Frequently Asked Questions

Parking Citations

Why can't I get the results at the hearing?

The hearing examiner may need to conduct further research into the Vehicle Code, collect additional statements, or survey locations before ruling on some citations.  For this reason, all results will be sent in writing.

What if the citation is upheld and I still don't agree?

There will be information on the letter explaining that a second level hearing may be requested if you do not agree with the results of the review. You may request the second level hearing by indicating either an in person or in writing hearing on the form and returning it to the Parking Enforcement Center at the above address within 15 days of the mailing of the notification letter. Requests received outside the 15 day period will not be honored.

Hearings are scheduled, one evening a month and are scheduled by the processing company, not personnel at the police department. The hearings are held by an independent hearing examiner.  As a convenience, the hearings are conducted in an office located in the lobby of the police department.  The hearing examiner is not an employee of the police department and therefore is not in that office during anytime other than when the hearings are scheduled. The hearing officer may not be contacted directly. Instructions on what to bring to the hearing are included in a letter that will be sent to confirm the hearing appointment.  Results of both in person and in writing hearings are decided after the hearing is conducted and notification is provided in writing.

 

What if I can't or don't want to register the vehicle?

All vehicles on public roadways or roadways subject to California Vehicle Code enforcement must be currently registered.  If you have moved the vehicle to private property, filed for a non-operational permit, or are donating the vehicle to charity, the full fine amount can be paid, and there is no need to have the citation signed off.

What should I do if I don't think I should have received this citation?

If you feel the citation should not have been issued, or was issued in error, for instance the violation was simply not committed, or the violation should not have been cited because of a parking variance or some other extenuating circumstances, you may request a review of the citation.

Reviews must be requested in writing within 21 days of the violation and the request must be sent to the processing company that maintains the citation records. Requests received that are postmarked outside the 21-day period will not be reviewed.

City of Irvine
c/o Parking Citation Service Center
P.O. Box 11923
Santa Ana, CA 92711

The review should include the name address and phone number of the person requesting the review and a complete explanation including any evidence available of why you feel the citation was issued in error. It is important to include all information helpful to your position because there will not be an opportunity to add information for the reviewers consideration after the fact.

Example

Handicapped Placard - You were issued a citation for being parked in a Handicapped Space but you do have a placard and just forgot to hang it up. Include in your request for review, an explanation of what occurred, a copy of the issued placard (must not be expired), a copy of the DMV registration for your placard (this will prove that it was issued before the date of the violation), a signed letter from the registered owner of the placard. This may be a different person than the driver of the vehicle. The registered owner must state that he/she was in fact in the vehicle, at the location, on the date and time the citation was committed, and include a photocopy of the placard owners ID or drivers license. Requests for dismissals received outside the 21-day period will not be reviewed.

Example

No Current Tabs - A citation for this violation is sometimes issued even when the vehicle is currently registered if the owner forgets to put the new tabs on the plate, or if the tabs are stolen without the owner realizing they are missing. In these cases, the violation can be reduced to a nominal administrative fee by making the correction and having the back of the citation signed by a law enforcement officer. If the vehicle was not currently registered, the violation can be signed off if proof of current registration is provided and the back of the citation is signed by a law enforcement officer within 21 days of the violation. Corrections can also be signed off at the business desk of the police department during business hours. Once the citation is signed off, the reduced fine amount indicated on the back of the citation can be sent to the processing company. This procedure is the same for any correctable equipment violation. Reduced fines will not apply to payments received outside the 21-day period.

What should I do if I want to make a complaint regarding the officer who issued the citation?

Complaints of service or conduct involving Irvine Police Department personnel should be directed to the employees supervisor. To contact a supervisor, you may call the business desk of the Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7000, and request to speak to the named employees supervisor. Often the supervisor is not immediately available, but a message can be left for that supervisor to return your call and address your concerns. Remember to ask for that supervisors name before being transferred to the voicemail system so you can follow up with the same supervisor with whom your complaint was lodged.

What if I paid the citation but the DMV shows that it is still pending and won't register my vehicle?

There are several things that can cause this situation.

The first is that the original citation payment was made after the maximum 21-day period and therefore increased due to additional penalties. The partial payment of the increased amount would have been received, but the citation would still be referred to DMV for collection because of the balance due. In this case, the total amount is still due to the DMV. It is advisable to pay the total fine amount to DMV so that the vehicle registration wont be delayed, causing additional fees. The original payment can then be refunded if proof of that payment can be provided. To receive a refund of this nature, contact the Parking Supervisor at the Irvine Police Department, 949-724-7037.

The second possibility for this to occur is that an error was made when posting the original payment and it was not credited to the correct citation. If you have proof of payment for a citation that the DMV is showing due on the vehicles registration, contact the Parking Enforcement Center at 1-866-453-3603.  They will instruct you on how to provide the proof of payment. They can also issue a letter which can be provided to the DMV once the error has been corrected.

What if I lost the citation?

If you need to retrieve information about a citation, such as the citation number, address to send payment, information about how to request a review or to check the status of a citation that has been paid or dismissed, you can reach the citation Parking Enforcement Center at:  866-453-3603.  The Parking Enforcement Center phone number is an automated system and should provide you with selections on their menu to assist with your particular needs.  If no option is available for unique information, 0 may be dialed after the options are presented and should connect you to an operator that can further assist you.

Personnel at the business desk of the police department do not have access to detailed information about parking citations.

My vehicle was sold. Why do I continue to receive parking citations when I no longer own the vehicle?

If you were the registered owner of the vehicle at the time you received the parking citation or notice of delinquent parking, you are responsible for paying the citation. If you did not own the vehicle at the time the parking citation was issued, then it is your responsibility to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that you sold the vehicle. You are required to submit a DMV Release of Responsibility Form that includes the date you sold the vehicle, as well as the name and address of the person who bought your vehicle. If you are still receiving parking citations from the City of Irvine, it probably means that the Department of Motor Vehicles records are still showing you as the registered owner of the vehicle that received the parking citation.  If the parking citation occurred when you were still the legal owner, you are responsible for that citation even if you have since sold the vehicle.

May I perform community service instead of paying for my parking citation?

No. Parking citations are not criminal offenses and as such, community service cannot be performed in lieu of paying for your parking citation.

May I get an extension on the payment of my parking citation?

No. Payment extensions are not granted because the Department of Motor Vehicles requires that you pay your citation in full within 21 days from the date that your parking citation was issued, or 14 days from the date of your delinquent parking notice. There are no exceptions.

I wanted to contest my parking citation but was informed that it was too late. Can I still appeal and if so, who can I make the appeal to?

No. The California Vehicle Code states that you cannot appeal your parking citation if you do not do so within 21 days from the date your parking citation was issued, or 14 days from the date of your delinquent parking notice. There are no exceptions unless one of the following conditions exists:

  1. Your vehicle was stolen at the time the parking citation was issued, or
  2. The owner of the vehicle is deceased
I received a Notice of Delinquent Parking from the City of Irvine; however, I have not visited Irvine. How do I clear the citation?

If you received a notice of delinquent parking and your vehicle was not in the City of Irvine on the date the citation was issued, you need to call the Parking Citation Service Center at 866-453-3603 and request an Administrative Review Form. Complete the Administrative Review Form and submit it along with your vehicle registration and a copy of the delinquent notice. An investigating officer will review the appeal and render a decision as to whether or not you are responsible for paying the parking citation. You will receive written communication from the Parking Administration Office that will provide you with the status of the parking citation.  Also note that UCI and The Toll Roads report to the DMV as being an agency in the City of Irvine.

I received a citation for violation of California Vehicle Code 5200(a) or 5204(a). What can I do?

If you have proof that you have corrected your violation within 21 days of the citation date, from a California Law Enforcement Officer or Agency, your fine may be reduced to $10.00. To qualify for the fine reduction, the certificate of correction section (located on the back of your citation) must be completed by a law enforcement agency or officer and returned by mail with your payment within 21 days of your citation.
 

NOTE. If you were also cited for a parking violation on the same citation as the 5200(a), or 5204(a) sections, you must respond to both violations before your citation can be cleared.

I paid my parking citation late and was told that the penalty cannot be waived. Can I appeal?

No, you cannot appeal the late fee. Per the California Vehicle Code, parking citations must be paid within 21 days of the issue date, or 14 days from issuance of the delinquent parking notice. If you moved and did not receive your delinquent parking notice and you failed to submit a change of address with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days from the date you moved, you will still be held responsible for any additional late charges.

I paid my citation, but can't renew my registration because the unpaid citation is still apparent. What can I do?

It takes approximately 30 days from the date you pay your citation before the Department of Motor Vehicles records will show that payment was made. If you need to obtain your vehicle registration right away, you can call Parking Citation Service Center at 866-453-3603 and request an abstract of the payment. When you present your abstract at the DMV along with your vehicle registration fee, you may deduct the dollar amount of the citation for the registration fees. Abstracts will only be given when the Parking Administration Office is able to confirm your payment.

I cannot afford to pay for my parking citation. Can you cancel it?

No. Parking citations cannot be canceled due to financial hardship or inability to pay. Additional penalties will be imposed if your citation is not paid within the prescribed time and a DMV hold may be placed on your vehicle's registration. In addition, your delinquent citation may be referred to an outside collection agency for collection proceedings against you, which may affect your credit rating.
 

Can my vehicle be towed for my unpaid parking citation?

Yes. According to CVC 22651(i)(1), your vehicle may be towed if there are five or more unpaid parking citations issued to that specific license plate.

Can my vehicle be towed for my unpaid parking citation?

Yes. According to CVC 22651(i)(1), your vehicle may be towed if there are 5 or more unpaid parking citations issued to that specific license plate.

Can I be arrested for my unpaid parking citation?

No. Parking citations are not criminal offenses in the State of California, so you will not be arrested for not paying your parking citation. However, a late fee will be added and a hold may be placed on your vehicle registration at DMV. If a hold is placed on your vehicle's registration, you will be unable to register your vehicle until all of your outstanding parking citations have been paid in full. In addition, your delinquent unpaid parking citations may be referred to an outside collection agency for collection proceedings against you, which may also affect your credit rating.

What if I lost the citation?

If you need to retrieve information about a citation, such as the citation number, address to send payment, information about how to request a review or to check the status of a citation that has been paid or dismissed, you can reach the citation Parking Enforcement Center at:  1-866-453-3603.  The Parking Enforcement Center phone number is an automated system and should provide you with selections on their menu to assist with your particular needs.If no option is available for unique information, 0 may be dialed after the options are presented and should connect you to an operator that can further assist you. Personnel at the business desk of the police department do not have access to detailed information about parking citations.