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.

Not paying parking ticket - fines

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!

Unpaid parking ticket consequences - court appearance

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!

Can you go to jail for parking tickets?

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.

Unpaid parking tickets - booting and towing

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!

What happens if you don't pay a parking ticket in another state? - License Suspension

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…

Unpaid parking tickets - credit score

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.

SpotAngels app - unpaid parking tickets
Reminders to avoid parking tickets with the SpotAngels app

How do I get notified if I got a ticket

Go to https://www.spotangels.com/parking_ticket_scanner
Enter your email and license plate and SpotAngels will notify you if you get a new ticket


  1. I got a parking ticket on October 29 2017. but my car was at a mechanic shop am I responsible for the ticket. It is now in collections I never knew about it until I got a letter in the ticket in the mail

    • SpotAngels Reply

      Sorry to hear that happened to you! The owner of the vehicle is responsible for the parking ticket. Can you sort it out with the mechanic shop?

  2. John genera Reply

    I got a “4 parking tickets in 2010” and I was never notified. Theses tickets where sent to collections. I don’t really remember what happens but I normally take action to any tickets. Specially if they go to collections. Knowing my self, I would of payed them immediately. Now 2018, 7-8 years I go pay a ticket and my village tells me I have 5 unpaid tickets and that they are in collections. The thing is the village changed collection agencies and the new agency does not have any record that I have tickets to pay. And I am not sure about the old agency. Is there a time frame the village cannot come to me? What are your thoughts?

    • SpotAngels Reply

      Maybe you can get something in writing from the new agency that you don’t have any tickets to pay to the city?

  3. April Hurst Reply

    I have a question: I have unpaid parking tickets in California. Ive moved to North Carolina. The tickets have gone to collections. I have a drivers license in N.C. and the car has already been registered in N.C. Whats the worst that can happen? Can they garnish my wages?

    • SpotAngels Reply

      A bench warrant will likely be issued in CA. Also, the ticket being in collections means that your credit score will be affected.

  4. Melesio Nieto Reply

    Paid a parking meter in San Francisco with their app Sept ’17 and still got a ticket forgot about it now going back to work there again and am worried about getting booted

  5. I bought a car , 3 months ago, and 1 month after that the car was burned , than I check the record of the car and I see there was 4 street clening tickets $420
    What will happen if I don’t pay 😙

  6. Anthony Armstead Reply

    If you don’t plan on fighting the ticket you plan on paying it do you have to appear in court or can you just pay it in a couple days when you get the money

    • Anthony Armstead Reply

      It’s an alternate side of the street parking ticket

      • SpotAngels Reply

        If you were asked to show up in court, it’s better to go and once there tell them you’re paying. If you weren’t asked to show up in court, you can just pay whenever you can. There are penalties when you pay late though.

  7. Joshua Dupree Reply

    If I have unpaid parking tickets on a previous vehicle I no longer own can they boot or tow my new car?

    • SpotAngels Reply

      Even if they don’t tow it, not paying those tickets will have consequences including on your license. Parking tickets need to be paid.

  8. Emmitt S Thompson Reply

    I have one unpaid parking ticket for double parking, will my license get suspended?

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