Parking tickets can be frustrating and inconvenient, but how do they impact your car insurance? We get asked this question from concerned clients all the time;
“I just got a stupid parking ticket, is my car insurance going to increase now?”
The truth is, car insurance rates are based on a lot of different factors. However, your ability to obey parking restrictions is definitely not one of them.
WILL A PARKING TICKET CAUSE MY CAR INSURANCE PREMIUM TO GO UP?
No. Although parking tickets can be costly and inconvenient, they do not have any impact on how much you pay for car insurance. In fact, parking infractions will not even appear on your driver’s abstract because they are not considered moving violations. So, even if you racked up ten parking tickets, your insurance company would never know. More importantly, there would be no impact on your car insurance premium.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T PAY A PARKING TICKET?
When you’re issued a parking ticket you’re given a couple of options, similar to when you get a speeding ticket. You can choose to either pay the entire amount of the fine within 15 days, or dispute the ticket. In some cities, like Toronto, you can submit your dispute online. Remember, you will forfeit your right to dispute the ticket if you miss the deadline printed on the ticket. In this case, you will be forced to pay the fine.
CAN MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED IF I DON’T PAY MY FINE?
Unlike speeding tickets, unpaid parking tickets will not result in a suspended driver’s license. However, although your license cannot be suspended for neglecting to pay a parking ticket, you can be prevented from renewing your license or your license plates. Usually, you’re given 15 days to either pay the fine, or dispute the parking violation. If the parking ticket is not paid within the 15 day period, you will get one or two reminders mailed out to you in the following months. But, after enough time has passed without payment or dispute (usually around 90 days), the information is handed over to the Ministry of Transportation in your province for collections. When this happens, your plate will be flagged as “plate denial” at the MTO. Consequently, when you attempt to renew your license plate you will be forced to pay any outstanding fines first.
CAN YOU GET DEMERIT POINTS FOR A PARKING TICKET?
Demerit points are accumulated with convictions resulting from moving violations, and are based on the severity of the infraction. The good news is demerit points are not issued for parking tickets.
In the end, nobody wants to get a parking ticket. They are frustrating and depending on the infraction, can become costly. So, do your best to avoid no parking zones, don’t park in handicapped spaces without a permit, and obey the seasonal restrictions for parking on residential streets. But if you do happen to get a parking ticket, rest assured it will not have an impact on your car insurance premium.