How to Write a Letter to Contest a Parking Ticket

By Brenna Davis - Updated May 31, 2017
Parking ticket or fine on car windscreen

A parking ticket can ruin anyone's day, and unpaid parking tickets carry serious consequences. In some cases, a warrant may be issued for your arrest if you ignore your parking tickets for a long enough period of time. Because parking tickets are issued when drivers aren't present, they are periodically issued in error or unfairly. In order to contest your parking ticket, you need to write a well-crafted letter appealing the citation.

Research who Gave you the Ticket

Determine which municipality issued the citation. Parking tickets may be issued by counties, cities and townships. Your parking ticket should state where the ticket was issued. In some cases, parking tickets may provide a customer service address or directions for appealing the ticket. If this information is not available, address your letter to the clerk of the court in the city or county the citation was issued. You can find contact information for the clerk of court by calling your local government office or by looking online for the website for the local magistrate court.

Research Relevant Laws

Research relevant local traffic laws. If you're not sure if your parking ticket was fair, you'll need to review the ordinances pertaining to parking in your area. Take note of specific codes so you can write about them in you letter. It can act as evidence for why you should not have gotten the ticket.

Write the Letter

Use simple, succinct language and clearly outline why you believe you should not have received the ticket. Avoid name-calling, rude language and blaming the person who issued the citation. Your letter should be as professional as possible. The letter should follow a standard business format and be typed. Once written, proofread before sending to catch any spelling or grammar mistakes. Then, send the letter through certified mail with return receipt requested to ensure that the recipient actually receives the letter. You should also send a copy through regular first class mail because some courts may not accept certified letters.

Things to Include in Your Letter

Include any documentation you have that proves your case. Copies of the local municipal code, photos of your car when you received the ticket and parking lot receipts help to document your case.

After the Letter

Call the clerk of court if you don't receive a response within 10 days. Some municipalities will schedule a hearing at which you can contest your parking ticket. You can represent yourself without a lawyer at this hearing. Be sure to take all documentation and any witnesses to the hearing.

Warning

If you are contesting numerous parking tickets, have large fines or there is a warrant out for your arrest, you need to hire an attorney.

About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article