Avoiding an NYC parking ticket on a dark, dank, dreary day in New York City
An NYC parking ticket tale. You spent 20 minutes circling the block hoping to find an on-street parking space. A miracle of miracles, off in the distance you spot a driver pulling out of a parking space. With the grace and power of a NASCAR driver, you win the race to space and park flawlessly
You exit your car, walk to the parking meter, and your world crumbles. A small part of your vehicle extends into a bus stop zone. You feel lucky, so you leave your car in the parking space. Upon your return, you are greeted by that familiar orange envelope stuck under your windshield wiper containing an NYC parking ticket.
You parked in the bus stop zone and violated Code 19. Is there any way out of this mess?
I urge you to examine carefully the front of your ticket
Hopefully, you’ll find some omitted, incorrectly described, or illegible required elements. Title 19, Chapter 34, and section 39-02(a) of the Official Compilation of the Rules of the City of New York set forth a list of required elements:
1. License plate number
2. The type of registration
3. The state of registration
4. The date of expiration of the vehicle registration
5. A description of the vehicle
6. A general statement of the violation alleged, including a reference to section 4-08 of title 34 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York or applicable provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or of the Administrative Code of the City of New York or any other law or rule
7. Information as to the days and hours the applicable rule or provision is in effect, unless always in effect pursuant to the rule or provision and where appropriate the word ‘all’ when the days and/or hours in effect are every day and/or twenty-four hours a day
8. The date, time and place of occurrence
9. If a meter violation, the meter number. A mere listing of a meter number in cases of charged meter violations shall not be a sufficient description of a particular place of occurrence of the charged violation
“If any information that is required to be inserted n a notice of violation (your parking ticket) is omitted from the notice of violation, misdescribed, or illegible, the violation shall be dismissed upon application of the person charged with the violation.”
You carefully inspect the front of your parking ticket; and your luck changes. Your registration expiration date was incorrectly described. You win.
I suggest you proceed as follows:
- Plead “not guilty”
- Prepare a separate letter, and write that you respectfully request a dismissal of your parking ticket because a required element is misdescribed. The correct date of your vehicle registration is 1-1-10, but it was inserted in your parking ticket incorrectly as 1-1-12
- Enclose a copy of your vehicle registration as proof that the expiration date is described incorrectly
- Mail your letter and your vehicle registration by certified mail, return receipt requested to the address on the back of your parking ticket, which is: NYC Department of Finance, Hearings by Mail, PO Box 29021, Cadman Plaza Station, Brooklyn, NY 11202-9021. You will receive a written notification in the mail from the Department of Finance in approximately 75 days of your dismissal (unless it is a handwritten ticket, which will take longer).
You can dispute your parking ticket at an In-person hearing. You may report to the Business Finance Center nearest you without an appointment Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
That was easy. What happens if there are no missing, misdescribed, or illegible required elements? If you are right, then fight your NYC parking ticket. If not, apply for a reduced fine.
[Larry’s Comment: Fast forward to 2018. There is now a simple, understandable way to fight an evil parking ticket online. You can enter your certified defense statement and upload your evidence. You’ll get the decision within 10-14 days. I strongly recommend fighting your parking ticket online as the best way to dispute a parking ticket. Here’s a link to the dispute page of the Evil Empire’s website]
(Larry’s note: This article covers vehicles registered in New York, only. See my post about missing required elements for out-of-state vehicles, if applicable)