What's the statute of limitations on a fist high stack of parking tickets in the Big Apple?
August 24, 2012 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Let's say I have a stack of parking tickets in NYC in the 1990's and early 2000's. What are the chances they're going to come up if I get a license in NYS again?

So in my poor and desperate years I used to get a lot of parking tickets and not pay them. After I'd racked a bunch I would go to an adjacent state, get a new license, sometimes new car plates and then start the process again.I remember the last time I lived in NYC I had a very sizable amount from the last time I did it.

Since then I moved to LA. Got a new license and new plates AND changed my last name. Now I may be moving back to NYC. What are the chances that this is going to come up? My guess is very low but you never know. Is there any way to check for outstanding parking tickets BEFORE you switch licenses?
posted by rileyray3000 to Law & Government (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This article from 2010 claims there was an 8 year statute of limitations on enforcing fines for parking tickets, but also that they were cracking down much more than they used to, so I'd think you should be in the clear... But it sounds like it's money you legitimately owe, so you should be paying it back regardless as the moral thing to do, since you're no longer poor and desperate.
posted by reptile at 9:24 AM on August 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

From here:

"The DMV does not handle parking violations or regulate parking. If you receive a parking ticket or have questions about local parking rules, contact your city, town or village. Do not contact the DMV. You must respond to the tickets in the locality where they were issued.

If you fail to answer parking tickets, the locality can notify the DMV. The DMV can prevent the renewal of your vehicle registration, or suspend your vehicle registration. You can renew your registration after you respond to the tickets and pay the fines."

From Here:

"New York State will not register a vehicle or renew a registration for persons having 3 or more outstanding tickets and/or camera violations in in judgment within an 18-month period. If a motorist has 5 or more outstanding parking tickets in judgment within a 12-month period, vehicle registration will be suspended. If you cannot obtain or renew a registration due to outstanding parking debt, you must resolve the tickets, either by paying them or by having them dismissed at a hearing. "
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

(Also, I can't imagine that even the DMV is in such sad shape that they don't reference people by SSN rather than their names, so changing your name is really a moot point.)
posted by griphus at 9:33 AM on August 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

We can guess all day, but you should probably call a New York DMV office and ask them if there is anything in their records that would keep you from getting a New York license.
posted by kindall at 9:45 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Usually, if you fail to respond or pay a parking ticket, the court will grant a default judgement, and that will will be recorded in the county clerk's office.

Records in County Clerk's offices are freely available to the public. The majority of counties have that information on line. You could try to search the county records where this happened, and see what your current standing is on those cases.
posted by Flood at 10:49 AM on August 24, 2012

New York state law allows the state to suspend someone's license for failure to pay traffic fines. That means that even if you haven't had a license in years, there could be a suspension on your record that would prevent you from getting one. I would call the state DMV and ask this question to them.
posted by decathecting at 10:51 AM on August 24, 2012

Call 311 in NYC and ask them to look it up for you. They gave me the info I needed about an outstanding MTA ticket I got forever ago when I was also broke and desperate.
posted by bradbane at 11:54 AM on August 24, 2012

Your VIN may be linked to your old license plate # (which is linked to the tickets) - so they may be able to pull them if it's the same car.

Sounds like you are past the 8 year statute of limitations, though.
posted by amaire at 2:42 PM on August 24, 2012

Response by poster: TO be clear, I've had several different cars since then.
posted by rileyray3000 at 6:38 PM on August 24, 2012

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