LA parking ticket

How to Avoid + Dispute an LA Parking Ticket

Not only can driving in Los Angeles be a hassle because of all the traffic and crazy drivers, but you can also collect a nice portfolio of LA parking tickets if you’re not careful. This guide shares all you need to know about parking tickets in Los Angeles including pricing, the most common areas for tickets, and tips for disputing your ticket. 

How Much is a Parking Ticket in Los Angeles?

LA City parking ticket prices vary, but some can cost you hundreds of dollars. Here are a few examples of common parking ticket prices in Los Angeles: 

Disabled parking (obstructing or misusing a placard): $363

Parking in a bus zone: $293

Parking in a red zone: $93

Street cleaning ticket: $73

Parking near emergency vehicles: $63

Expired parking meter: $63

On top of these prices, late fees can add more digits to your ticket cost. If you have five or more delinquent tickets, your car is eligible for booting or even towing.

Avoiding Parking Tickets

Paying more attention to detail and preparing ahead of time can help you avoid an expensive ticket. For starters, some areas around Los Angeles give out more tickets than others. A few top-ticketed areas include Venice, Boyle Heights, Koreatown, and Van Nuys. Whenever your parking around Los Angeles (especially in these areas), make sure to pay very close attention to the signs. This especially applies to street cleaning signs since these are the most common ticket. 

In addition, some areas are separate cities from Los Angeles. For example, you will have to go through a different payment website if you got a West Hollywood parking ticket. 

A few other common tickets include expired meters, red zones, and disabled parking. If you’re parking at a meter, make sure to set an alarm on your phone for when it expires!

Finding Parking Ahead of Time 

One easy way to potentially avoid tickets is to find and purchase parking ahead of time. The parking bureau recommends LA Express Park – this helps you plan parking near your destination and find the best spots in your desired price range. You can even prepay for your spot using the website or one of their supported apps

A few similar options to find LA parking include SpotHero and ParkWhiz. If you want to find inexpensive airport parking, ParkingAccess is a great option for LAX, Burbank, and other airports around Los Angeles.

Disputing Your LA Parking Ticket

If you got a parking ticket in Los Angeles, there is no need to stress. Your ticket might actually be invalid! Incorrect parking tickets occur more likely than you’d imagine. 

Reasons Your Ticket Might be Invalid: 

  • Illegible writing
  • Wrong date of issuance, time, or county
  • Incorrect or missing vehicle information (wrong license plate number, plate type, vehicle color, model year, vehicle manufacturer, etc.)
  • The signs were wrong – perhaps they gave incorrect information or weren’t visible 
  • Malfunctioning parking meter
  • They didn’t specify whether you were parked in ‘Front of’ or ‘Opposite’ the address in question
  • You were given a ticket for not having a parking permit, but your permit was displayed
  • You weren’t the owner of the vehicle at the time (you’ll need to prove it)
  • Your car was stolen (you’ll need to prove this as well)
  • You were overcharged 

How to Dispute an LA Parking Ticket

Wondering how to dispute? Although it’s pretty simple, there are a few steps you should take when you contest a parking ticket in Los Angeles. First of all, you’ll need to dispute within 21 calendar days from the issue date or 14 calendar days from the first delinquent notice. Follow the steps below for a higher likelihood of getting your ticket disputed. 

Gather Evidence

You should gather as much evidence as possible while you’re at the scene. Although it might be too late now, it’s something you should remember for the future. For example, a clear picture of a non-visible sign would be perfect evidence. Even so, you might still be able to dispute it without photographic evidence. 

Don’t Pay the Fines

It’s important not to pay the parking ticket fine. If you do, you assume liability and there is no way for you to get your Los Angeles parking ticket waived. 

Write a Letter or Dispute Online

Many cities (including Los Angeles) allow you to dispute your ticket online. You can also write a formal letter if this is preferred. If you write a letter, you can mail it to them or drop it off at their office. Make sure to purchase tracking if you mail your letter and call to confirm they received it a few days later.

Attend the Hearing

Although most tickets are disputed without needing a hearing, they might schedule one for you if you don’t have enough evidence. Some cities offer online or phone hearings if you’re not in the city anymore. 

Paying Your Los Angeles Parking Ticket

Can’t dispute? Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay up. 

Where do you pay parking tickets in Los Angeles? The easiest method is to pay online by entering your parking citation number. Wondering how to find parking tickets by license plate number? Although they don’t have an online option for this, you can call them at (866)-561-9742 and give your license plate number. They will allow you to pay by phone with a credit or debit card. LA ticket bureau also works with PayTix, a mobile app designed to keep up with your tickets.

You can also pay your Los Angeles parking tickets by mail (with a check or money order) or pay in person. They have offices in Downtown LA, Mid-Wilshire, Van Nuys, and West Los Angeles. If you can’t afford your ticket right now, you can request a payment plan by phone or by sending the application through the mail. 

Bottom Line

Overall, an LA parking ticket can definitely put a damper on your day. Taking proper precautions and even planning your parking ahead of time can help you avoid these hefty fines. If you do get a ticket, you might be able to dispute it – make sure to thoroughly read the ticket and observe your surroundings to see if it was incorrectly written.