Office of the Parking Summons Advocate

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate is to independently assist unrepresented and underrepresented members of the public with parking and camera violation issues and complaints that cannot be resolved through normal Department of Finance channels. The office acts as an intermediary between the public, DOF units, and other agencies involved in the parking summons adjudication process; informs the public about parking laws, rules, regulations, and related Department of Finance policies and procedures; and identifies, reports, and recommends solutions to systemic problems and issues in the parking summons adjudication process.

Parking Summons Recipient Bill of Rights

You can request and receive assistance from the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate if you are not represented by an attorney or broker and you satisfy any one of the following criteria;

  • You have made a reasonable attempt to resolve your problem with the Department of Finance and it has not been resolved or a timely response has not been given.

  • You were found guilty at a hearing on your summons and you wish to file an appeal.

  • You can show that the Department of Finance is applying parking laws, rules, regulations, or policies unfairly or incorrectly, or has injured your rights.

  • You face a threat of immediate action (e.g., seizure of your vehicle) by an agent of the Department of Finance for a parking debt you can prove is incorrect.

  • You can show that your issue could affect others, or that it is evidence of a problem with the parking summons system or process.

  • You can show that the rare facts and extenuating circumstances of your case justify help from the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate.

  • You can show that there is a compelling public policy reason as to why you should get help from the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate.
  • You are represented by an attorney or a broker.

  • You have not used all reasonable efforts to obtain timely relief through normal Department of Finance channels, including 311.

  • You are asking for legal advice.

  • You are seeking assistance on an issue or case already handled and closed by the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate.

  • You are claiming that an NYC parking law, rule, or regulation violates the state or federal constitution.

  • The Parking Summons Advocate determines that the focus of the inquiry only involves frivolous strategies intended to avoid or delay paying parking or camera violation tickets.

  • You are seeking assistance with an issue related to traffic (moving violation) tickets.

Due to the covid-19 virus outbreak, the OPSA will be temporarily suspending office hours. Alternatively, please Contact the OPSA online.

Signs Legend


Photo of a NYC Street Sign indicating No Standing The following chart, issued by the Department of Transportation, is intended to explain the regulations of some of the more common signs found on New York City streets. Download the Parking Regulations Sign Legend.

  • The purpose of parking regulations is to protect all of us from harm and to keep the flow of traffic in our busy city moving. Park legally and avoid tickets. But if you are wrongly ticketed, fight it!

  • Read all signs on the block carefully before parking, even if they are far away from your parking spot.
Table defining parking sign restrictions
  • Be careful of commercial zone parking and check the times they are enforceable.

  • Don’t straddle a parking sign pole if you are prohibited from parking on either side of the pole. If any part of your car is past the pole, you may be ticketed.

  • When you encounter two conflicting signs regulating an area, follow the one that is the least restrictive. Take photos of both signs.

  • Double check that your parking meter receipt is properly displayed on your dashboard before you walk away from your car.

  • Keep track of your meter expiration time.

  • If you use the Park Mobile app, be certain that you have entered the correct information, including your license plate number and state. When using the Park Mobile app, be sure to accurately enter the zone you are parked in. You may not pay for one zone while parked in another.

  • If parking in a broken meter zone, be sure to attempt all forms of payment at all machines in the same zone where you are parked.

  • Do not keep multiple meter receipts on your dashboard.

  • You may not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

  • If you are unsure whether street cleaning regulations are in effect on a particular day, visit or call 311.

  • When parking near crosswalks or pedestrian ramps, be sure that absolutely no part of your car touches any part of the crosswalk line or blocks any part of the ramp.

  • Do not let your inspection or registration expire. Leave yourself plenty of time to renew them. Enforcement agents pay particular attention to your stickers at the beginning of the month.

  • When you notice a problem with your equipment, get it fixed as soon as possible — particularly broken or missing items which can be easily spotted by enforcement agents.

  • Don’t drive in the bus lane unless you are 200 feet from the corner where you will make a right turn or enter a driveway. If you don’t turn and a camera is present, it will take a picture or video of your car and you may get a ticket in the mail.

  • When driving near a school, follow the speed limit. If you drive any faster and a speed camera is present, you may get a ticket in the mail.

  • When a traffic light turns yellow, think twice before proceeding. If there is a camera at the intersection, and your car crosses after the light has already turned red, you may get a ticket in the mail.

  • The cameras use advanced technology and are very accurate — much more so than the human eye. These violations are hard to beat. Don’t take the chance, it’s not worth it.


Before you move your car:

  • Read your ticket.

  • Gather evidence.
    • Take photos. Document the scene from corner to corner. Show street names, the building address where your ticket was issued, and anything referenced in your ticket (signs, meters, stickers or plates, etc).

    • Be sure your photos are printed with the dates and times displayed on them.

    • Measure distances. If your ticket references distances, measure them. Use whatever you have - a tape measure, your shoes, the sidewalk grid, etc.

    • Talk to witnesses. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask if they would be willing to make notarized statements on your behalf.

After you get home:

  • Look up the law that you have been charged with violating.

  • Visit (this page) for more information about parking violations.

  • Decide whether to pay or dispute your ticket.

  • Collect online map and satellite imagery to supplement the photographic evidence you gathered at the scene.
Chart showing how penalties and interest can add up on unpaid parking tickets
  • When you get a ticket, don’t ignore it.

  • Pay or dispute your ticket within 30 days.

  • If you do not pay the ticket, penalties will be added:
    • $10 on the 31st day
    • $30 on the 61st day
    • $60 on the 91st day

  • If your ticket is for a camera violation, $25 will be added to the cost of the ticket on the 31st day.

  • At approximately 100 days, the ticket will go into judgment. Interest will be added daily, and your car can be booted or towed if your judgment debt reaches $350. Other enforcement actions may be taken as well.

  • If you are appealing  a hearing decision, pay your ticket anyway. Fees and penalties can continue to accrue during the appeal process. The same applies if you file an article 78 proceeding after your appeal.

  • You will be eligible for a refund if your payment is later reversed on appeal or dismissed.

  • Don’t let fees and penalties accrue. Pay or dispute the ticket as soon as possible.

  • You can pay your ticket online, by mail, at a Department of Finance business center, or at any 7-Eleven or CVS. You can also use the Pay or Dispute app on your smartphone.

  • You can dispute the ticket by mail, online, at a Department of Finance business center, or on your smartphone via the Pay or Dispute app.

  • Payment plans are available in certain instances.
Evidence Recommendations

On July 11, 2019, the City will start issuing speed camera violations from 6 AM – 10 PM, Monday through Friday, year round and will operate speed cameras in 750 school speed zones. Learn more at

Contact the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate

  • Call 311 and ask for the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate assistance form to be mailed to you.

Office Hours and Locations

Due to the covid-19 virus outbreak, the OPSA will be temporarily suspending office hours. Alternatively, please Contact the OPSA online.