Before you fight your ticket, you should:
- Review commonly submitted defenses and recommended evidence
- Gather any documents or files to help you make your case
- Make copies of everything you submit or bring with you for the hearing; don’t send originals if you are requesting a hearing by mail
Be aware that certain actions, even if they are common practices, like double parking on certain streets during street cleaning, are still illegal. Review the NYC Traffic Rules to learn the laws for parking and driving.
NYC311 can provide general information about parking tickets and camera violations, but we can’t tell you what evidence is necessary to win your case or guarantee you’ll be successful if you present it.
Examples of evidence that may support your not guilty plea include:
Don't submit any links in your hearing defense. If you submit a link, the judge won't open it and view any evidence contained in the link. If the information in the link is important to your defense, you should print it out and either scan it for an online hearing or submit it for a hearing by mail.
Videos, including animated GIFs, are only accepted at in-person hearings. If you have a video as part of your evidence, you must have a hearing at a DOF Business Center. You must bring a device with you to play the video on, such as your mobile phone or camera. The judge will not be able to open a disk or flash drive.
The law gives drivers a 5-minute grace period from the time you park in order to purchase a parking meter receipt or ParkNYC parking session. If you get a ticket within 5 minutes of the time you originally park, you should request a hearing and submit evidence that you purchased parking within 5 minutes. If the ticket-issuer notes a “first observed” time on the violation that is more than 5 minutes before you paid to park, then the grace period does not apply.
There is no grace period once the time you paid for expires, and there is no grace period to purchase more time.
The law also gives drivers a 5-minute grace period past the expired time on the Alternate Side Parking (ASP) sign to move your vehicle.
To fight a violation because of a medical emergency affecting a person, provide evidence, such as copies of:
- The hospital or clinic emergency admission paperwork
- A statement from medical personnel about the nature of the emergency
- A statement from school personnel that a parent was called to the school on a medical emergency
A violation will only be dismissed if the judge determines that the medical emergency required the vehicle to be parked in a certain location, and that the vehicle was moved as quickly as possible following the emergency. A medical emergency does not excuse parking at a fire hydrant, in a bus stop, or in other locations that could risk public safety.
Multiple Tickets for the Same Violation
If you believe that you received multiple tickets for the same parking violation at the same location within a short time frame, you should verify each ticket carefully since the tickets may be for different violations, dates, or locations.
NYC Traffic Rules do not specify a minimum timeframe for issuing parking tickets at a location. You may request a hearing to dispute any or all of the tickets. A judge will render a decision based on all available evidence and testimony.
If you paid one ticket and would like the others dismissed, you must request a hearing for the other tickets within 30 days of the violation. Include a copy of the violation you paid, proof of payment, a receipt, and a statement. It is up to a judge to dismiss your ticket.
Parking Meter Defective
You can fight the ticket if your vehicle was legally parked and you received a ticket because of:
- A fast, missing, or broken meter
- A meter that failed to print a receipt
- An illegible receipt
If a parking meter isn't working, it's your responsibility to look for another meter within the same parking zone. If there is another working meter nearby, your "defective meter" defense will not be valid. If there isn't another working meter nearby or if all of the meters are defective, you should note the date and time, meter numbers, and any error message displayed on the meter.
You can park at a broken or missing parking meter for the maximum time allowed at that meter. For example, you can park for an hour at a 1-hour meter or 2 hours at a 2-hour meter.
Include the date, time, and meter number in your hearing request.
Pick-Up Trucks with Passenger Plates
If you want to fight a New York City parking ticket issued to your pick-up truck because it has passenger plates, submit a copy of your vehicle registration and photographs of the vehicle showing that it complies with all registration rules.
Signs Missing or Hard to Read
NYC Traffic Rules state that one sign on a block is enough to tell drivers about parking restrictions in effect for that entire block. You should check the entire block and read all signs carefully before you park.
If all the signs on the block were missing or illegible, you can fight the ticket by submitting:
- Overlapping photographs of the entire block, corner to corner
- Photographs that clearly identify the street name and the building address on the ticket
- Photographs of all signs on the block, including the front and back of any illegible ones
- Diagrams, witness statements, maps, or videos
Ticket Information Missing, Incomplete, or Incorrect
If something that is required by law is missing, incomplete, or incorrect, the violation is considered defective. Your ticket will be dismissed if it is defective.
A ticket must include:
- License plate number, type, and state of registration
- Make and body type of vehicle
- Registration expiration date, unless ticketing agent notes that it was not shown
- Time and date of offense with AM or PM included
- Time and date first observed for tickets like "Feeding the Meter" where multiple observations are required
- Place of occurrence
- Days and hours in effect (including AM or PM) for parking sign violations
- Feet from the hydrant for fire hydrants
- Ticket-issuer's signature
To fight a ticket because your vehicle plate number, vehicle type, state of registration, make, body type, or registration expiration date is incorrect on the ticket, submit a copy of the vehicle registration.
It is not a valid defense that the vehicle color or year is incorrect on the ticket.
Vehicle Sold or Transferred to New Owner
To fight a ticket because the vehicle was sold or transferred, submit copies of as many of the following documents as possible:
- The transfer paperwork, such as a trade-in statement or a bill of sale
- A statement from the insurance company confirming that the vehicle was deleted from the insurance policy
- A Department of Motor Vehicles receipt for the plates or transfer of plates
Vehicle Broke Down
If your vehicle becomes disabled, you must push it to the side of the road so that it blocks traffic as little as possible and doesn't risk public safety. You must also have it removed as soon as possible. It's illegal to repair a vehicle while it's parked on the street.
To fight a ticket because the vehicle was disabled, submit evidence such as copy of the towing receipt or receipt for repairs.