Parking tickets: Be calm and deal with them!
Most of us have gone through the annoying experience of being slapped with a parking ticket, when we parked in a ‘No Parking’ space just to step out for a small errand, trying to save a couple of minutes and the effort to find a correct parking spot. We do it only rarely, but even on those rare occasions, we are breaking the rule and hence get faced with a parking ticket.
Sometimes, however, it may not even be your fault – maybe the ‘No Parking’ sign was not placed properly, or was blocked from your view, and you parked in a wrong spot, actually thinking that you had parked correctly. A parking ticket at such times is even more annoying.
We are here to show you how it may be possible to avoid incurring this unwanted cost and not burning a hole in your budget. All you have to do is, make an appeal to the local council. Furthermore, we are once again at your service, bringing for you, a downloadable sample of the appeal letter. We have also detailed out the steps for filling out this appeal.
How To Write Parking Fine Appeal Letter
If you think you have wrongly been given a parking ticket, the best course of action is to submit a parking fine appeal letter. Although it is possible to make such an appeal by phone or email also, a letter is more advisable.
This is because a letter allows you to state your case in detail and even provide attachments. Appeals are made to either get the ticket canceled if it is proved that the ticket was actually given wrongly, or, on the other hand, get the penalty reduced even for a legal ticket.
Following are useful tips for making your appeal effective:
- First of all, do not rush away from the spot once you see the ticket. Look around and take ample photographs, of the vehicle and its location of parking and the overall area. Keep in mind, that the local council would want evidence for any claim that you make.
So, for example, if you state that there was no ‘No Parking’ sign, take zoomed-out photos of the area to show the absence of the sign anywhere near the parking location of your vehicle.
- Utilize information on the ticket. Most often, the ticket itself will provide information about making an appeal and whom to address such an appeal to. The county court clerk is the go-to person for all clarification and information, in case you need more.
- Check the offense. Information on the ticket will be a statement of the law or laws that you are being charged with breaking. As a background check, research that section of the law, later on, to understand all the norms and see if you had followed everything. Mention those points in the letter to make your case.
State if you misunderstood or miscalculated something, giving a reason why the law was unknowingly broken, or could not be avoided because of the conditions applying to the parking space.
Compose the letter carefully
- Be brief and clear, mentioning all salient points. Start by exact location, date and time of the ticket and then mention how and why you had parked there.
Then state the reasons why the ticket may not be valid, based on the legal norms, or state why your penalty should be reduced considering the conditions and situation, making it difficult to follow the norms.
- In a statement, clearly mention what you are appealing for – ‘cancellation of the ticket because it was not valid’, ‘reduction in penalty because you broke the law unknowingly’, or ‘reduction in penalty because even though you knew you were parking illegally, you could not avoid it due to some special condition at that time and place’.
After that, clearly enlist your reasons for your appeal, mentioning relevant attachments at relevant places in the letter. If you attach a number of photographs, it is a good idea to number them and mention these numbers in the letter.
- Do remember that it is a request letter, an appeal, and hence it should be worded accordingly. Do not allow your frustration to show in the letter or bad-mouth the authorities. That will not go down well for your appeal.
State the facts and logic and mention or list the attachments that you may have added as supporting proof.
- Once again request for the specific appeal as a conclusion. Additionally, make a request for extending the payment due date until the appeal is fully examined and acted upon.
Possible supporting material that may be attached –
- Photographs of the parked vehicle
when the ticket was issued.
- A statement by an eye-witness corroborating your claim. This statement should be properly signed by the witness and contact information of the witness provided. The witness could be a co-passenger, a store-owner near which the vehicle was parked, owner of another vehicle parked nearby, etc.
- A doctor’s statement, again signed and sealed, in case you stated medical emergency as the reason for faulty parking.
Post the letter
- Use a registered mail service to post the letter and also
attach a return receipt. This will serve two purposes –
- As a verification that the letter was received at the correct office, and
- As a documentary proof of when the letter was received, so that you may further appeal for action if no action is taken on your letter for some time.
Follow-up on the letter
Regularly check with the clerk as to what is being done, however, do not be too persistent. The court will take its time. The court may also schedule an in-session hearing to attend to your appeal in the presence of a judge.
In such a case, the court may want you to be present to state your case in person and may also summon other witnesses to state their versions of the incident.
Do make sure that you attend to such summons. Go well prepared. Read through a copy of your own letter to remind yourself of all the salient points. Also, go through the law section again to remember all the norms and requirements.
Parking Fine Appeal Letter Template Australia (Components)
The typical elements of a parking fine letter must include the following. Let us list them one by one.
Note: Not all are mandatory, feel free to add to delete info you feel is required for your situation. However, this is the exhaustive list to help you get an idea.
The person who sends the appeal is considered here. It could be an individual or a company. It depends on the vehicle registration.
- Name of the applicant
- Address of the sender. Make sure it is written in detail with zip code and phone number
- Parking ticker number – the ticket issued by the authority will contain this number
- Parking place details. Address, location, and landmark
- Date in which you parked and received the fine for the same
- Who issued the ticket
Details of the ticket issuer
- Organization name – Public or Private company who has issued the fine letter
- Address – Full address, with website address,
Reasons for which ticket was issued – This is an appeal letter
In the event of a ticket issued unfairly, then use this information in the letter to make your appeal letter more appealing.
Parking Rules – Explain that you followed the parking rules and the ticket was issued unfairly. The parking rules are listed below for your reference.
- Parking was done only in the stipulated place for the mentioned time
- Mention the time when you parked and highlight that it was within the permissible time limit.
- From time and to time to be mentioned as well the from and the to time allowed.
Make sure you list that the parking place was confirmed for you based on the following.
- You are disabled and hence you parked in that place which is allotted for the disabled.
- You had a child
- You were pregnant
The places differ for normal public and such others listed above, so explain that you belong to the one above listed and seek excuse.
There are chances that you have not used the car at the time. Either you have given it for rent or a changed name which is not reflecting the legal documents. In this case, you can claim that you are not at fault and the driver who used the car should be charged for parking at the wrong place.
Also, when a car is stolen or lost, you can explain that you filed a complaint and you are not responsible to pay fine. One good thing from this event is, you can know the whereabouts of your car. Anyways, let us not get into that, but use this as one reason for an unfair fine imposed on car parking.
This is another valid reason which you can highlight. When the signboard is missing, or sometimes it might not be visible. Even on some occasions, it might be present but not seen to the public. Highlight these reasons to tell that the parking fine ticket issued is not correct.
Heavy parking charges
There could be a situation when the charges are more than the norms. This can be escalated if you know the correct law. Refer to the law section and master the rules to not get scammed.
After mentioning the reason, then you need to provide evidence for the same. Have proper evidence to ensure that your appeal letter is accepted. Try to capture photographs of the location for signboard missing, parking time or parking allotted for the privileged. These supporting documents will help your appeal stand strong.
Sign the letter with date and time before you send it to the respective authority.
Parking Fine Appeal Letter Sample
Sender address – Provide your address or the address the person who is appealing
Receiver address – Address of the authority who is in charge
Date – Date in which the application is filled
With regards to Parking Ticket NO. 123456789
No Signage board
On 1st February 2020, I parked my car at _____________, where there were no signboards for pay and park but later while leaving I was handed over with the parking ticket. I am not responsible for paying the charge as the ticket is issued unethically without putting proper signage boards.
I believe the signage of pay and park has to be there at the entrance of the parking or somewhere at the noticeable place.
I have taken pictures for evidence that shows there was no signage at the required places. The pictures were clicked at the same time when the incident occurred. Attached pictures for your reference.
Parking Fine Waive Off Appeal Letter Sample Australia
Like the above sample letter, you can also create one mentioning the valid reason for not able to make payment and request the authority to waive off your parking fine. Make sure you always follow the format and use the components section to understand how to draft your letter. Also, we have listed the various excuses which you can use for escaping from the parking fine. Read this article fully and get benefitted. We request you to download these templates with writings and you can quickly fill in address details and submit for availing a waiver from the parking fine.
Car Parking Fine Appeal Letter Template
Now, let us find below the major two types of car parking fine appeal letters. Usually, they are public and private. As the name implies the former one is written to the government authorities as they have charged you for wrong parking. On the other hand, the latter is when you happen to park in any property that belongs to a private owner.
Come let us understand the difference and use the right wordings.
Public Parking Fine Appeal Letter
The above letter can be used while writing to the authorities for bringing into their notice the wrongly imposed fines or to make a request regarding the parking charges.
Some of the Authorities accept written letters whereas others use the complete online process and don’t respond to letters in Australia. So before appealing for parking fines have a look at their process or else the efforts are going to be wasted. The whole process becomes easy and fast in terms of the authorities who accept offline letters because the issue can be professionally presented in detail as compared to the online process.
Even in the online process, some Authorities give the leverage to download the form and fill it manually and then submit. In such cases also you can use the letter as a reference to the issue.
The letter can be modified according to the appeal a person wants to make. Along with this any proof or evidence in reference to the appeal can be enclosed with this letter. Following is the list of circumstances on which the appeal can be made.
- If in case the vehicle could not move due to failure in any parts of the vehicle.
- The vehicle was used by someone else at the time of the offense and the driver is not liable
- The notice is received for different vehicles or drivers whom you don’t have any connection with.
- In case of a vehicle being stolen and you not being responsible.
- At the time of the incident, the driver faced a medical emergency due to which he could not move the car.
- If the driver was under police arrest.
Top 3 things to follow to present the appeal letter to the authorities
- Attach the required evidence or documents with this letter. For eg: pictures, proofs or downloaded form. When the letter is ready send it to the authorities on their registered address.
- Do not submit the letter and reference documents separately, keep it attached together and submit. Make sure to keep the copy from your side as a backup.
- Once the process is followed you will get a response from the authorities. List a proper address or contact details in the letter.
Laws in different states
Every state has its own traffic rules. Different laws are implemented as per the territory in which you are driving. So it’s always suggested being aware of the state laws. Also apart from the state laws, one also has to follow the guidelines of the municipal council of the country.
How to make changes in the format
The document is downloaded in word format or even the PDF file. You just need to fill the answers to the questions asked and your document is ready. Later after downloading you can make changes according to what you want.
Private Parking Fine Appeal Letter Template
If you want to challenge the private parking companies for the fine levied to you for parking on private land which is wrong or you have the grounds for justification then this letter is going to serve your needs. You can use this template to appeal to private parking companies.
Through this letter, you can easily list the grounds for appeal and also provide the evidence you have in the form of pictures or documents. So the company can recheck on the terms on which they want to charge the fine.
The manner in which the letter should be presented to the Authorities
Just simply complete the document and download the template. Modify the templates as you want. Attach the available documents or proofs and post to the registered address of the authorities who have imposed the fine. Now just sit back and relax till you receive the response from the company.
Different laws to be followed
The owner has to follow provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2002.
According to regulations of section 56 & schedule 4 of this Act, If the parking company sends notice to vehicle driver or owner for paying fines for parking in private property they are levied to the provisions of this act.
You can take the assistance of a lawyer
In case the parking companies are not agreeing even after presenting the relevant evidence and documents you can take help from a lawyer who will guide you throughout the process. But for that, you first have to submit the document to the parking authorities.
Laws That Govern Parking Fine And Appeal In Australia
Australian laws that govern parking fine varies from state to state. Though not major there are few differences among each state, hence we have provided you with the below link which will provide you with detailed insight. The Queensland government website has given the entire detail in length.
Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Disabled
In case of the driver being physically handicap and have permission to park, you can request the parking companies to cancel the ticket by showing the valid permit and following the procedure to complete the Proclamation for Compliance and by sending it to the country’s parking execution centers.
The person who doesn’t have a permit can use the following tactics to avoid penalties through handicapped parking tickets.
- Have the evidence to show that there was no place for handicap parking
- No Signage at the parking place
- Prove that your parking was not in the restricted places
The above bullet points are the samples that you can use in the letter. Yes, follow the same format beginning from address and once you complete all sections, in the body of the letter using one of the above reasons and state that you are eligible for a refund.
Join a State Approved Driving Class to get the benefit of Permit for handicap.
When the driver takes the state-approved driving course and completes the driving class and for defensive training for driving, the person is entitled to receive certain leverages like insurance, reduction in fines, etc..
Top 16 Parking Ticket Appeal Excuses – What Do You Say When You Contest A Parking Ticket?
- Signs not displayed clearly
- You stopped to just ask for directions
- There was an urgent nature’s call
- Faced Health emergency due to which cannot move the vehicle
- Damage or Failure in Vehicle
- You were a doctor or health worker and had to stop to offer first aid for the needy
- Just wanted to make a change for your dollars Went to the funeral
- Searching for the medical prescription that fell
- There was a baby on board and it was crying
- Someone in the vehicle was puking
- You met with a lady suffering from labor pain and offered her help
- You received an emergency call from your loved ones and hence had to stop and complete the call to offer them the required support
- Your kid was really crazy and crying so you wanted to convince or divert the kid
- You had worked overnight and hence felt giddiness so wanted to make sure your health is alright
- You are a diabetic and you needed insulin immediately
• Take the ticket from the officer and don’t confess to any offense.
• Try to take photographs that show that the signage is not clear or at the proper place where you are fined.
• For proof take the pictures of obstacles due to which you were not able to see the signage
• Also have pictures of parking meters that show your location and date
• Try to act as fast as you can and present the appeal in the form of a letter or application through the online process.
• The parking council usually gives 28 days period to make an appeal but its always faster the better.
• If the Proper Signage was not there when you violated the rule.
• The parking ticket that clearly mentions the check-in time that shows you didn’t overuse the timelapse in a ticket.
• If the meter is damaged or wrong,
• The obstacles if any due to which the signs are not clearly seen.
• If you are fined for the offense which is wrong and not done by you.
• If the parking notice is not clear and contains mistakes in date or time or other printing.
• At the time of the incident, the driver faced a medical emergency due to which he could not move the car.
• Damage in Vehicle
If you didn’t receive any reply from the Authorities within few days stating whether the appeal is accepted or not. Then in such a case, you have to again write the letter providing more evidence that you fail to attach with the first letter. Also, ask the authorities to reply with the review as this is your second letter.
Parking tickets are very expensive and you may have to pay a hefty amount for it from your pocket. If you have proper evidence or grounds to present to the parking authorities, the ticket is revised or canceled within a very short period of time that saves your money as well as time. Therefore, know your situation and then apply for an appeal. In case, you are smart enough to cook up excuses, then you save money.
The ticket can be considered invalid if the parking officer writes the wrong or incorrect date or time on the ticket or even when the vehicle number or any other description is wrong. So this leads to legally invalid parking tickets.
Now, you are aware of parking fine in Australia and ways to seek an appeal. Feel free to download samples and stay away from unnecessary parking fine charges.