Category Archives: Fighting Chicago Parking Tickets

First Day Of Red Light Camera Bribery Trial Opens With Fireworks

The cash came tucked inside plain manila envelopes and delivered during lunch meetings at Manny’s Deli on South Jefferson Street according to Redflex Traffic Systems bagman said in federal court Wednesday.

These revelations came during the first day of the federal prosecution of former Chicago transportation manager John Bills, who’s accused of having accepted nearly $600,000 in cash and even more in gifts for helping Redflex win and grow its contract to provide red light cameras to the City of Chicago.

It took the judge two days to impanel a jury which was somewhat tricky due to the number of potential jurists who had received $100 red light tickets from the city. Ultimately, some jurors were picked despite the red light tickets in their past according to the Chicago Tribune.

Parking Ticket 101: Don’t Park Your Car With A For Sale Sign

Parking your car with a For Sale sign in the window can turn out to be a lot more expensive than placing a classified ad.

Parking your car with a For Sale sign in the window can turn out to be a lot more expensive than placing a classified ad.

Trying to sell your car?

Whatever you do, don’t park it on a Chicago street with a For Sale sign in the window–lest you risk an expensive $100 parking ticket.

Sure, it sounds a bit excessive, or perhaps an instance of big brother run amok. Allegedly, back in the day, the law was passed to clamp down on car dealers along Western Avenue from using the street as a an additional and free lot to hawk their inventory.

While the original intent of the municipal code may not have been to hassle individual car owners trying to unload an extra vehicle, that’s essentially who bears the brunt of the law in the modern day. Vehicle owners unaware of the law find out the hard and costly way when they come back to their car to find their windows plastered with $100 orange tickets.

9-80-080 Parking for certain purposes prohibited.

(a) It shall be unlawful to park any vehicle upon any roadway for the sole purpose of displaying the vehicle for sale. The vehicle shall be subject to vehicle impoundment under Section 9-92-030(c). Any person that violates this subsection shall be fined $100.00. Each day the vehicle remains in violation of this subsection shall constitute a separate and distinct offense for which a separate penalty shall be imposed.

Parking Ticket 101: How To Schedule A Ticket Hearing

wbbm1214ticketAfter the rage from receiving that parking ticket has been reduced to a simmering boil, and you’ve concluded the ticket is invalid or wrong in some way, it’s time to schedule a hearing.

While many ticketed motorists opt to fight their ticket by contesting by mail, the driver’s best chance at victory is to contest a ticket at an in-person hearing.

There are several ways to schedule a hearing.

BY MAIL: Simply check the box that requests an in-person hearing on the original violation, fill in your name and address, and mail it to the address listed on the back of the ticket.

It’s recommended you keep a copy of the ticket as reference for your ticket hearing defense.

If you haven’t scheduled the hearing using your original ticket, you can still mail in a hearing request when the Notice of Violation comes in the mail. It’s the same general process as mailing in your request using the original violation. Fill out the form at the bottom and detach it from the top of the letter and mail it to the address on the notice.

IN-PERSON: You can also drop off your hearing request at any of the city’s Administrative Hearing locations around the city. Just bring your violation or notice of violation to the parking ticket hearing desk and tell them you want to schedule a hearing. They’ll file your request and normally, they’ll give you a date and time stamped receipt to keep in your files–just in case the request is somehow lost and you need evidence you actually requested a hearing.

If you don’t have your ticket info with you, most clerk’s are kind enough to look up your ticket, print it out and file your hearing request right there.

How To Avoid & Beat Residential Permit Parking Tickets



I walked out of a parking ticket hearing today, smiling gleefully while firmly gripping the paperwork dismissing the ticket I received for parking in a residential permit parking zone back in May. It’s a happiness that needs to be shared by showing other drivers the best way to avoid and/or beat these tickets.

Residential permit parking zones restrict drivers from parking on a great percentage of Chicago streets.

The original concept for the restrictions was to make sure residents living near hospitals, CTA or Metra train stops or schools, were able to park in front or near of their homes without having to compete for spaces with visitors.

But the number of RPP zones have exploded over the past twenty years making it more difficult every year for motorists to find free parking on residential streets.

But parking tickets for RPP violations are pretty easy to avoid and not very hard to beat if you get one.

NBC 5 Helps Driver Fight ‘Unfair’ Parking Ticket Rulings

Sam Navin is new to Chicago.

And the city has made him feel more than welcome almost immediately issuing his truck a pair of bright orange parking tickets.

The only problem was that both tickets were issued improperly according to Navin.

The first was for having an expired truck permit, which made no sense to Navin who got his sticker just after he came to town. So he took a photo of his permit sticker, assembled all his evidence including proof of when and where he got his permit and mailed it off with a letter explaining why the ticket was issued improperly.

Unfortunately for Navin, the Administrative Law Judge ruled against him saying in his decision there was no date/time stamp on the photos he submitted as evidence. Puzzlingly, the photo of the truck permit sticker the city provided was unreadable.

Right after that, Navin was issued a ticket for not having a front plate on his vehicle–even though he says it was there. So he dutifully took photos–this time with a date and time stamp and a letter with his defense.

Parking Ticket 101: Parking Too Far From The Curb

A tape measure is your friend when fighting a parking ticket for parking too far from the curb.

A tape measure is your friend when fighting a parking ticket for parking too far from the curb.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Parking Ticket 101 is a semi-regular feature explaining to drivers the most effective ways to fight Chicago parking tickets.

We’ll work through the city’s municipal code violation by violation and give readers the best strategies for each and every one.

9-64-020 Parallel parking – Obstruction of traffic
(a) It shall be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle, except for a motorcycle or motor scooter, in a roadway other than parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of lawful traffic movement and with the curbside wheels of the vehicle within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the roadway; provided, however, this prohibition shall not apply to the parking of any vehicle in a designated diagonal parking zone or space.

Anyone with a driver’s license should know when you parallel park a vehicle as close to the curb as reasonably possible–legally, the car’s tires must be no more than 12″ from the curb.

Sometimes drivers will get sloppy and park a little farther away from the curb than they should or, perhaps a buildup or snow or ice prevents or obstructs a vehicle from parking closer.

And that’s when the tickets get written.

In the case of a “12″ from curb” ticket, the tape measure is your friend.

Professor Geek Teaches Parking Ticket 101 Class At CivicLab

Parking Ticket 101 photoThe Parking Ticket Geek is teaching a class.

The West Loop’s Civic Lab invited the Geek to teach a class on fighting parking tickets we’re calling Parking Ticket 101.

It’s a slimmed down version of our Driver Survival Seminars with a focus purely on avoiding and contesting those pesky bright orange tickets from the city.

Parking Ticket 101 will give attendees an overview of parking enforcement in Chicago and educate attendees on how best to both avoid parking tickets and how best to handle receiving a ticket, including how to successfully contest improper or unfair ones.

Civics Lab is a co-working education and office space created to help teach Chicagoans about civic engagement, activism and how to better understand and interact with their government. It was founded by Tom Tresser and Ben Sugar last summer.

Tresser is that famous troublemaker who, among his many other accomplishments spearheaded No Games Chicago, the group which furiously lobbied against bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago.

Seating is limited so reserve your spot right away. There is a nominal $10 fee that goes toward helping support Civics Lab in its great work.

Sign up through Eventbrite or through our Facebook event page.

EVENT: Parking Ticket 101/Driver Survival Seminar

WHEN: Wednesday, March 26th at 6:30 PM

WHERE:  Civics Lab,  114 N. Aberdeen St.  Chicago, IL 60607

SIGNUP: At Eventbrite


Geek Scores A Hat Trick Against The City

Some days are just better than others.

My plan for yesterday was simply to fight another of the seemingly endless stream of parking tickets my ’83 Impala seems to attract.

I had planned my day so I could take an hour off after lunch time to hit a hearing facility, but per usual my plans took a left turn.

Beer Drinking In The Park

A colleague’s niece stormed into the office waving one of the city’s blue colored ordinance violation tickets in my face asking me if I could help her with her ticket. I was a bit hesitant at first as my expertise lies with the orange tinted tickets–not the blue.

NBC 5 Shares Tips For Fighting Parking Tickets

View more videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com.

NBC 5′s Lisa Parker is back on the parking ticket beat.

First she helps a driver ticketed while his car was parked in a garage in the suburbs get some ticket justice.

Then, she shares research from successful parking ticket defenses on how to beat parking tickets.

Check out her full story at the NBC 5 website.


Blogger Makes Beating Parking Tickets Look Easy

Steve Tanner dislikes parking tickets just as much as the rest of us.

But Mr. Tanner, after getting two tickets in February for not displaying a Chicago city sticker, decided to do something about it and fight back.

Unfortunately, Tanner’s sticker was one of the tens of thousands of city stickers sold last year without enough adhesive to remain affixed to his windshield.

The cold weather of the Blizzard of 2011 ultimately took its toll and Tanner’s sticker wound up on the floor of his car and thus, replaced by two orange tickets on his windshield.

Tanner does an amazing job of documenting how the entire process of his journey from violation to building a case to ultimately having both tickets dismissed at his hearing on his blog, SteveandAmySly.com.