How To Get Out Of A Parking Ticket

Nowhere do parking tickets suck more than in Los Angeles, where an expired meter can run you upwards of $60. But what most people don’t know is that parking tickets are easy to get out of – if you know what to say in the appeal. Here are 2 excuses that the LA Department of Transportation consistently accepts as evidence to dismiss a ticket:

1) The coin slot was jammed. Ticketing officers have no way of knowing this when they’re writing you a ticket; they just see “expired”. They would thus ticket you even though there was no way for you to actually feed the meter. This is grounds for dismissal.

2) The meter was broken when you originally parked your car, but it got fixed in the time that you were away from your car. This works because it’s legal to park next to a broken meter (the coin-only kind), but if a ticketing officer arrived after the meter was fixed, it would read “expired”. This is grounds for dismissal as well.

These are the only 2 appeals I know of that consistently work. The typical “I was just gone for a second” or “I thought the meter was broken” do NOT work; the Department of Transportation officials can see right through that nonsense. So save yourself some money and use these excuses in your next parking ticket appeal. It’ll be worth it.

14 Responses to How To Get Out Of A Parking Ticket

  1. Indira says:

    This is really good to know, I’m going to try this next time!!!!!

  2. Ranita says:

    I know where i will be parking next time i go to the beach at night

  3. Sam says:

    Unfortunately, neither of these are accurate. It is illegal to park at a jammed or broken meter in LA county.

  4. Ben says:

    Unfortunately you’re not correct. It’s technically illegal to park at a broken meter if it’s the new kind of meter with the coin and credit card slot, but those meters comprise of a small minority of the total in LA, and they are functional 99% of the time. On the other hand, it’s ok to park at the old kind of meter with the coin slot only (call up the number on the meter and ask), and not only do these meters comprise the vast majority, they are functional ~85% of the time. Thus, if you see a broken meter, there’s a very high likelihood it’s the old kind.

    Regardless, my appeals have worked on both the new and old kinds, and they’ve never failed (I’m 5 for 5). So I’d encourage you to actually try these appeals before dismissing them.

  5. john says:

    Hello! Thanks so much for your well written suggestions! I received a ticket for an expired meter at one of the new machines (take credit cards) in little tokyo, Los Angeles. How should I phrase the appeal since it wasn’t actually jammed. You mentioned that you had fought expired meter tickets for new machines. Do you mind sharing what you wrote in your appeal?

  6. backdoorLA says:

    You’d want to use the 2nd excuse and say that the meter was broken when you first parked there, and so you couldn’t physically put money in, but that it then it got fixed in the time that you were away from your car. Thus a cop would have simply seen the “expired” on the meter, and he would have no way of knowing that it was broken a few minutes earlier. This appeal is going to be tougher with the new kind of meter since they’re functional 99% of the time, and not 87% like the old meters, so they might just flat out not believe you. On the other hand, as far as I know they don’t keep a running track of when each meter was down, so they can’t just go into their system and confirm or deny that the meter was indeed broken.

    Good luck!

  7. john says:

    Thanks so much for your quick reply!!! I’ll try it. Here goes…

  8. Terry says:

    I went to huntington beach just a couple days ago with some of my friends from college. we went to the parking meter and the coin slot wasnt working and no of us had money on us becuz we have just paid for are classes. so what should i write for the appeal?

  9. Colin says:

    Thanks! Do you recommend submitting a written request or appealling in person?

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