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Parking Tickets in Minneapolis

What to do if you get a parking ticket in Minneapolis


The city of Minneapolis issued around 300,000 parking tickets last year. Here's what to do if you get a parking ticket, what to do if you think your ticket is unfair, if you parked at a broken Minneapolis meter, and how to avoid parking tickets in Minneapolis.

How to avoid parking tickets in Minneapolis

The main areas parking enforcement officers patrol is Downtown Minneapolis, the Warehouse district, Uptown Minneapolis, around the Walker Art Center, the chain of lakes, and on the University of Minnesota campus. Tickets from Snow Emergencies account for a large number of parking citations issued in the winter.

Quieter neighborhoods further from business districts get the least attention from parking enforcement officers. Wherever you park, and especially if you plan to park in one of the areas parking enforcement officers target, then be mindful of parking legally, and watch the clock to make sure you get back to your car in time. At meter parking in busy areas of Minneapolis, tickets are regularly issued as soon as the time on the meter expires.

The city of Minneapolis publishes "10 Ways to Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket" and reminds drivers of unsigned parking restrictions in Minneapolis which will get you a ticket if the rules are broken.

What to do if you get a parking ticket in Minneapolis

If you get a parking ticket, there's a couple of options open to you other than simply paying the fine.

If you were illegally parked - and being a minute late back to the parking meter, or not being aware of parking restrictions - is not accepted as an excuse - pay the ticket within the 21 days allowed to avoid late charges. Here's how to pay a Minneapolis parking ticket. You can pay by mail, by phone, in person at a courthouse, or online.

If you can't afford to pay the fine, you can see a hearing officer to arrange a payment plan. You must do this before the fine is due at any of the four Hennepin County courthouses, including the downtown Minneapolis courthouse. The downtown Minneapolis courthouse sees cases on a walk-in basis and by appointment, the other three courthouses see cases by appointment only.

What do you do if you think the parking ticket is unfair? What if the parking meter was broken? Did the parking enforcement officer make a mistake? They are human, after all. What if you were parking illegally to attend to some kind of emergency situation?

Once, a large tree fell over onto an apartment building I lived in, damaging the building and threatening our parking lot. All the residents hastily moved their cars onto the streets (which happened to require resident parking permits) and then returned to the building to deal with the tree. A parking enforcement officer came along and ticketed every car. The citations were later overturned. There's many reasons why a parking ticket might not be your fault, and if you feel it isn't, then you can contest the citation.

Here's how to contest a parking ticket in Minneapolis.

You'll need to see a hearing officer to discuss the case. Hearing officers are available at the downtown Minneapolis courthouse, and at the three suburban Hennepin County courthouses in Brooklyn Center, Edina and Minnetonka. The downtown Minneapolis courthouse sees cases on a walk-in basis and by appointment, the other three courthouses see cases by appointment only. Call 612-348-2040 to make an appointment at any of the four courthouses.

Take the parking ticket, a photo ID, and any documentation you may have to support your case. The hearing officer has the power to reduce the fine or cancel the citation if he/she agrees with you.

Good luck!

Broken Parking Meters in Minneapolis

Don't park at a meter that you think is broken, or is marked as broken. You can still get a ticket. The City of Minneapolis asks that you call to report broken parking meters. The number to call is 612-348-2040 and is also displayed on the meter. Or, you can report broken Minneapolis parking meters online.

If you park at a meter that you believe is working, and still get a parking ticket - for example, the time on the meter might run out faster than it should - you can have the ticket canceled. Report the meter as broken, and if the meter does need to be fixed, your ticket will be canceled. You can call the Parking Violations Bureau by calling 612-348-2040 to check if the meter was broken, and if it is, have your ticket canceled.

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