Parking ticket IN MY DRIVEWAY

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    Came home today to a ticket on windshield for “IMPROPER LICENSE DISPLAY”, violation of 11.72.145.

    Yes, tags were expired. Car isn’t driven often at all.

    That said, MY CAR WAS PARKED IN MY OWN DRIVEWAY. As far as I know, this is private property, and it is not a violation of a Seattle Code to park an unregistered car ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY.

    Looked up 11.72.145:

    SMC 11.72.145 Expired or improper license plates.

    No person shall stop, stand or park any vehicle on any street or alley, or in any garage, parking area or other property operated by the City unless a valid license plate or plates are attached and displayed thereon as require by RCW 46.16A.200 and Section 11.22.080.

    It’s a $47 ticket, but it seems pretty obvious that my drive is not a “property operated by the City.” Do I really have to take off time from work to contest a ticket? Is $47 designed to extort, since they know it’s worth more to miss a day of work?

    Why would a “parking enforcement officer” walk onto my driveway and ticket it? Wouldn’t he know that it was not part of his “public property” to ticket?



    Can you contest it by mail? Take a photo of it and mail it in along with the ticket saying that the car isn’t driven and once it is driven you will go get a 48 hr pass? (I think it is 48 hrs. Maybe 24. I had to get it one time because my tabs were expired because I stupidly forgot to pay them and then when I went to pay them it needed the emissions test so they insisted I pay the $5 fee for a pass)



    Looks like you have to schedule to contest it at the courthouse, from the ticket at least. I called and they’re “looking into it” but I suspect they’ll just declare my driveway public property, somehow..



    Was your car hanging onto sidewalk at all? You don’t own sidewalk, cut does, even though you are responsible for it.



    Nope, dead center – I made sure of that



    Is there a space on the ticket where the person giving you the ticket wrote down the location of the car? (Example: “half-way on street at 001 Cemetery Lane.”) If there is a note like that, it might be a clue as to whether the City will choose to dispute your account. If there’s nothing like that, then it would come down to the “parking enforcement officer’s” recollection of something that happened months ago, which won’t be as convincing to the Court as an official written record of the location would be.



    You mentioned “Car isn’t driven often at all.” Is it possible that the officer or ticketing person saw you pull up off the street and issued the ticket then?

    That’s the only way the city could ticket you. If the vehicle was just sitting in your driveway I believe you are correct that is not an offense. Let us know what happens.


    Wow, this is a strange one. From what I have seen, Parking Enforcement drives by cars with expired tabs or cars blocking fire hydrants, driveways, sidewalks, etc .. but they went onto your property to cite you? Amazing. I hope you get this fee waived and that PEO gets redirected to actual violations that are all over WS on almost every block!


    Betty T

    That’s an odd one. Last summer we found out that our building’s parking lot is “City Property”! That was another one I never knew.



    the City is hungry for money. But if you have it parked on your property the City had no business ticketing you. Maybe a green (aka newbie) parking enforcement officer



    Our driveways are not necessarily on our property. Some lots have a significant distance between the sidewalk and the property line, mine has 20′. It’s unusual but it’s possible, what would be really odd is for a LEO to know this; unless a neighbor reports it.

    That said I got a parking ticket last year where the LEO drew a nonexistent sign on a diagram on the back of the ticket copy the magistrate got… I didn’t see it until the hearing. So you never know.



    Another thing I learned in that experience.

    Parking enforcement only gives those printed out tickets from the handheld units, if its a written citation it’s from a patrol officer.



    if it is from parking enforcement, i’ve noticed them taking smart-phone pictures of the cars that they’re ticketing – probably in case it’s contested. it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they have photo documentation.

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