Helps Drivers Stay On Top Of Tickets

New, Free Service Alerts Drivers Of Their Parking Tickets

By Diana Novak

In our go-go busy lives, sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of everything.

Especially when it comes to our parking tickets.

But not anymore. A new service called keeps subscribers to their free service up to date on their parking tickets via e-mail alerts. And, if you like, Parkzing, for a small fee, will even pay your tickets on time before the violation cost doubles.

Parkzing is the creation of Aren Sandersen, a San Francisco-based software designer and entrepreneur. Sanderson listened to his friends complain about the plentiful parking tickets in the city and their heavy late fees.

“The tickets were easy to forget about and the $25 late fee (almost 50 percent of the value for most tickets in San Francisco) after only 21 days is egregious,” says Sanderson. “When I half-jokingly offered to pay their tickets for them for a small fee, they jumped at the chance realizing they would each save hundreds in late fees.”

Sanderson worked on the website for a few weeks in his spare time, and in February, Parkzing was born.

After a brief test period in San Francisco, Sandersen quickly expanded to include New York, Washington D.C., and of course Chicago.

“After collecting the user’s license plate and email address (plus more info in some cities), Parkzing will automatically detect new parking tickets by interfacing with the city’s computers nightly.  When it detects a new ticket, it sends free weekly email reminders that the ticket has not yet been paid,” explains Sandersen. “Additionally, Parkzing can be set up to automatically pay the tickets after 10 days.”

While no one from Parkzing has contacted Chicago’s Department of Revenue, the DOR doesn’t seem to have any problems with Parkzing’s services.

“We do not have issues with alerting motorists about their tickets,” says DOR spokesperson Ed Walsh via e-mail.  ” After all, the goal of the Department of Revenue is to properly notify motorists of fines, and we are exploring ways to do this electronically. Fees can be avoided if motorists want to search for their tickets online using the City’s website at”

Chicago motorists can search and pay for tickets at the DOR website. Plus, says Walsh, “There is no fee for this service.”

Despite its large coverage, Parkzing’s subscriber base remains pretty small. Though most of its services are free, the ticket payment costs $5 per ticket, just enough to cover the transaction costs.

Though all of his growth has come from word-of-mouth advertising, growth (in terms of profit) is not one of Sandersen’s concerns.

“Most of all, I’m pleased at the money I’m helping people save; in just a few months the amount of late-fees saved is nearing the thousands of dollars,” he says.

But what drives a seeming parking ticket altruist like Sandersen? What’s in it for him? Sandersen understands our skepticism at his desire to help us—for free.

Under the FAQ on his website, he asks himself: “Well, why are you doing this then?” His response? “We hate parking tickets and especially needless late fees. Don’t you?”

Amen, Mr. Sandersen, Amen.

Chicago drivers can find out more information about, or can subscribe to Parkzing’s service by going to to the website.

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