9 Rules on How to Fight a Parking Ticket

Have you been unfairly ticketed for a parking violation you didn’t commit? Thankfully, Toronto recognizes that sometimes officers make mistakes and other times, there can be some ambiguity in terms of why you were ticketed.

Of course, the best way on how to fight a parking ticket is to simply park your vehicle in a safe and secure area. However, there are times when you may have to park in a certain area, and you receive a ticket that you feel is unjust. You can fight a parking ticket, register a dispute, and sometimes, walk away without having to pay a dime.

Here’s what you need to know about how to fight a parking ticket:

1. The parking violation dispute process

If you don’t intend to pay your parking ticket and want to fight it, you have 15 days to register a dispute. If you miss this 15 day period, you may not be able to file a request to review so do it sooner rather than later. If you miss the aforementioned 15 day deadline, you do have an additional 30 days to request an extension. If granted, you can file a dispute at that time.

2. Should I pay my parking ticket?

If you are fighting your parking ticket, do not pay it. By paying a parking violation, you are admitting you have done wrong. Do not pay anything related to your parking ticket until a decision’s been made by a screening officer as to whether the offence is enforceable or not.

3. How to fight a parking ticket online

The best way to file a parking ticket dispute in Toronto is doing it online through thecCity website. To do this, you will need your driver’s license number, parking violating ticket number, name, as well as license plate.

When you file, you must explain why you think your parking violation should be cancelled or voided, why the fees associated to your violation should be cancelled, and why you’re filing the parking violation dispute. You are also allowed to use additional documents or photos to support your argument.

4. How a parking ticket review is completed

Any information you provide in any documents or documentation sent to a screening officer becomes a matter of public record. A screening officer, after receiving your dispute, reviews everything, and it is at their discretion as to whether to accept your argument or disregard it.

If you’re filing online, you will be emailed the outcome of the review which can take up to 120 days or 4 months from the date of submission to receive.

5. What if I am not happy with the decision?

If you are not satisfied with the screening officer’s review, you can request a second and final review. This is your only way to appeal the decision, at which time it will go to an Administrative Penalty Tribunal Hearing Officer.

If they support the decision of the screening office, one must accept the result. If they support your argument and desire to have the parking ticket voided, you’ll walk away without needing to pay the fine.

6. Can I fight a parking ticket in-person?

If you don’t have the means of filing a dispute online, you can present yourself in-person at Toronto’s Metro Hall or the North York Civic Centre preferably with an appointment to speak directly with a screening officer. The process is very much the same as it relates to fighting a parking ticket in-person. You will be expected to present your argument orally as opposed to in writing.

7. What happens if I don’t file a dispute and I don’t pay?

Let’s say you don’t file a dispute and also refuse to pay the fine, what will happen is you will run into big problems down the line. Any parking violation fine is attached to your license plate. This means you can’t renew your license plate nor purchase a vehicle in Ontario until you’ve clear outstanding balances on parking tickets.

8. Do I need to pay a parking ticket if I don’t live there?

Ontario doesn’t share parking fine information with other provinces and they can’t afford to hire a collection agency to go after someone out-of-province with unpaid parking tickets. For this reason, if you live out-of-province, just don’t pay it.

You can still fight a ticket in the ways outlined. That said, roughly 84% of people visiting from outside Ontario who receive a parking violation fine choose not to pay it and they’re probably not going to get in any trouble. For your utmost legal protection though, we still recommend fighting through official channels.

9. What if I was driving another person’s car or a rental car?

If you were issued a parking ticket in a rental car or another person’s car, don’t ignore it – file a dispute as soon as possible. Car rental companies in Ontario can charge a higher fee if they receive and have to mail a Notice of Impending Conviction to you. It’s a lot of hassle and will have a negative impact on your record, potentially causing problems for you down the line.

Reputation is everything when it comes to your driving record and permission to be on the road with your vehicle. If you weren’t driving your car when you were issued a parking ticket, don’t complicate it. Instead, pay the ticket or fight it but regardless of what you do, do it in a timely manner.