Do Parking Tickets Affect Your Insurance?

do parking tickets affect insurance rates

Quick answer:

Parking violations and citations are not moving violations, and therefore will NOT affect your insurance rates, assuming you pay them eventually. Unpaid parking tickets may result in your registration being suspended, which can violate the the terms of your insurance policy. Your rates won’t necessarily increase as a result, but you’ll be on the hook to apply for a new insurance policy, which will cost you time and money.

More details on parking tickets and insurance rates:

Getting a parking citation can be upsetting by itself, but becomes even more stressful wondering what harm it can do in the future. But take a breath, because assuming you don’t avoid paying your parking ticket altogether, it will not affect your ongoing insurance rates down the road.

Do parking tickets go on your driving record?

Parking violations and moving violations are in two completely separate categories, and are treated as such. Moving violations like running a stop sign, speeding, or tailgating all reflect your personal ability as a driver, and therefore will affect your insurance cost when the citations appear on your record (which they will). Parking tickets, however, are attached to the car itself, as no one is technically driving it. The parking citations will then be mailed to the registered owner on file.

It’s best to bite the bullet and pay a parking ticket online before you forget. What happens if you forget to pay a parking ticket? Because cities make a significant amount of money through parking citations, you can bet there are late fees for every type – and they go up in a hurry! For example, here’s a list of all of the parking citations you could receive on a very unlucky day in Los Angeles.

So if your friend received a parking ticket in your car, or you simply have bad luck, don’t worry. Parking tickets do not immediately affect your driving record.

Do parking tickets follow the car or the driver?

But what if a friend WAS using your car and received a parking ticket? Does that ticket follow the driver or the vehicle? As mentioned above, because it’s not a moving violation, a parking ticket follows the car, not the driver (although an unpaid parking ticket can ultimately affect the registered owner of the car down the road). But, what happens if you want to sell a car with unpaid parking tickets?

First of all, selling a car with unpaid parking tickets is a pretty whack thing to do, pal. Especially if you think you’re going to pass the buck and get the new owner to pay them for you.

Selling a car with unpaid parking tickets differs from state to state. Most U.S. states issue a new license plate to each new owner of a vehicle – therefore, your unpaid parking tickets will stay with the old license plate (i.e. YOU). In California, however, the license plate follows the car to the new owner, meaning unpaid parking tickets can cause problems for both parties. The new owner may find them tacked on to the new registration fee, and you (the DELINQUENT!) may find yourself unable to register another vehicle (and therefore unable to get insured) until you pay them off.

Written by Peter V.
Peter is an L.A.-based designer, blogger and daily commuter. He explores what causes parking to suck in urban environments, how to bring about parking regulation changes, and the latest advancements in parking tech.