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It's unlikely that a single parking ticket would affect your insurance rates, so long as you pay it promptly. But if you leave the ticket unpaid, or let multiple tickets build up, you could see your car insurance rates go up—among other financial consequences.
Do Parking Tickets Go on Your Record or Give You Points?
Parking tickets don't go on your permanent driving record and can't impact your driving privileges. It's possible that the DMV will keep track of you having received a parking ticket, but so long as you pay the bill, it won't affect your record. Parking tickets also can't contribute to the number of points you have on your record—they're no-point tickets—but you can't reduce your points by paying your parking ticket, either.
When Parking Tickets Can Affect Insurance Rates
It's no surprise that auto insurance companies consider your driving record when setting rates. That means they look at convictions for traffic violations such as speeding, running red lights and DUIs. But they only consider moving violations: Actions that have to do with you driving in an unsafe way. Anything else, like a parking ticket or excessive muffler noise, is a nonmoving violation and won't directly cause your insurance cost to go up.
However, if you let a parking ticket, or several parking tickets go unpaid, you can be subject to consequences that may impact your insurance rates.
The good news is that credit reporting agencies have recently enacted a change in how they calculate credit scores. Now, only debts that you've explicitly agreed to take on—bills, mostly—can impact your credit score. This means that tickets of all kinds, including traffic and parking tickets, can no longer affect your credit score. As a result, your credit-based insurance score can't be affected by parking tickets.
However, leaving your parking tickets unpaid can affect insurance rates. A possible consequence of unpaid parking tickets is having your car registration or driver's license canceled. Getting your license or registration suspended might affect your insurance rates on its own. But if you're caught driving while either your registration or license aren't active, you'll almost certainly be issued a ticket, see an insurance rate increase, and maybe even be arrested.
There are a few other ways overdue tickets might cost you extra money, though whether these will apply to you depends on your state's laws and the circumstances under which you got the ticket. Additionally, these typically won't affect your insurance rates.
- The amount of your fine may increase.
- Your car may be booted or impounded.
- Your car may be sold at auction.
Keep in mind that parking tickets are tied to a car, not the person driving it. If you loan your car to a friend or family member, you'll be responsible for paying the ticket—"I wasn't driving" won't get the ticket removed in this case. It's up to you to pay the fine and hopefully get reimbursed by whoever parked it illegally.
Private Parking Tickets Aren't Likely to Raise Insurance Rates
Most of the time, parking tickets are issued by police officers. Owners of private property like shopping malls and college campuses sometimes issue parking tickets as well. Tickets you receive while parked on private property aren't legally enforceable. The two main things private property owners can do are prevent you from parking on their property in the future, and send your ticket to a collections agency. Though in the latter case, that would depend on the property owner being able to identify you—which isn't always possible. Even if they do pass your ticket on to a collection agency, this won't affect your credit or your insurance rates. Only debts you've agreed to pay can impact your credit.
Other possible consequences of not paying a ticket you received in a private lot are having a boot put on your car or having it towed. Taking care of either of those issues can cost you hundreds of dollars, so it's best to resolve any tickets you receive promptly if you want to keep parking there.