I got a parking or traffic ticket. What are my options?

1. Understand parking infraction notices

Most cities call their parking tickets “parking infraction notices”, but not everywhere uses the same name. These are the least serious kind of ticket.

If you have a parking infraction notice, you have 2 options:

  • plead guilty and pay the fine
  • dispute the ticket and ask for a trial

Each city may deal with parking tickets a little differently. So it’s a good idea to call the court for more information. For example, click this link to the City of Toronto website to see how they deal with parking tickets.

Option 1: Plead guilty and pay the fine

If you choose to pay the fine, then you admit that you committed a parking offence. This means that you agree that you’re guilty.

You don’t need go to court if you choose this option. You can usually pay parking tickets online, or by mail with a cheque or money order.

Many cities have websites where you can check on the status of your parking ticket. But there is no province-wide system for checking these tickets online.

Unlike a traffic ticket, a parking ticket will not normally affect things like your driver’s licence or car insurance rate.

Option 2: Ask for a trial

If you decide to dispute the ticket, check the “trial option” box. This means that you want to have a trial, where the government will have to give evidence that proves you parked illegally. For more information about how to prepare for a provincial offences trial, read the question: How to I prepare for my provincial offences trial?.

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