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What Happens If Too Many Unpaid Parking Tickets Accrue In Michigan?

by | Aug 12, 2020 | Traffic Offenses |


Parking tickets are annoying, and a driver who sees one under his or her windshield wiper may be tempted to throw it in the glove box and forget about it.  However, the municipality that issued that parking ticket will not forget.  Failing to pay that ticket on time in Michigan can lead to all sorts of additional penalties:

  • The fine usually increases after a certain amount of time (e.g. doubles after 5 days) if not promptly paid.
  • Unpaid parking fines can be reported to credit agencies or referred to debt collectors, which can negatively impact your credit score.
  • After so many unpaid parking tickets, the municipality may boot or even tow the vehicle to impound until the debt is paid off (plus the costs of booting or towing).

In Michigan, too many unpaid parking tickets can prevent your operator’s license from being issued or renewed.  Prior to May 16, 2012, 6 or more parking tickets could trigger license penalties by the secretary of state.  Now, it takes far less unpaid tickets to create problems.

The court may order a person to appear within 10 days of giving notice for either of the following:

  • “Failed to answer 2 or more parking violation notices or citations for violating a provision of this act or an ordinance substantially corresponding to a provision of this act pertaining to parking for persons with disabilities.” MCL 257.321a(7)(a).
  • “Failed to answer 3 or more parking violation notices or citations regarding illegal parking.” MCL 257.321a(7)(b).

If the person fails to appear, the court will promptly notify the Michigan Secretary of State.  “The secretary of state, upon being informed of the failure of a person to appear or comply…, shall not issue a license to the person or renew a license for the person until BOTH of the following occur:”

  • “The court informs the secretary of state that the person has resolved all outstanding matters regarding the notices or citations.” MCL 257.321a(8)(a).
  • “The person has paid to the court a $45.00 driver license clearance fee.” MCL 257.321a(8)(b).  If the court determines that the person is responsible for only one handicap parking violation or fewer than 3 other illegal parking violations, for which the person’s license was not issued or renewed under this subsection, then the court may waive payment of the driver license clearance fee.

In addition to placing a hold on license issuance or renewal, the court may also find the driver responsible for a civil infraction punishable by a fine.  This is a non-moving violation that does not result in any points on your driving record.

Outstanding parking tickets should be handled promptly before there are additional financial consequences and restrictions on your driver’s license.  If you have any questions about Michigan’s traffic laws or need legal representation, then do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Kershaw, Vititoe & Jedinak PLC for assistance today.


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