What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Parking Ticket?

With the costs of owning a car continuously on the rise, getting hit with a parking ticket can be an added expense that we could all do without. Not does this put a strain on our wallets, but it can also cause a lot of distress.

Wondering what happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket? Will you be headed to jail? Will the government revoke your driver’s licence?  

Let’s take a drive through the options!


What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Parking Ticket in Canada?

So, you’ve been awarded a ticket for a parking violation. Although it’s not the worst of crimes, it’s not something to be boastful about either! But what happens now? Well, first you’ll be given time to pay the fine. The time allotted varies because it depends on your province and city of residence

Namely, if you get a parking ticket in Toronto, you’ll have 15 days to pay the violation, make submissions about the penalty, or go to court and fight the ticket. However, if you get ticketed in Montreal or Calgary, you have 30 days to pay. Surprisingly, British Columbia gives drivers 35 days to pay their fines, which is the longest out of all other provinces.  

If you fail to pay your ticket in the given time, you’ll receive a nice reminder by mail. Further ignoring will result in the Ministry of Transportation getting hold of your information and violation and a late fee addition. Consequently, they will put your details on their record and might even bar you from renewing your licence or retrieving plate stickers

What are the repercussions?

Sitting on unpaid parking tickets in Ontario or other provinces won’t technically put you in jail. However, if the city sends someone to hand-deliver a court-summon and you don’t show up – you can be arrested. Granted, this would be due to you missing out on a court hearing, not refusing to pay a ticket. 

In addition, a parking violation will not come with demerit points because they are not moving violations, like speeding tickets or failures to stop at a “Stop” sign. 

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Does It Affect Your Insurance or Driving Record?

Now, let’s talk about the age-old question – do parking tickets affect insurance or driving records? Well, looks like good news just keeps flowing, because parking tickets do not impact car insurance or driving records.

Generally, the reason for this is that careless street parking in Toronto and other urban cities is not considered a moving violation and isn’t treated like other traffic tickets.  

How Much Does a Parking Ticket Cost?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this because the cost depends on the type of ticket you get and the city you’re in. 

Therefore, in Toronto, you can expect to pay from $30 to $450 for a parking ticket. A Mississauga parking ticket also carries a price in that range, while a Hamilton parking ticket usually varies from $24 to $38, but it can go up to $400 for severe offences. Check out the table below for the average prices in some other cities. 

City Average Ticket Cost
Vancouver $82
Calgary $74
Halifax $28
Winnipeg $86
Montreal $78

Can you dispute it?

If you believe you’ve been wrongfully ticketed, you can choose to dispute your ticket. However, check the requirements and procedures for your city, because municipal parking in Toronto does not have the same laws as in Vancouver. 

Therefore, you can request a Toronto parking ticket dispute within 15 days from receiving your parking violation and you can carry it out online. In some municipalities, the time limit might be longer or shorter, so it’s essential to look for information in the right places. 

Types of Parking Tickets

But what kinds of parking tickets can you get fined for? If you thought it’s just the one, you’re dead wrong! In fact, there are separate types of tickets depending on your province or city, as well. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Expired Meter

This is one of the most common types of parking tickets. It’s issued when you fail to pay or top up the meter before your time expires.

Parking in a No Parking Zone

When you park in a space that has been designated as no parking, you’re likely to receive a ticket. This includes areas such as fire hydrants, crosswalks, driveways, and handicap spaces.

If you really need to park at a specific spot, you can try calling the local authority in advance to see if you can get a permit. For instance, permission to park in Brampton may be granted for special events, construction work, or filming. 

Parking in an Accessible Spot without a Permit

If you park in a spot that has been designated for people with disabilities, you’ll likely get a ticket unless you have a permit. You’ll need proper documentation to park in these types of spots, which can usually be obtained from your municipality.

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Where Can You Pay For a Parking Ticket?

Have these repercussions taken you aback? If you do decide to pay for your parking ticket, you can do so in four ways, depending on the city: online, by telephone, by mail, or in person.

To pay online, you’ll need to have an acceptable credit card and visit your city’s parking violation website. For mail payments, you’ll need to send a cheque (without the cash!) to a suitable mailing address. 

Additionally, you can call your local office and talk to someone to handle your payment without any hassle. Lastly, if you want to pay in person, you can visit one of your city’s counter locations with your ticket in hand. 

Note that many cities charge processing fees when you pay your tickets. For example, a Brampton parking ticket is subject to a $1.50 or $2.50 processing fee, depending on whether you’re paying online or by telephone. Additionally, you might be charged applicable taxes.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! Now that you know what happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket, you’ve discovered how important it is to take care of those irksome tickets to avoid any bigger penalties down the road. While it may not be the best thing to spend money on, we all have to take responsibility for our actions.

FAQ

Will a parking ticket cause my insurance premium to go up?

No, parking tickets have no bearing on the cost of your car insurance premium because they are not considered moving violations. 

Can my licence be suspended for unpaid parking tickets?

No, unpaid parking tickets will not cause the suspension of your driver’s licence. However, they might interfere with your right to renew your licence or licence plates. If that’s the case, you’ll be required to pay any outstanding fines. 

How much is a parking ticket in Toronto?

Parking tickets in Toronto range from $30 to $450 and depend on the severity of the infraction. 

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in BC?

If you don’t pay for a parking ticket in BC, your information will be sent to the Ministry of Transportation after 35 days from issuance. Then, you will acquire a late fee. If you still decide not to pay your ticket, you won’t be able to renew your licence or plate stickers until paying the outstanding ticket.

Where do you have permission to park in Brampton?

You can’t park on any street for longer than 3 hours, or between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. You also don’t have permission to park on residential streets if your vehicle exceeds 2.6m in height or 6.7m in length. Everywhere else is permitted.   

ABOUT AUTHOR

Mila is an English literature student and a devoted animal's rights advocate. Despite her love for the written word, she's a keen observer of the everyday world and an excellent researcher with a bright and fresh perspective. When she's not doing research, you're most likely to find her out for a walk with her dog or binge-watching a TV show.

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