Parking tickets in Massachusetts are issued to motorists who violate certain parking laws and regulations. Each city handles parking citations in a different way, but most share a wide variety of similarities. Drivers must pay parking tickets on time if they wish to avoid a variety of penalties. Most cities now offer an online system which drivers can use to pay their tickets with ease. Most parking tickets are now printed on a slip that features a corresponding violation code drivers and city officials can use to access the city database. The Parking Authority of each city in MA is responsible for all issues related to parking. It is a part of the city government and the department is administered by a clerk. Parking violations vary in their severity and more serious violations may have higher fines associated with them. Continue reading to learn more about Massachusetts parking tickets and how they are handled in the state.
Why are Massachusetts parking tickets issued?
Massachusetts parking tickets are issued to drivers for many different reasons. All parking citations feature a unique code, which will explain the reason you have been cited. The Parking Authority often issues tickets to drivers for the following infractions:
- Parking in a no-parking zone
- Double parking
- Failure to pay meter fees
- Parking in a handicapped space unnecessarily
- Expired or invalid registration or plate
Parking violations can also be incurred if a driver parks on a residential street without a residential permit or attempts to park in front of a crosswalk or bus stop. More serious offenses have higher fines and those that endanger public safety are considered the most severe. A Massachusetts parking ticket may also be issued to a driver who attempts to park in public or private lots overnight without permission from the owner(s).
How to Pay Parking Tickets in Massachusetts
Most residents may pay parking tickets in Massachusetts online using the official website of their city or county. Parking tickets are printed with a number, which you can use to access the system and find your specific violation. If your parking citation does not have an identifying number or you do not have access to your citation, then you may browse the system using your plate or registration number. The Massachusetts Parking Authority accepts all major credit cards for online and phone payments. If you elect to pay by mail, then you may send a cash, check or money order to the Parking Authority in your city or county of residence. Drivers may also look up parking tickets that are old or unpaid using the online system.
All parking citations must be paid within a certain period if a driver wishes to avoid additional late fees or penalties. A parking ticket may be issued by either a parking enforcement officer or a police officer, and in some cities, tickets issued by police officers are a different color. Once you receive a ticket, the officer will usually upload it to the online system by the end of the day. Out-of-state drivers with MA parking violations are encouraged to contact the Parking Clerk of the county they were cited in if they do not have access to the ticket number.
Disputing Parking Tickets in Massachusetts
Parking tickets in Massachusetts can be disputed, especially if the driver who received the ticket has strong evidence in his or her favor. To dispute a parking citation, motorists will need to fill out a paper or electronic complaint online at the website of the parking authority in their city or county. To file an appeal with the Parking Authority, drivers will need to provide the following information:
- Current address and full name
- Registration and plate number
- Registration state
- Reason for dispute
- Parking ticket number
- Supporting evidence
When disputing a Massachusetts parking ticket, you may submit supporting evidence, such as photographs and time stamps. Within seven to 10 business days, your city or county will send you a decision in regards to your complaint.
The Consequences of Unpaid Parking Tickets in Massachusetts
You must pay parking tickets in Massachusetts in a timely manner. If your parking citation goes unpaid for an extended period, then the city will place a device that prevents your car from moving on the tire (known as a boot).The Parking Authority in many cities, towns and counties have the right to place a boot on any vehicle whose owner has a certain number of unpaid parking tickets. Drivers who want the boot removed from their vehicle must pay their parking violation tickets in full. In addition to paying the MA parking ticket, many cities charge a boot-removal fee that must be paid in full as well.