Parking tickets are annoyances for many, particularly in big cities where parking is scarce, parking signs are confusing and traffic enforcement is everywhere. And while parking tickets can be expensive, the more important question is do parking tickets affect your insurance and go on your record? If you’ve recently gotten a parking ticket, you may be concerned that it will raise your insurance rates and cost you money.
Fortunately, parking tickets aren’t considered moving violations, which means that as long as you pay your ticket on time and in full, your car insurance rates shouldn’t increase. In fact, a parking ticket won’t even go on your driving record or affect your history. This applies to both public and private parking tickets.
The only thing you should be concerned about is how an unpaid parking ticket can negatively impact your credit score, which could increase your premiums. If you’re clearly in the wrong and deserve the ticket, go ahead and pay the traffic ticket; otherwise, quickly file an appeal so the issue gets sorted.
Here’s everything you need to know about how a parking ticket can affect insurance and whether or not the ticket will go on your driving record.
Will A Parking Ticket Affect Your Insurance?
The truth is, non-moving traffic violations and parking tickets do not affect your insurance. Statistics show that parking your car illegally or in an unauthorized area has nothing to do with the likelihood that you will be involved in a car accident and file a claim. For this reason, parking tickets are not rating factors and do not cause premiums to go up.
Do Parking Tickets Go On Your Record?
Parking tickets do not go on your driving record because they are not moving violations. Traffic and moving violations (like speeding tickets) occur only when the car is moving, not while the car is parked so traffic tickets don’t count as traffic violations. However, if you get many parking tickets in a short period of time, or if you do not pay your parking ticket by the date it is due, this could ultimately show up on your record in a few different ways.
While the tickets will not influence your driving record, the consequences of failing to pay them certainly can. If you delay paying off too many parking tickets, the DMV can tow your vehicle, put a boot on your tire, or suspend your license and vehicle registration.
Fines and Penalties For Parking Tickets
Although parking tickets don’t affect your insurance and will not find their way onto your driving record, there are numerous things that may happen if you get too many parking violations or you do not pay them in a timely manner.
These include the placement of a boot (a device that prevents you from moving your car) or even having your car towed and impounded. Some of the other fines and penalties, including having your vehicle’s registration suspended or taking a hit to your credit score, can result in higher insurance rates.
Government vs. Private Parking Tickets
Both the local government (including police officers and traffic enforcement) and private organizations (such as a paid parking lot) can issue parking tickets. The potential repercussions from those tickets vary based on who wrote the ticket. For example, a ticket written by a police officer or traffic enforcement is far more likely to result in a suspended license or registration if it goes unpaid.
In some cases, your license may not be immediately suspended, but you may be unable to renew it when the time comes. If your ticket comes from a private organization, it will likely get sent to a collection agency, which may negatively affect your credit and lower your score. Since insurance companies use your credit score as a rating factor, your premiums may increase the next time you renew your policy.
Furthermore, if your registration or license is suspended, your insurance provider is almost certain to find out about it, and that almost always results in a rate increase. There’s also a chance that your insurance carrier will drop your policy, and that means you’ll need to find a new company willing to keep you insured despite the lack of registration. This can raise red flags and result in an increase in your rates.
Another factor to consider is the fact that unpaid tickets are often sent to collections, and over time, this shows up on your credit report. In addition to bad credit affecting your car insurance, a low credit score can impact the interest rates you get on a mortgage, car loan, or credit card.