DC Parking Tickets

Avoiding Parking Tickets

The best way to avoid having to fight a parking ticket in Washington is to avoid one all together.  Apparently, you can pay around $3,000 to be parking ticket free for a year.  This only makes sense if you receive more than $3,000 worth of parking tickets.  If this is consistent, I think it’s safe to say you have a problem :) That said, it does feel great knowing you can park anywhere and don’t have to pay attention to the myriad of parking signs and regulations.  Washington D.C. collected more revenue from parking tickets than any other city in America.

With almost $100 million collected, it’s no reason you’d want to try to research before attempting street parking in DC so you can avoid them.  Here’s a good discussion on TripAdvisor about tickets in DC that you can follow.  DC parking tickets range from $25 to $100 depending on the offense.  Here is a great article which had some great information on Washington DC parking tickets.  Part of avoiding the dreaded slips of paper, are knowing the areas where to avoid.  In the District’s 2nd Ward, almost a third of the total number of tickets written (over 500,000 of them) were written.  This is right in the area near the Georgetown University campus.  In a distant 2nd place, the next most ticketed area is in the 6th Ward near the Congressional Cemetery and Lincoln Park.

  • Watch out for ticketing during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  This is high season for tourists and one of the most ticketed times of the year.
  • Don’t park past the time period in zoned metered parking areas.  A lot of these areas allow 1 or two hour parking, but don’t have a permit and park beyond that and boom a parking ticket appears.
  • Watch for signs that overlap or contradict.  - The most common ticket issued in Washington is for an expired meter.  Just because it says you can park from 7am to 7pm does not mean you’re in the clear!  Be mindful of every sign that you see because there could be a sign that also has rush hour restrictions between 7am and 9am.  What does this mean?  It means you get a ticket if you park!

You can also check out DC Parking tips.

Paying Parking Tickets

Don’t be afraid to fight D.C parking tickets.  Provide the right evidence and contesting by mail is truly a great option.

According to the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles, if you don’t pay your parking ticket within 30 days, then the fine doubles!!  Yes, you read that correctly, the fine actually doubles.  There are four different ways to pay your parking tickets in the District of Columbia.

  1. Online – You can go online and pay your parking tickets through this link.
  2. By Phone - Call the following phone number 866-893-502 and follow the instructions on the phone.
  3. By Mail – When you pay by mail cash is not accepted.  Only checks and money orders.  These must be made payable to “DC Treasurer” and include your parking ticket number.  This must be mailed to: DMV Adjudication Services, PO Box 2014, Washington, DC 20013.
  4. In Person - Paying in person is the most flexible in terms of what they accept as payment.  All major credit cards are accepted except for American Express.  Cash is accepted as well along with checks and money orders.  That said, checks are not accepted for towed and booted vehicles.  Make sure you are prepared for the proper form of payment.  Who’d like to make the trek there twice?
DC Parking Ticket

An Unsuspecting Vehicle

Photo from Wikipedia