Regardless of where you live, no one wants to see a parking ticket tucked under the windshield wiper of their vehicle. There are several reasons parking tickets are issued; expired meter, no parking zone, etc. The next two thoughts that usually go through your mind are: how much is this going to cost me and how it will affect my driving record? Another important consideration should be: can parking tickets affect my insurance rates? In this article, we’ll discuss different types of parking tickets, their costs, as well as answer some common questions surrounding them.
Types of parking tickets
There are a number of different types of parking tickets. Some are even unique to certain cities in the province. Here is a list of the most common tickets issued:
- Parked at an expired meter
- Parking in a ‘no parking’ zone
- Ticketed in a ‘no stopping’ zone
- Parking in an accessible parking spot without a permit
- Too close to or blocking a fire hydrant or lane
The cost of a parking ticket
What do all parking tickets have in common? They all carry different financial cost. Costs can range from $20 to $450, depending on the type you receive, the city you get the ticket in, and other factors. A standard ticket for having a meter expire is anywhere from $20 to $40 based on the municipality.
DYK: One of the costlier tickets is parking in an accessible parking spot without a permit? For this offence, it can cost you up to $450!
Can parking tickets affect my insurance?
The good news is that your parking ticket will not affect your insurance rates in Ontario. Your rates will not increase, no matter how many tickets you receive. Parking infractions are usually administered by the municipality you receive it in. Insurance companies base their rates on a variety of factors, including age, driving record, location, mileage and more, but number of parking tickets isn’t one of them. It’s also important to remember that finding a car in a parked state means no one was driving it at the time, so it wouldn’t be a reflection of driving habits. They are not considered a moving violation, and because of this, won’t even show up on your driver’s abstract, which is a document issued by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation that provides a detailed overview on the status of your licence.
Paying for parking tickets
In Ontario, you have 15 days from the date the ticket was issued to either pay your parking ticket out of court, make a submission about your penalty (such as the amount you have to pay or when it’s due), or go to court to fight the ticket. Most cities offer you a number of options to pay for your parking ticket. You can pay for your ticket via mail, in person at your local parking services office, or online. When paying your parking ticket online, visit the website listed on your ticket or the municipality’s website, and follow the steps. You will need your parking ticket number and plate number to find your ticket in the system. Pay using the options provided. Make sure you get your receipt to confirm your payment.
If you don’t pay by the deadline, you’ll be given another 15 days to ask to have the payment due date extended. Late fees will be continually added to your bill after every payment time frame until the bill is finally paid. Certain cities in Ontario, such as Toronto, will allow you to submit your dispute online. It’s important to remember that if you miss the dispute deadline printed on your ticket, you will be forced to pay the fine.
Can parking tickets affect me in other ways?
Even though your car insurance premiums might not be affected by late or non-payments, you may still be paying in different ways. Unpaid fines that are not dealt with in a timely manner can have an impact on your ability to renew your driver’s licence when it expires. In Ontario, you may not be allowed to renew your licence plate sticker before paying the ticket and penalties. In some areas, your vehicle can also be towed and impounded until you pay not only the ticket and penalties, but the costs to tow and impound the vehicle, as well. While parking tickets don’t affect your insurance rates, they’re still unpleasant and costly.
FYI: If you are outside of Ontario and your parking tickets are sent to a collection agency, this can negatively impact your credit score, which in turn, may affect the price of your insurance.
Can you dispute a ticket? Is it worth it?
Yes. You can dispute a parking ticket; however, the procedure may vary from city to city, so check with your municipality. Whether you choose to fight it or not depends on a few factors:
- Type of ticket
- Fine amount
- Individual situation
- and more!
But, you must dispute your ticket before the printed deadline. Regardless of the outcome, it will ultimately cost you additional time and money to do so.
Can my licence be suspended if I haven’t paid my parking tickets?
No. Your driver’s licence cannot be suspended for an unpaid parking ticket. But, the MTO will not allow you to renew your driver’s licence until you pay unpaid parking tickets.
Where can I check to see how many parking tickets I have?
You can check parking violations through your municipality’s website. You will need your parking ticket number, licence plate, or driver’s licence number to access your tickets.
What happens if I lose my parking ticket?
You are still required to pay your ticket. Your municipality will issue you a notice of payment required for your parking ticket if you have not paid within the 15 day deadline.
Can I pay parking tickets at Service Ontario?
No. Parking tickets are a municipal matter, not provincial. You can pay through your citiy’s local parking services department, which you can typically find online.
Can you get demerit points for a parking ticket?
No. You won’t get demerit points for getting a parking ticket. A parking ticket isn’t considered a moving violation and won’t show up on your driver’s abstract. There is also no way of proving who was driving the car.
While a parking ticket is an inconvenience for anyone, it shouldn’t be ignored. Pay them right away and then you can forget about them! The good news is that the answer to the question “can parking tickets affect my insurance” is no, they don’t. However, how you handle them (or not), might.