advice about getting out of this parking ticket saga PLEASE
August 30, 2013 5:36 AM   Subscribe

....also serves as a cautionary tale about owning a car in nyc, timeline follows (apology for the long-winded-ness): 1. bought a car in 2008 and got a new NY state license / 2. moved from nyc to seattle in 2009, mailed back the license plate to ny dmv and got a WA state license / 3. moved back to nyc in may 2010, but kept my valid WA state license for about 3 months (was looking for a job so not sure if i would be in NYC permanently) / 4. almost immediately got a parking ticket due to "expired NY state registration" although the car was not even a NY car. curiously, the ticket was issued against my OLD NY state license #, which i sent back to government more than a year ago / 5. responded to NYC City Finance immediately, but have never heard back since.. / 6. fast forward, five weeks ago got a letter from NYC City Finance saying that i have TWO parking tickets due from 2010. / 7. responded to their advocacy unit that the tickets were lodged against an expired license / 8. was told just now that i can no longer argue against these tickets as they are more than a year old. so basically pay up or my car gets booted. /


1. how can a WA state registered car be issued a ticket for a expired NY registration? was the ticket maid just looking at my car VIN # without bothering with my WA license front and back of the car?

2. what if i ignore the tickets, as technically they are against a license that's expired and not even mine?

3. what other venue of complaints i can exploit?

p.s., two tickets were issued one minute apart for the exact same violation based on the ticket time stamps. needless to say, my confidence in government doing the right thing is quite shaken at this stage.
posted by kingfish to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Things that are not clear from your question:

Was the car's Washington registration valid or expired at the time of the citations?

How is it that the expired license against which the citations were issued is 'not even yours?'
posted by jon1270 at 5:48 AM on August 30, 2013

How much do you owe?
posted by Slinga at 5:57 AM on August 30, 2013

Did you remove the NY registration sticker in the windshield? Sounds like you did not.

All I know, and my qualifications are as a NYer who has gotten and fought tickets in NYC more than I wished, is that every time I have gone down to traffic ticket court and fought them before a judge or hearing officer or whatever those guys are and had a logical explanation, I had them either significantly reduced or dropped altogether. So, depending on how much you owe and what a day of your time is worth, I would go to fight them.

If I were to just pay them, I would pay the amount of the original fine without the penalties. You can always send more, you will not get any back.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:06 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can't fight judgements, but you can have the judgments reduced.
posted by corb at 6:30 AM on August 30, 2013

Sounds to me like something you need to go to DMV and talk to a human about, although, bring your checkbook.

I find that when I speak to an actual person, and I'm reasonable, and listen to what I'm told, that often people will work with me to resolve the issue.

Don't go stomping in, guns blazing asking rhetorical questions. But do go in and ask "can you help me? I want to straighten this out and insure that I'm in compliance now."

Most DMVs have an on-line appointment scheduler. So go on-line and schedule and appointment. Bring EVERYTHING with you, registrations, insurance cards, licenses, money.

Hopefully, you'll be able to work something out that will allow you to put this behind you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:51 AM on August 30, 2013

Response by poster: thanks for all the advice..

to jon1270: yes, my WA registration tab was still valid at the time; i already sent back my old NY plate through certified mail to NY DMV, so i don't consider the plate was mine any more.

to Slinga: $350 is the amount that will get you a car boot in NYC. what i owe is right below this amount, but with interest accrual, i would expect it will be over $350 quite soon.

to JohnnyGunn: you are right, i didn't remove the old sticker which i guess is the root of all my misery
posted by kingfish at 6:56 AM on August 30, 2013

I would send back the ticket with a copy of your valid Washington registration explaining that you were unable to completely remove the old registration sticker, but it is not relevant as you turned in your plates and your car was registered in WA. Send a copy of the registered mail receipt for the plates. Did the ticket notices get mailed to your old NY address?

You are right and this ticket is bogus. The second one especially as it is a dupe of the first. But, you are not without blame here in that the sticker should have been removed as part of turning in your plates. I would ignore the time elapsed since given the ticket issue and explain that away with the fact that the notices got mailed to an old address. Now that you know about it, you are taking the time and effort to set the record straight and well, that record is that the ticket is inappropriate as your car was registered.

If they come back with "tough noogies", I would then offer to pay the amount of ONE of the original tickets to settle the entire matter (both tickets and any late fees).
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:24 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

What was the actual violation? I ask because having an expired registration sticker on your car (even if it is otherwise legally registered) is a violation in and of itself.

See here.

Standing or parking a vehicle showing an expired, damaged, void, fake, or incorrect registration sticker.

Standing or parking a vehicle in which the License Plate number and/or the actual description of the vehicle does not match the information on the registration sticker.

These are both violations that are distinct from Standing or parking a vehicle which is not properly registered.

So, the tickets may in fact be valid. That doesn't mean you couldn't get them reduced if you ask, but getting them completely thrown out might be hard.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:24 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: decided to pay them all, including that clear duplicate.

my wife was in NYC Dept of Finance all morning. what were we thinking, trying to argue with government?

everyone there was rude, was impatient, she was being kicked around, basically.
posted by kingfish at 9:33 AM on September 20, 2013

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