What Happens if you Ignore a Parking Ticket?

July 7, 2014

Parking tickets can be an annoying hassle and, in many cases, they can also be quite expensive to pay for. It may seem tempting to ignore parking tickets in order to avoid paying them. After all, what can really happen to you if you don’t pay them? Can you Ignore a Parking Ticket?


It turns out, a lot can happen.

If you find a parking ticket on your windshield and toss it aside without paying it, you could find yourself in with some difficulties in the future.

Affect on License Renewal

First of all, you probably won’t be able to avoid paying the ticket for long. In many municipalities, you won’t be able to renew your driver’s license or your vehicle registration permit without paying the tickets.

Affect on University Documents

You may also not be able to get transcripts from your university without paying all of your parking tickets. Many schools won’t provide you with the information you’re looking for until all of your tickets have been paid up.

Possible Forceful Payments

In addition, there is a problem with waiting to pay off your parking tickets until you are “forced” to pay them. That problem is that they’ll usually cost a lot more money by the time you get around to paying them.

Possible Higher Late Fees

 Late fines and other penalties can drive up the cost of a parking ticket. Depending on how long you wait to pay, you could end up paying double the cost of the original tickets.

Affect on Your Credit Score

If you owe a large amount of money in unpaid parking tickets, a municipality can also send your fine to a collection agency or file a case against you in small-claims court in order to get the money that you owe. This can hurt your credit rating in addition to costing you extra money. If your overdue fines get large enough, the city can even start to garnish your wages.

Possible License Suspension

Depending on where you live and how much you owe, not paying a parking ticket could lead to you having your driver’s license suspended, your car towed or “booted” and your vehicle could even be seized. All of these options are obviously more expensive than just paying the ticket when you receive it.

What should I do when I get a  Parking Ticket?

Nobody likes parking tickets and you’ll probably be annoyed the next time you get one. But you should still pay the fine by the due date. Failing to do so can get you into a situation that will be more expensive and annoying than just paying the original ticket would be.

Once you’ve paid your tickets, keep the receipt as proof. Sometimes different government agencies misplace paperwork or don’t pass your record of payment to the right department. This can lead to them requesting that you pay for a ticket you’ve already paid.

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