Saturday, January 29, 2011

Challenging parking tickets in NYC to get an automatic discount

A New York Times story about New York City parking tickets tipped me off to this strategy. Apparently, as a way to increase collections and cut costs in the adjudication process. the city offers an automatic discount if you challenge a parking ticket online if you agree then and there to plead guilty and pay the ticket.

I've tried this out, and in 100% of the cases in my small sample (about one ticket per month for the past six months), I've received about a 30% discount if I plead guilty. Since I was going to pay anyway, this is a pure windfall.

The only downside to this new policy is that the city has become much tougher on waiving fines if you do go ahead and challenge a ticket. I had one case in which I got two tickets for alternate side parking within the same time period, which they aren't supposed to do. I challenged the second ticket, presenting the two tickets as evidence, and was told the case had "insufficient evidence" and had to pay them both in full.

Click here to challenge a parking ticket.

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