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10 Common Questions You May Have About Parking Violations

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Living in the city, you have many options when it comes to parking. However, you may also encounter a lot of questionable parking arrangements. There are hundreds of parking tickets issued every day in Toronto, with dozens of different parking violations referenced.

Here is a little more information on what to expect when it comes to how to handle parking violations, along with answers to ten common questions about parking violations:

1. How much to pay for a violation?

The average parking ticket fine in Toronto is $53 although every violation comes with a specific amount pre-defined. We don’t recommend parking illegally or completing a course of action necessitating a violation, even if you believe you can afford it. It will create a paper trail to you, your vehicle, and your driving record, and could have negative consequences down the line.

2. How to pay a parking ticket?

If you’ve been issued a ticket for a parking violation, you have 3 ways to pay. The easiest way is through the City of Toronto website where they have a payment service ready to accept payments online.

You can pay with a cheque by mail sent to the city as well. You can also pay in person at any of the designated counters across the GTA. If you do pay in person, you must provide documentation about your parking violations, so do remember to bring it!

3. How to dispute your parking violation?

If you believe you have been unfairly ticketed, thankfully, you can argue for it to be disregarded. Requesting for your parking violation to be reviewed has to happen within 15 days of receiving your notice.

You can dispute the parking violations in person by booking an appointment at either of the two Toronto screening offices although the vast majority of people will launch a dispute online through the City website. Registering a dispute is much easier to do online, needless to say.

4. What if I have missed my 15 days to dispute?

You have 15 days from the time the penalty is issued for a parking violation. If you miss this deadline, thankfully, you have another days after the 15 days have transpired to request an extension. Assuming you’re provided an extension, you can then pursue the necessary course of action – either paying the ticket or requesting a review.

5. Can I park illegally for just a few minutes?

The answer is always no, when it comes to questions about if a person can park illegally. Traffic cops can issue what are called ‘drive-away tickets’. All they need is your license plate and the vehicle model.

Even if you stop for a moment to drop someone off, if a parking cop sees it, it’s perfectly ok for them to ticket you and send it by mail. There are more than 60,000 drive-away parking tickets issued every year in Toronto, a total of more than $3 million in fines.

6. Am I respecting parking laws?

If you’ve conducted yourself inappropriately, whether it’s knowingly or unknowingly, do not take it out on the issuing parking officer. Every year, parking enforcement officers are assaulted, oftentimes being clipped by cars trying to drive away and avoid a ticket.

There are 40-50 assaults on parking officers every year in Toronto. If you believe you’ve been falsely ticketed, file a registered dispute.

7. What happens if I don’t pay my parking ticket?

Every parking ticket you receive is attached to your license plate number and can be easily looked up at a traffic court. They can see how much you owe, when the money is due, and individuals who don’t pay incur additional fees over time. Eventually, a parking violation ticket ends up in collections where it continues to gather late fees and negatively impact your name.

Furthermore, because any unpaid tickets are attached to your license plate, you can’t renew your license plate either until everything’s cleared up. This can cut down on your ability to drive big-time.

8. How do I report a parking violation in Toronto?

If you see someone who has parked illegally or who is improperly parked, you can submit an enquiry or communicate your concerns to the Toronto Police Service’s parking enforcement phone line. Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, the number is 416-808-2222.

9. What is the most expensive parking violation ticket?

The highest fine issued for any parking violation is when someone has parked illegally in a designated accessible space. They are issued a $450 parking ticket, a far cry from the lower $30 tickets often issued for minor offences.

10. How do I not get a parking ticket?

If you don’t want to be fined for violating parking laws, follow the rules of the roads and adhere to the signs around you. It can admittedly be challenging but look for signs and any notice applying to parking before turning off your vehicle. Ensure you’re allowed to be there.

If it’s pay parking, always ensure you’re up to the minute with how much you’ve paid. Parking officers generally will allow a vehicle up to 10 minutes in metered areas over and above the time on a permit however the second you’re beyond that, you’ll receive a ticket. Be diligent and safe.

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