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Is the USPS exempt from parking tickets?
May 6, 2012 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Idle curiosity: Are USPS delivery cars/trucks legally exempt from parking tickets and violations, or do parking checkers just ignore them because, well, it's the government?
posted by hafehd to Law & Government (9 answers total)
 
Yes, as far as I know, USPS vehicles (as a branch of the government on official business) are exempt from parking tickets.

The same does not apply to corporate entities like FedEx or UPS, who budget ticket payments into their operating costs.
posted by WasabiFlux at 5:14 PM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


USPS vehicles (as a branch of the government on official business) are exempt from parking tickets.

State and federal agency vehicles receive tickets on an extremely regular basis. Depending on the state or agency in question, employee-drivers are liable to pay the fines or the state pays the fees. In my neck of the woods, we're liable for paying any reasonable tickets incurred while we're driving, but we can submit tickets that we think are inappropriate to our agency for review.
posted by arnicae at 6:37 PM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I should add that I cannot speak to USPS in specific - but the state and federal agencies I deal with daily receive lots of tickets.
posted by arnicae at 6:40 PM on May 6, 2012


I wonder if the fact that USPS delivery vehicles don't have license plates is relevant in some way.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 6:59 PM on May 6, 2012


I wonder if the fact that USPS delivery vehicles don't have license plates is relevant in some way.

Could be, although I believe USPS delivery vehicles still have an ID number displayed on the back - you'd think that would be enough.

I also agree with arnicae, plenty of government employees can and do get ticketed while driving on official business. So my guess is that USPS drivers are (at least theoretically) just as subject to tickets as anyone else. Maybe cops are giving them the benefit of the doubt, assuming they're parked illegally just long enough to deliver the mail?
posted by photo guy at 7:44 PM on May 6, 2012


I work for a city department that issues parking tickets. I am SO totally not involved that it's very very amusing, though I do know quite a lot about it because people talk in the room, and I also see a lot of paperwork (in passing) about getting tickets contested. For the sake of posterity: I cannot make your ticket go away. When my mother got a ticket I gave her the address to go to in order to schedule a hearing. So, yeah.

As far as I know, our ticket-givers are free to ticket everyone, and there's no special exemptions. They even ticket our own marked departmental cars; you get in (progressive discipline style) trouble if you're ticketed and you weren't at a meter for City business, and we have to do a formal process to get the ticket cleared if you were on City business and had a VERY good reason for not paying the meter, or being in a no-parking zone. Even our Director can get a ticket, and would have to go through the process. I'm pretty sure we also ticket police cars and refuse trucks, unless it's some kind of emergency situation.

Delivery drivers are double-extra not exempt. They just break the code so often, and we have so few ticket-writers, that odds are they'll "get away with it" quite a lot on a per-incident basis.

USPS trucks have other markings that can be used to track them, though I can't say I've ever heard of us ticketing them - we have a very small ticketing operation concentrated in the busiest parts of town, where USPS generally delivers to large buildings with loading docks, so there'd be limited call to ticket them. I think we have about 15 actual ticket-writing employees, not counting the police department, for a city with over 210 square miles of territory.

USPS is allowed to stop long enough to empty their blue boxes around here - I believe they are exempt from "no stopping any time" signs for that, just like buses and handicapped transit services are. But they only stop for a few minutes, and that's honestly mostly a police thing, not a parking enforcement thing. Plus the blue boxes are going away faster than we're increasing our ability and interest in parking enforcement (an admitted profit center for municipalities nationwide.)

Our police department seems to regularly stop all kinds of crazy vehicles for speeding and unsafe driving, BTW. That (especially when it's a school bus) usually ends up in the papers. I'm quite sure FedEx, UPS, etc. would be completely fair game for that kind of thing.
posted by SMPA at 7:48 PM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Our police department seems to regularly stop all kinds of crazy vehicles for speeding and unsafe driving, BTW.

Many of our agency vehicles have flashing lights and sirens, and they regularly get pulled over for random traffic infractions. Most entertaining from my perspective was an event when a group of our vehicles were going (at speed limit speeds) from one incident to another during a busy period last year. Local PD pulled over the convoy and issued tickets because one of the vehicles had broken a tail light at the first incident, even with the knowledge that the vehicles were first responders and were on the way to another emergency.
posted by arnicae at 9:27 PM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to this page, they are exempt:

USPS is exempt from vehicle licensing requirements and does not have to pay parking tickets or municipality fees. It also has power of eminent domain and its own police force.
posted by Kimberly at 4:56 AM on May 7, 2012


USPS may not have to pay the tickets - but they may also go after the employees for getting them (I have no idea - just saying that "they're immune" isn't the same as "they never get issued tickets.") My department is not held liable for tickets issued to marked vehicles - it's whoever is driving. And I'm quite certain that the regular police will stop a USPS vehicle that is clearly being unsafe, for example.
posted by SMPA at 4:56 PM on May 7, 2012


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