Owning a car is undeniably expensive; there are countless expenses that you need to manage over the lifespan of your vehicle, including fuel, maintenance, upgrades and auto insurance.
However, if you're not careful, you could incur additional expenses from parking tickets.
Thousands of Canadian drivers receive parking tickets every day, but unfortunately, some drivers forget (or choose not) to pay the fees.
If you've recently received your first parking ticket, you're most likely wondering, "what happens if you don't pay a parking ticket in Canada?". It may not seem like an enormous issue, but missing a parking ticket payment can lead to additional consequences and fines.
Want to learn more? Be sure to continue reading!
What happens if you don't pay a parking ticket in Ontario? — An expert guide
If you forget (or choose not) to pay your parking ticket within the allotted time frame, you'll receive a letter in the mail reminding you to pay the fee (we'll touch on how you can do this later on).
Should you choose to ignore the reminder, you'll face additional fees from the Ministry of Transportation. Additionally, the Ministry of Transportation will keep your violation on file and will force you to pay the fees the next time you need to renew your driver's licence or get licence plate stickers.
So if you don't want to face additional fees, we suggest paying your parking ticket fines in a timely manner.
Now that you know the answer to the question, "what happens if you don't pay a parking ticket?", let's go over some other commonly asked questions.
Can you dispute an unpaid parking ticket in Ontario?
Yes, drivers can dispute unpaid tickets in court if they feel that they were wronged during the ticketing process.
Most cities allow drivers to dispute parking tickets with screening officers online or in person (depending on the severity of the violation). If you aren't happy with the screening officer's decision, you can request a trial. If you succeed in the trial, you will not have to pay the fee related to your parking ticket.
Before you proceed with the dispute, we suggest taking a moment to familiarize yourself with your area's parking ticket dispute requirements. Different towns and cities have their own time frames for requesting a dispute.
For instance, the city of Toronto requires motorists to request a dispute within 15 days of the parking violation, whereas the city of Vancouver requires drivers to request a dispute within 14 days (it's worth noting that the city of Toronto does offer an extension). Be sure to keep this in mind before not paying your parking ticket.
How much do parking tickets cost in Canada?
The amount that you'll have to pay for your parking ticket will depend on two primary factors: your location and the type of ticket that you receive.
The town or city that you live in will heavily influence the cost of your parking tickets. Drivers in certain cities, like Vancouver ($82) and Montreal ($78), pay more (on average) for parking tickets than drivers in other areas, like Toronto ($53) and Halifax ($28).
The type of parking ticket you receive
Did you know that different unpaid parking tickets carry their own fines? It's true.
Severe parking infractions, like unauthorized parking in an area for people with disabilities, can set you back upwards of $400, whereas minor violations, like parking in a municipal area without consent, will cost you roughly $30 to $75.
How can you pay for an unpaid parking ticket in Canada?
There are several different ways you can go about paying for your parking ticket:
- Online — Visit your town or city's parking violation website and cover the expense with your credit card.
- Mail — Send a cheque to the mailing address provided on your town or city's parking violation website.
- Phone — Call your local parking violation office during their hours of operation.
- In-person — Visit your town or city's parking violation office during their hours of operation. Remember to bring your unpaid parking ticket!
Please be aware that some towns and cities include a processing fee (generally $1.50 to $2.50) and applicable taxes to parking tickets in Canada. Visit your town or city's parking violation website to learn more.
What are the most common types of parking tickets in Canada?
When you hear the phrase "parking ticket", a number of different violations come to mind. This leads to the question, "what are the most common types of parking tickets in Canada?".
Although there are several different types of infractions, some of them seem to occur more than others. These parking infractions include:
- Parking in an accessible parking spot without permission
- Parking too close to a fire hydrant
- Exceeding the parking limit meter time frame
- Leaving your vehicle in a no-parking zone