I Received a Parking Ticket That’s Not Mine

Right before Christmas I received an overdue parking ticket in the mail. It has my name and license plate but it’s really not mine. I have never been to the location noted on the ticket. The vehicle description has the right make but the wrong color. Why did they think it was my car? I’m thinking they must have written down the wrong license plate number. Whoever got the ticket on the windshield just threw away the ticket after they saw the wrong  plate number. I wrote a letter to dispute it. I had to send it by certified mail which cost me $3. How do I prove I wasn’t at that spot at that time? They must have heard that story many times. Except this time it’s really not me. Guilty until proven innocent? Let’s see how it goes.

Has this happened to you? Any guess on my chance of convincing them?

See All Your Accounts In One Place

Track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance with free financial tools from Personal Capital.

FREE E-mail Newsletter

Join over 3,000 readers and get new articles by e-mail:

No spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Comments

  1. Wm Tanksley says

    Tough one. I’d guess you’ve got a very good case, since they got your car’s color wrong; that shouldn’t be possible with a parking violation.

    I’ve seen news about a “prank” people play on their enemies by printing someone else’s license number onto a reflective sheet and taping that over their license plate, then speeding past one of those automatic speeding cameras. But this can’t be how it happened, since this was a parking violation.

  2. Ted says

    Since the color is wrong, send a photo of your car with the plate visible. That should be evidence enough to get the ticket thrown out.

  3. Dawn says

    I had this happen to me in the state of New York — I contested it (like you did, with a letter, although I didn’t bother with the certified mail), and there were no problems. They immediately dropped the fine/violation.

  4. Amber Jones says

    Wow what a bummer. I hope that you are able to get this taken care of in your favor. It really sucks to be stuck in this sort of situation.

  5. usrules says

    It should be easy to have it dismissed if the color is wrong. Your registration should have the color noted on it so send a copy. I had a ticket dismissed on technical grounds for such an inaccuracy in NY.

  6. john says

    In California parking citations also have a box for the last 4 numbers of the VIN. The issuing officer is suppossed to look at the VIN on the dash and put in the last 4 numbers. This was put into law due to so many incorrect lic. plates being put on the cites.

    When your “case” is reviewed the reviewer simply compares the lic. # to the last 4 VIN #’s. If they do not match the case is dismissed.

    As a reviewer I run into cases like yours often. If I get a letter that remotely makes sense I dismiss. If the color is way off you should be ok. If you live far away that also helps. Good luck.

    • shela says

      had surrendered plates for car after it was sold. have proof of surrender. Got ticket in mail with the surrendered plate and for the car in NYC the ticket was for a few days after the surrender date, sent copies of proof at least 2 times and NYC is still insisting we pay the fine. It will cost more for a lawyer then the ticket itself, Any advice.

  7. Harry Sit says

    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. It sounds like I have a good chance of getting this dismissed. The color is off, but not way off. The ticket says black; my car is blue. I asked in my letter for a copy of the ticket written by the parking enforcement officer. Maybe they just transcribed it wrong into the computer.

  8. atif says

    I got a ticket for breaking red light in ny acutally not a ticket i got a notice to pay surcharge for ticket i never recived. I dont remember getting that ticket. I never got that ticket. what should i do? how do i prove that i never got ticket

  9. Mayor bloomberg sucks balls! says

    I got two tickets in my mail this month february 2011 the tickets are from 2009. I never got them. They are mistakenly given to me. I’m gonna go fight and if I don’t dismiss them I’m going protesting

  10. rach says

    i recieved notice of a ticket with my license plate# and its the old plates of my old car! i havent yet returned the plates but its impossible that the ticket is mine!!! they suspended my license for not paying of the ticket…. what do i do!!!! i shouldnt have to pay for it if it is not mine!!!! why do they do that???

  11. FMJ says

    I went to DMV in Maryland to get my new license and register my car, they said NJ had me down for tickets from 96 and 97. They said the tickets were on a Pontiac… I never owned a Pontiac. The kicker is I turned in my tags back in 1987. Talk about red tape bull crap…I asked the violations bureau for copies of the tickets they said they are too old we don’t have that information anymore… okay WTH!!!

  12. Norma says

    I received in the mail today a notice of parking violation from Rockford Il. It has my name and license plate number but no vin#. I have never been to Rockford Il. My fine will increase to $50.00 if I don’t pay within 30 days How can I prove I was never there.

  13. Erika says

    OMG I received a default judgment for a ticket issued to me – that I never received! It has all of my information! How is this possible? I was at work! I can provide a copy of my timecard showing this. But what if they imply that I loaned my car out which I did not. How do I prove any of this?

  14. Maritza says

    Hi. I got this speeding ticket in the mail, and the car isn’t even mine. i don’t own a car with those plate numbers nor do i own a silver ford, the car nor the license plate number isn’t mine, should i go further than a small dropped fine?

  15. HOW ? Kennet square says

    I recieve a ticket at my old address .. Just going by to check old mail in I find a ticket in the mail from March 5 In Kennet square which is a hr away And I’ve never been to kennet square!!!!! The ticket was 15 and went up to 35 .. The name and tag num on the ticket is correct but the model of the car is incorrect .. It’s not mine in no ones drives my car and it possible I have a warrant … How is it that’s you can recieve a ticket with your name in tags correct but you never even been to the places you recieved the ticket from? FRAUD?? duplicate plate??? Screw up??? Wth…

  16. WRONG CAR RIGHT NAME says

    You are not alone Kennet!. I just received in the mail an Atlanta Parking Citation for a car that’s not mine and to a place (Airport) I have not been since 2002. How this stuff happens is beyond me but it looks like some people dream on how to just make others life a constant battle.

  17. Mary Colberg says

    Wrong color? Too bad says NYC! I received a notice in the mail that I received a parking violation in Manhattan. My vehicle is white and the color on the ticket says black, but my license plate number. Easy fix right? WRONG!! I called and the nice lady on the phone said just send in a copy of my registration showing the color. The following month I received a notice that a “hearing” was held and the administrative court judge found me guilty. WHAT??? I appealed my “conviction” with a bit more firepower. I sent in an affidavit from my boss (notarized) saying I was at work in NJ 70 miles away. I wrote a letter. I sent pictures of my vehicle with another copy of the registration. APPEAL DENIED!! The cost keeps going up!!! It was $80 and now we’re up to $105 and it was sent to a collection agency. I called the precinct where the ticket issuer works and spoke to a supervisor. Initially they tried to tell me that he scanned a bar code on my dashboard but he was incorrect, as NJ vehicles don’t have that bar code to scan. It all has to be entered manually on the little gizmo they carry around. So I told him, ask the ticket issuer which mistake was more likely, that he stood in front of a white vehicle and put in the color black, or that he stood in front of a black vehicle, entered the correct color black, and when he was poking at the keyboard on the gizmo maybe he entered an incorrect character? In any event the color of the vehicle and the license plate number on the ticket do not match any registration in the state of NJ. The plate number belongs to my white vehicle. I wrote to the collection agency with the same information. I haven’t heard from either one of them since but the ticket shows online as still outstanding. You can’t beat City Hall, even when they are wrong. I will never pay this ticket. Never.

    • Christopher says

      My iticket is similar to yours but there were more erros on mine. My vehicle has never been in NYC. Ticket had wrong color, wrong year, wrong regitration expiration date and a notation that the car had a temp NYS registration sticker for 2015. Disputed, pointing out all these, with photos (deem not creditable) but every one of them as a whole was not enough to overturn. Judge said it didn,t matter if they were enter incorrectly. Appealed, with NYSDMV abstract proving my car didn’t have a temp reg issued in 2015 as hint by dispute judge was what i really needed. Nope, three blind men in the appreals court said it was still not reversible. Disturbing to me that it was prove beyond any doubt. Seems like they base there findings only on plate number. This is legalize extortion.

    • Christopher says

      My iticket is similar to yours but there were more erros on mine. My vehicle has never been in NYC. Ticket had wrong color, wrong year, wrong regitration expiration date and a notation that the car had a temp NYS registration sticker for 2015. Disputed, pointing out all these, with photos (deem not creditable) but every one of them as a whole was not enough to overturn. Judge said it didn,t matter if they were enter incorrectly. Appealed, with NYSDMV abstract proving my car didn’t have a temp reg issued in 2015 as hint by dispute judge was what i really needed. Nope, three blind men in the appreals court said it was still not reversible. Disturbing to me that it was proven beyond any doubt with DMV record. Seems like they base there findings only on plate number. This is legalize extortion. I haven’t paid and will not pay on a fine my property didnt commit.

    • Howard says

      I have the same issue, I received notice of an overdue parking ticket in NYC. I was never there. I called and the clerk told me the ticketed car was blue, mine is grey. I appealled by mail stating that I was not in NYC and nobody else was using my car. I included a copy of my registration that has the color. It was denied. I have not paid and will never ever visit NYC.
      I plan to send a letter to the mayors office and include everything. I am sure it will not do any good but if enough people complain maybe something will happen. I will be sure to let them know that I never plan to visit NYC again.

  18. Karina says

    Same thing happened to me in California. I got a parking ticket from LA county and I live 4 hrs away. It’s been over 20 yrs since I have visited LA. The ticket had my license plate, wrong color,
    wrong exp date/month and said VIN # not visible when it was clearly visible. I contested the ticket, but it was denied. So I called, and the man that answered told me that how could they be sure I did not have a paint job done on my car after the ticket, really?. I kept trying to talk to someone else (very hard to get someone to actually answer the phones). Finally a nice sounding lady told me to send any proof that I was not in LA at the time of the ticket and pictures of my car, which I did. I sent time sheet, a notarized letter from my employer, pictures, registration, service records before the ticket was issued proving the color of my car, etc. I got a letter that said, even though your evidence looks good, you did not submit it during the specified time frame so you have to pay the ticket. The ticket was originally $73 dollars and it went up to $273 which I had to pay in order to renew my registration which was almost due. DMV in my city could not help either since it was a different county. DMV said that I should pay it and fight it afterwards. Ticket plus my registration ended up being a little over $450. I am still trying to get my money back, but no luck yet.

  19. Jenn says

    I received a citation in the mail for a city that I have never been too. By the state map, it looks like it is about 4hrs away. Citation shows for being in a no park area between 2-5am. It had our license plate down but on citation where it shows year/make/model.. It showed Jeep. We have a Honda Pilot. There was not even a VIN# down on citation. We will be fighting this. It’s one thing if we actually did it..pay the fine and move on. But it makes me mad that they have a totally different type of vehicle attached to our license plate. I refuse to pay this fine!!!

    • Sal says

      Seriously SO I LIVE IN THE BAY AREA AND RENTED A CAR FROM A SLEAZY FUCKING PLACE TO SAVE MONEY! Some people from Afghanistan . .. Well so I came down to the valley Central Valley area in California wich is 3:30 hours away and was there till Sunday I got ticket in the mail for parking violation in l.a area? Seriously I’m infuriated I never was in that area , what really happened here is ducking dumb fuck probably had difrent plates on another car and I was driving with other plates and some dumb fucking idiot got my plates to my rental and came back to me there’s nothing I can fucking do but pay the fucking fine seriously this is so fucking irritating

  20. Philip says

    Same thing occurred with me last month. I received a parking citation in the mail from 4 years ago saying i parked in a prohibited zone in a city i haven’t been to, a motorcycle ive never owned, with a license plate i didn’t have. I called and contested this and the clerk at the Municipal court accused me of lying and claimed i can issue more then one registration for a vehicle so anything could be possible. It’s been about a month and i received another warning of outstanding charges. I WILL NOT pay this fee as the ticket is not mine. They will NEVER steal my money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *