New York City Boots Up Cars to Collect Nearly $500 Million in Unpaid Parking Tickets


NEW YORK — In the five boroughs, you may see more parked cars with boots on them.

New York City says it owns nearly $500 million in unpaid parking tickets and is looking to collect, TNZT’s Alice Gainer reported Friday.

“I came out and there was a boot on it,” said Antoinette Riley, a resident of Hell’s Kitchen.

From Midtown, to Brooklyn, to Staten Island, lately, simulated cars have taken to the streets. Like many other drivers, Riley is stuck in the park for now.

“Right now I can’t lose my car. So I have no choice but to pay this $5,000,” Riley said.

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Being booted means you owe the city more than $350 in parking or camera violations.

Startup was suspended during the pandemic. It resumed in 2021 for camera violations due to security concerns. It resumed for parking tickets in May 2022.

The Treasury Department said it owes $474 million in outstanding parking fines as of June 30. Warning letters sent to drivers in March raised more than $50 million. The latest reminders went out in July, bringing in more than $30 million.

Last year, the New York Comptroller’s Office released an audit of how the DOF collected fees from 2012-2019. In a sample size of 153 cases, totaling more than $2 million owed, it found that the department had collected only 35 cases. That’s only 23 percent.

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Tony Valez drives a delivery van from Queens and knows all about parking in the five boroughs.

“My boss pays for the tickets right away. We can’t afford that. If we lose that truck, we can’t make deliveries. But I do notice they start up a lot of cars,” Valez said. “If people don’t pay, they have to face whatever the consequences may be.

“All is fair in love and war…and love and parking,” Valez added.

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What should you do if your car starts up? Call the number on the startup message. You have to pay the outstanding debt and additional fees – payment plans are an option. You will then be given a release code for the boat and must return it as directed.

Your car will be towed if you don’t pay within two days of the trunk.



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