Unpaid Parking Ticket? If So, Watch Out!!!


Strapped for cash, New York City will be stepping up dramatically its efforts to get traffic scofflaws to pay over $680 million in unpaid parking fines. These aggressive tactics include:

  • Car and asset seizures
  • Suspension of registrations
  • Use of collection agencies

Anyone with 5 or more unpaid parking tickets with 12 months will get their registrations suspended. Previously, the City would prevent motorists with $350 or more in unpaid parking tickets from renewing registrations when they expired. Driving with a suspended registration is misdemeanor (VTL 512) making the City’s new tactic more severe.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Matt,
    Great heads up about the so called “stepped up” collection efforts of the DOF.

    This enormous sum of money has been outstanding for a long time now; while the DOF has made aggressive, unsuccessful collection efforts. There is nothing new here, except:
    Holiday season bluster from the DOF
    Registration suspension with 5 unpaid tickets

    The DOF employs all the other tactics. What do you think about Amnesty? Offer elimination of penalties, and a payment plan for people who can demonstrate financial hardship. It worked very well in Chicago (2nd largest parking ticket City). The stick hasn’t worked. Why not try a carrot?

    • Larry,

      I recall many years ago that NYC had such a program. Do you recall the details Larry?

      Amnesty is a very effective carrot. If done right (i.e., promoted well with a substantial economic incentive), it most certainly will encourage many scofflaws to pay their unpaid fines. It must be used sparingly, however. Otherwise, it encourages others to refrain of paying their fines and just wait for a “sale”.

      To me, it seems like the time is right for NYC to resurrect such a “one time only” offer. Certainly, it is much more user-friendly than aggressive enforcement. In fact, the threat of aggressive enforcement could be part of the marketing of an amnesty program.

      Perhaps, if enough people ask for amnesty, DOF will consider it.

      Thoughts people?


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