We all know that feeling when you discover a parking ticket on your windshield. It sucks! But beware, unpaid parking tickets can suck even more! Think twice before trashing a parking ticket or taking too long to pay it.
So you’re probably asking yourself: “What happens if I don’t pay a parking ticket?”
All the potential consequences are listed below. At SpotAngels, we help drivers avoid parking tickets in the first place so they never have to worry about what will happen with unpaid parking tickets. The FREE SpotAngels app runs in the background and automatically sends reminders before street cleaning, tow away and all other restrictions.
1. Increased Fines
This is the most likely of all unpaid parking ticket consequences. Fines for unpaid parking tickets can double or triple because of added penalties. Late fees and collection fees can bump the price up to $1,000!
The good news is that unpaid parking tickets don’t appear on your driving record and don’t affect your insurance premium. The bad news is that the fines will most likely double or triple within 30, 60 or 90 days.
2. Court Appearance
If you wait too long a local court may issue a notice for you to appear in court. The Judge will ask you to pay the amount you owe.
At this point it gets serious, you’d better pay the fine!
3. Bench Warrants
If you ignore the court appearance notice, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Your license plate will be shared with the police and you can be stopped and sent to jail!
This is very unlikely and doesn’t happen everywhere in the US (NYC passed a law that doesn’t let this happen), but to get brought to jail for unpaid parking tickets it’s still a possibility in some states!
4. Car Booting
Your car can also be booted or towed.
Not only booting is inconvenient, but it’s also very expensive! In San Francisco for example, a boot-removal fee can be as high as $465! In Daly City, CA a vehicle can be booted if the owner has five or more unpaid parking tickets, and the owner has 72 hours to pay the overdue amount plus a $50 boot-removal fee.
5. License Suspension
If you ignore parking tickets too long your license can be revoked. This is true even for out of state tickets!
What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in another state? This really depends on the state. In Michigan, a parking ticket is a civil infraction. If you don’t pay you will be convicted and your license can be suspended. If you get stopped after this you risk being arrested for driving with a suspended license!
6. Collectors and Credit Score
Your parking ticket fine can become a debt in collection, potentially damaging your credit score!
We all know collectors and collection agencies well enough that we don’t want to deal with them. Most importantly because your credit score can be severely affected and it can take months to restore it…
At SpotAngels, we help drivers avoid parking tickets in the first place so they never have to worry about what will happen with unpaid parking tickets. The FREE SpotAngels app runs in the background and automatically sends reminders before street cleaning, tow away and all other restrictions. It is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.