World Record For Parking Tickets?

Tons of Parking Tickets 3

Got a tip from Mike F. with this great photo attached.

“Hey Geek how many tickets does it take to get the boot?,” asked Mike F. “Saw this auto today on Leavitt just south of Madison. Thought you might find this photo interesting/funny. Would the meter maids really just keep giving this auto tickets?”

Holy cow! I just had to check it out.

As luck would have it, I had to be down on South Ashland Ave. later in the day, plus I desperately wanted to check out that new controversial hotdog joint, Felony Franks which is right around the corner from where this car was supposed to be.

Hot dog. Fries. Gulp. Yum!

I then drove, literally around the corner and BAM! There it was, like Ahab’s white whale.

Tons of Parking Tickets 2

Amazing really. The driver’s side windows were literally covered with a forest of bright orange tickets.

Nearly in shock by all the damn tickets on this poor, neglected Ford Taurus, I took a few of my own photos.

Then I tried to count all of them. It took me three times to get the number right because there were tickets everywhere–the windshield, the driver’s side of the car and on the street around the vehicle.

I counted 39 physical tickets, but remnants of at least another four for a total of 43.

Now that has to be some sort of record, right?

Even though there was a tow notice on the vehicle, why  hasn’t this car been towed by now? It’s obviously been sitting abandoned for weeks. My guess someone in Streets & Sanitation really dropped the ball on this one.

Let me give you a tip Streets & San, it’s the car covered with orange parking tickets.

In the meantime, hopefully these photos puts your own parking ticket troubles into perspective.

Thanks again to Mike F. for the tip.

UPDATE: My friend Barnet e-mailed to tell me CBS 2 coincidentally did a story about this vehicle. I think Jay Levine may be stalking me?!?!?

But they did some GREAT research, tracked down the owner and tried to dig a bit deeper into the story. Pretty cool piece. Check out the video of the story.

UPDATE #2: Heh, heh. The CBS 2 story got the name of the owner and I had the license plate number.  With that info I was able to check the Dept. of Revenue ticket search webpage.

Grand total?

74 tickets!!!

74 tickets going all the way back to the middle of the summer. That car has been sitting their a long time.

When I get a chance I’m going to add up all the fines.

Check it out for yourself. Go to the City of Chicago Department of Revenue Ticket Search Webpage.

Input the plate number ( H273568 ) and the owner’s last name ( Tate ), and check it out yourself. It’s fun!


Commenter, Joe says the fine total for the 74 tickets is $5725.

Although, ChicagoPA comes up with these numbers:

$7,010 in fines.
3 Notice of Seizure
9 Notice of Final Determination
27 Notice of Determination
18 Notice of Violation
17 Remains Due

By Violation:
1 Park/Stand in Crosswalk
2 Street Cleaning
27 Rear/Front Plate Required
27 No City Sticker
17 Abandoned Vehicle

Thanks everyone!

33 Responses to World Record For Parking Tickets?

  1. Greg says:

    Can you say – “Overkill?”

  2. Ralph says:

    There is probably a body in the trunk!

  3. TKM says:

    Channel 2 had a report on this last night as well. Apparently the owner doesn’t really own it either.

  4. Peter Parker says:


    I wonder what the cost of the tickets are vs. the blue book value of the vehicle?

    If the City tows and auctions off the car for unpaid violations does it relieve the owner of the fines due?

    And finally, are you still sporting around in this?

  5. Illinois Patriot says:

    EPIC CITY FAIL! Just like everything else with Chicago…the City That Wurks.

    Announcer Voice Over: (dramatic music) We now take you to the cab of the big blue City Of Chicago Department Of Phraseology truck…

    Vinnie: (Yelling in anger) Hey Tony, dat’s ‘Workz’ not ‘Wurks’!
    Tony: Huh? Wha?
    Vinnie: Youz misspelt Wurkz! …Again!
    Tony: Ahh who cares! It’s city work!
    Vinnie: Youdaa thunk for $36.90 an hour da City wouldda hired someone wid better spellin’ skills den da Mayor’s great uncles cousins third nephew on his modders side.
    Tony: (Looking utterly confused) Why?
    Vinnie: Never mind! Let’s go find some place to park da truck soos I can take a nap before quitten time! And Tony…
    Tony: (aggravated) Ok!
    Vinnie: Make sure dat Pam Zeckman broad can’t find us dis time!

    Announcer Voice Over: Hey kids! You don’t want to miss next weeks show when we take our IQ meter to the buildings where the mean people who write parking tickets work out of so we can see if there really is such a thing as (start long echo delay effect) BRAIN DEAD NEGATIVE IQ! (end long echo delay effect) See you next week everybody!

    (Audience applause)
    (Close curtains and roll credits)

  6. SS says:

    Peter: No, you’re not relieved of your obligations even if the city tows and auctions or destroys. In fact, you’d owe more for the tow!

  7. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Peter, SS is RIGHT on in his explanation.

    I think it stinks personally.

    EVERYONE. Check out my two updates on the story.

  8. ChgoPA says:

    I’ll save you the time of adding it up:

    $7,010 in fines.
    3 Notice of Seizure
    9 Notice of Final Determination
    27 Notice of Determination
    18 Notice of Violation
    17 Remains Due

    Love your site!

  9. ChgoPA says:


    1 Park/Stand in Crosswalk
    2 Street Cleaning
    27 Rear/Front Plate Required
    27 No City Sticker
    17 Abandoned Vehicle!

  10. Joe says:

    Thanks TPTG, interesting to look at the tickets, some random ones are dismissed which doesn’t make much sense. I wonder how they determined that.

  11. Joe says:

    Also, straight totaling the fines listed on the DOR’s page equals: $5,725

  12. DoR Employee says:

    Joe……after (I think) 5 Abandoned/Vehicle hasn’t Moved 7 Days….the city automatically dismisses the rest.

  13. Greg says:

    I do find it interesting that there are several periods wher Abandoned Vehicle tickets were given several days in a row.

    And, if several of these have been dismissed, someone has clearly been following the tickets, so someone out there knew it was happening.

  14. Barnet Fagel says:

    I think Illinois Patriot has the makings of a screen play and then a TV series. There would no end to the stories, but with an unmistable “deep dish” dialog.

  15. DoR Employee says:

    And while i am thinking of it…..

    Looks like 68 of the tickets are 005#’s…and 6 are 917′s.

    Handwritten tickets this year start with a 005………68 of those are CPD issued. By the Location…….ALL of the 005 series tickets
    came from around 3 or 4 different books at most…..a large percentage (if you check out the numerical progression of numbers) were written by the same Ticket Writer.

  16. Mike says:

    I would think the city would have to non-suit some of them. That’s just ridiculous. After a certain period, we all know the ie. the plate is expired. There’s no need to write the same ticket 20 times when the car hasn’t moved. Besides, the motorist will never pay or find some slick way of not paying. I won’t list a way, but I know a few. That’s overkill. After 10, tow it.

  17. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    I think DoR’s analysis is really enlightening.

    I looked at some of the tickets to see if they were written by a single cop. But I saw at least two or three different badge #s.

    I didn’t feel comfortable in the neighborhood hanging out too long messing with someone’s car, taking photos, etc. Someone might have taken exception with some doofus goofing with their or a neighbor’s car. My point is, I didn’t look at all of the tickets.

    But if one or two cops wrote the majority of these tickets, why didn’t one or both give Streets and San a call?

    I agree with Mike, the city is going to have to non-suit some of these. It should have been towed off months ago and hence, many of these tickets wouldn’t have been written if that was the case.

  18. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    DoR or Ticketmaster-

    What department uses 917?

    In fact, can you guys rundown all the ticket prefixes by department?

    I think TM did this for us once before, but I’m not sure.

  19. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Hey ChicagoPA!

    Thanks for the kind words and for your math skills. Sadly, the Geek was a C average math student. I appreciate the input.

  20. Greg says:

    It’s interesting almost all of these tickets come are hand written and come from a very limited number of books.

    Wasn’t there a story recently where a cop had some sort of vendetta against someone and wrote dozens of tickets to the same car at about the same time each day?

  21. Ticketmaster says:

    Hello PTG,

    498 is Revenue, 499 is Streets and Sanitation, 501 is City Clerk/Serco. The police officers will put their district # in place where the unit # belongs.

  22. TD says:

    FYI, this made the national NBC news last night. We saw it in Arizona.

  23. DoR Employee says:

    And CPD/Serco/DOR use 917

    It is the first current 3 numbers that the Auto Cites use.

  24. mark says:

    The system works. If that guy parked in your spot in front of your house you would be calling 911 everyday too. Also add going to the beat meetings telling the police to ticket the car. If the police don’t do it, everyone would be complaining what needs to be done to ticket a car that hasn’t moved in months. Maybe someone should blame the owner of the car instead of the police? Just a thought, unless you want him to park in front of you house. The real question is why wasn’t the car just towed?

  25. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Ticketmaster & DoR-

    What # is TMA?

  26. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    I don’t think anyone thinks the driver is off the hook here. But obviously, this car is obviously abandoned. It seems the ball got dropped by the cops, Streets & san, the alderman, and the neighbors even.

  27. DoR Employee says:

    I can not honestly recall what number the Traffic Aides use.

  28. Mike says:

    the reason that some are dismissed is because they are duplicates. a vehicle can only get one “no city sticker per day.” it may not be per day, but it’s something like that. for instance, if you get expired plates on weds afternoon, then weds evening, you should only have to pay one.

  29. Fred says:

    Maybe it’s a stolen car? My theory is that it has not been towed because it’s an easy way for the local ticket writers to rack up a few easy tickets.

  30. DoR Employee says:

    Mike……its 24 hours Exactly or MORE from the time of the previous ticket.

    For example:

    Ticket 1: 10:03am Monday 9/10/09 No City Sticker
    Ticket 2: 10:15am Tuesday 9/11/09 No City Sticker
    Ticket 3: 11:56am Wednesday 9/12/09 No City Sticker
    Ticket 4: 12pm Thursday 9/13/09 No City Sticker
    Ticket 5: 1pm Friday 9/14/09 No City Sticker

    That’s ALL municipal Violations Excluding Meter Tickets (every 2 hours).

    Now…If the Ticket is removed from the car before the 24 hour period ends……..the next officer/PEA can issue a citation based on there not being one visible to check a date/time. But it will most likely be tossed due to the 24 hour Rule.

    And in all fairness……if the ticket isn’t there…how do we know one was already issued.

    I tell people… get any ticket…..Leave it under your Windshield wiper so that IF a CPD/PEA comes down and spots your car…they can check the date/time and not waste their time or yours.

  31. DoR Employee says:

    In my example of the 24 hour period…

    All 5 tickets would be Valid due to each being issued more than 24 hours since the previous one.

    now……just imagine if those were for Tinted windows at 250 a pop instead of City Sticker violations at 120 a pop.


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