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What to Do If You Get a Parking Ticket

parking ticket victoriaFirst of all, this is not legal advice.

Second, if you get a parking ticket, you should probably pay it as soon as possible. If you think the ticket was issued in error, do your best to immediately dispute it. However, it’s never a good idea to ignore a parking ticket, especially if you have parked on a private lot.

While it’s debatable if an unpaid parking ticket will actually hurt your credit score, on the other hand the operators of private lots use some pretty sophisticated and widely available technology to make their operations more efficient, including license plate scanners.

So, don’t pay your ticket, expect never to be able to park anywhere downtown again… or at the university… or at the college. Pretty soon you’ll be parking your car in such obscure, far-off places to avoid the hyper-vigilant meter maids that you’ll be better off walking!

However, no one likes to pay parking tickets.

Parking Pass Machine Not Working? Too Bad

While ancient history by now, this particular case of a stubborn refusal to pay a parking fine undoubtedly lives on in a computer someplace.

In this case, a man borrowed a friend’s car and parked at a university parking lot for an appointment. The ticket machine in the lot was out of order, so the man did not purchase a parking pass, and was ticket.

As a result, he went through a lengthy email exchange with the patient parking management company. When he pointed out there was no nearby machine where he could purchase a parking ticket, the company said, “too bad.”

And so he was on the hook for a parking fine. To complicate matters, he was using a friend’s car, although he did supply the parking management company with his own driver license information.

How to Get Out of a Parking Fine

However, parking management companies are staffed by real human beings, and human beings often react nicely when treated nicely.

The best way to get out of paying a fine is to quickly contact them and explain the problem in a polite and friendly way.

Many parking companies have a policy where, if you have no outstanding “violations” over the past few years, and you can demonstrate there was something that prevented you from purchasing a parking pass, they will waive the fine… “Just for this one time only, okay?”

If you had every opportunity to purchase time on the meter but did not (perhaps you were late getting back to your car), if you ask nicely, and if you are not an inveterate double-parker, they may reduce the fine.

Of course you don’t necessarily have to pay the fine. ICBC has refused to collect parking fines on behalf of municipalities when re-issuing licences, for example, and there is some question as to whether or not unpaid parking fines will affect one’s credit score.

But if you have fines from parking in a private lot, be careful with lots managed by the particular management company that issued you a fine. The license plate scanners so effective they could indeed be a harbinger of Skynet and the age of machines.

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