Get a street sweeping ticket? Bummer!
If you live in a busy city like Los Angeles or New York City then you know finding parking can be difficult and remember to move your car on cleaning day is easy to forget.
Here’s every way we know how to get out of a street sweeping ticket if you get one. None of this is legal advice so use it at your own risk.
1. Plead with the parking enforcement officer
Remember, parking enforcement officers are people too. They’re usually reasonable people. They’re just doing their job.
If they give you a ticket (or are in the process of giving you a ticket) there’s a chance they can be reasoned with.
Tell them it was an accident and that it will never happen again. (Again, be NICE! Yelling at them will not work)
There’s a chance they’ll void the ticket on the spot.
2. Appeal the Sweeping Ticket in Court
You have the right to contest the street sweeping ticket in court or in writing.
But even if you’re contesting the ticket, you’re required to pay the fine when it’s due.
Fines are often due 21 to 30 days after the ticket is issued with late fees added on after that. So even if you’re contesting the ticket, pay the fine because you’ll get that money back if you win the appeal.
For example, according to the City of Chino Hills….
To respond to a citation, the registered owner or lessee of the vehicle cited has 21 days to either:
- Pay the parking penalty
- Submit a written explanation by mail and request an administrative review from the citation processing agency. City staff can not void citations after they have been issued.
How to increase your likelihood of appeal success
This is NOT legal advice so hire an attorney if want real legal advice.
This may still help you come up with what to say in your appeal and beat the charge.
When you get your ticket, take note of any of the following:
- Was it on a special holiday?
- Street sweeping and parking enforcement are sometimes on different holiday schedules.
- Was “No Parking” clearly marked on street signs?
- Missing or damaged street signs might help your case
- What time was it exactly?
- Some cities have a 5 minute grace window before giving tickets
- Were there other cars blocking you in preventing you from moving your car?
- This happens occasionally
- Was your car operable?
- A dead battery or flat tire could have made it impossible to move until fixed.
- Did the sweeper come by already?
- Some cities allow you to park on the street after the sweeper has passed even if its still within the time window.
- What does say about sweeping and enforcement on the city’s website?
- Website information may be out of date
- Is this your first ticket?
- The review board may be more lenient if it’s your first infraction.
- Any Covid related issues? Were you sick? Take care of a sick family member?
- You might get some leeway if you were quarantining for your illness.
- Did you have a valid handicap placard posted?
- Handicap placards generally do NOT exempt you from getting a street sweeping ticket but it may still help strengthen your appeal.
- Was it raining on the day you got the citation?
- Street sweeping is often canceled during heavy rains but not always. If you thought sweeping was canceled because of the rain put that in your appeal.
- Take pictures to prove what you’re saying is true.
These may help strengthen your case more than just saying “I forgot.”
Remember there’s a human reviewing your appeal. Be polite and give them a good reason to overturn your citation.
3. Hire Do Not Pay
Do Not Pay is a paid service that will dispute parking tickets for you. They claim to operate in every city and specialize in reducing or eliminating fines.
They call themselves “the world’s first robot lawyer.”
This might be a good option for you if you don’t want to contest the sweeping ticket yourself (which can take some time).
4. Hire an Attorney
My attorney told me to say this 🙂
Hiring an attorney might be your best chance of winning your appeal. If you have multiple tickets you’re contesting so they can fight them on your behalf.
But the average parking ticket fine is from $25-$75 and attorneys often charge much more than that.
So it might not make sense financially to pay hundreds to an attorney to fight your ticket to save $70 for your ticket.
5. Don’t get a ticket in the first place
The only guaranteed way to get out of a street sweeping citation is to not get one in the first place.
Here’s a few ways to avoid ever getting a sweeping ticket in the first place…
Sign up for SweeperAlarm.com
SweeperAlarm.com lets you enter the street sweeping day and time for your street and they’ll send you text reminders.
The app is still in beta but still pretty cool. Give it a try. All you need is a cellphone number to sign up.
Set an alarm on your phone
Have the alarm go off the night before street sweeping so you remember to move your car.
Write it on a Post-It on your steering wheel
Write a reminder to yourself of the street sweeping day and put it on the steering wheel of your car. When you see it you’ll remember to not park your car on the street or in a restricted zone.
Sign up for email alerts
Your city may provide text messaging or email alerts about street sweeping. Sign up for these if they’re available.
Some cities even have their own smartphone app to push out updates.
You can also join our notification list that we send before major holidays (when there’s often changes to the sweeping schedule and parking enforcement)
Create a buddy system with your neighbor
Find a neighbor or two and create a buddy system. Agree that if either of you see’s the other person’s car on the street the night before street sweeping that you’ll text each other as a reminder.
Be a good neighbor and they’ll look out for you too.
That’s every way we know how to get out of a street sweeping ticket. If you have more ideas or experience with this, let us know in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I fight a street sweeping ticket?
The short answer is yes. But if you are going to fight the ticket make sure you do it within the allowed timeframe. Often times you’re required to pay the fine even if you’re appealing the ticket and then you’ll get that fine returned to you if you win the appeal.
Is there street sweeping when it rains?
It depends. Some cities sweep “rain or shine”. Other cities will cancel street sweeping if there’s moderate or heavy rains, winds, or snow.
It’s best to assume that parking enforcement is in effect until you confirm directly with the city.
What happens if you don’t move your car for street cleaning?
The most likely outcome is parking enforcement will give you a parking citation. If you’re lucky, parking enforcement may be suspended for a special city holiday, or the enforcement officer skips your street.
How much is a street sweeping ticket?
Most street sweeping tickets range from $25-$75 and are subject to change
If you received a parking ticket, please let us know in the comment how much the ticket cost and what city you’re in.