates, and;
- It is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings, except the front seats, removed to ease transporting 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
- It displays the registrants’ name and address 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 about midway vertically on doors or side panels ” [34 RCNY 4-01: Words and Phrases Defined]”
1. I am the registered owner of a 1997 Ford Suburban bearing plate number EVC 9986
2. I purchased this 10-year-old vehicle for my personal use from a used car dealer. It was previously owned by the US Post Office
3. This vehicle was never outfitted with seats
4. I presented the proper proof of purchase at the DMV, and my vehicle was properly registered as a Ford Suburban/passenger vehicle
5. I have no business use for this vehicle or any other vehicle
6. I carefully read how RCNY 4-01(b) defined commercial vehicle
7. My vehicle does not bear commercial plates
8. It is not registered to a business
9. It does not bear my name and address in 3-inch high lettering, permanently affixed to the vehicle
10. It is not used in connection with any commercial activities or commercial purposes
11. Attached please find a true and accurate copy of my vehicle registration
12. Due to these circumstances, I respectfully request Your Honor dismiss my parking ticket”
GUILTY. Here’s why. Dan’s van did not comply with the NY State D.M.V. regulations for registering his van as a passenger vehicle. The DMV regulations provide:
Vans (Part 106.3 (d)). You can register a van in the passenger class if the van has:
- At least one side window behind the driver, and
- At least one seat or set of seat fittings that are installed behind the driver, or
- Camping equipment installed in behind the driver. “Camping equipment” indicates that your bed has, a permanent stove, or a permanent refrigerator in the vehicle. If this equipment is removed and you use the van, you must register the van as a commercial vehicle.
There are some valuable lessons from Dan’s case.
- A Code 83 parking ticket refers to the NY State DMV regulations for properly registering your vehicle as a commercial or passenger vehicle. If you choose wrong, you’ll get an NYC parking ticket for improper registration
- You cannot defend against a Code 83 parking ticket by showing your passenger vehicle is not a commercial vehicle under the Rules of NYC
- You can never, ever properly register a van as a passenger vehicle without at least one seat or permanent fittings
- You must carefully read the NY State DMV regulations for tickets such as improper registration
The judge absolutely made the right decision. Dan wanted to fight this parking ticket to find out whether his van was properly registered as a passenger vehicle.
Now Dan has his answer, and will be changing his registration to a commercial vehicle, or making the right changes to his van to comply with the NY State DMV regulations.