A Strange Parking Ticket

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I received a strange delinquency notice for a parking ticket. At first glance, it seemed normal enough. Yep, there’s my license plate number. Yep, the make of the car is correct. But look at this, the color of the car is wrong.

That’s strange since it’s not one of those cases where they indicated midnight blue when the car is black. No, they indicated red and my car is blue.

And one other minor detail was a bit off. The parking ticket was for Fillmore street in San Francisco and I live in Los Angeles.


I called the SF parking department and the nice woman on the phone looked into it and told me that the parking attendant made several errors in the citation and I can disregard the notice.

Several errors? I’ll say.

Like hallucinating a car that couldn’t possible be in San Francisco at the time? Or, perhaps there just happens to be a red car with the same make as mine and the same license plate number, just with a “B” where mine has an “8”.

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9 responses

  1. Avatar for RJD
    RJD April 16th, 2007

    Could be worse. You could be the guy who threw his parking ticket over the hillside, only to have the mayor find it on one of those trash clean-up days.

  2. Avatar for Scott
    Scott April 16th, 2007

    Threading error?

  3. Avatar for Kevin Dente
    Kevin Dente April 16th, 2007

    I wonder if they do partial license plate matches on make/models when the parking officer has illegible handwriting.
    Or perhaps it was Evil Phil out doing Evil Things. :P

  4. Avatar for Owen
    Owen April 16th, 2007

    I had the same experience in the UK, saying my car had been parked at position x (happened to be near my parents house) and that I could pay the bill direct, only I had a problem in that I was attending a party that day and couldn't have been driving or parked where it says I was. So I phoned them and they said they would produce the photographic evidence, which never came.
    So ALWAYS check on parking tickets through the post. I can imagine how many people would just pay!

  5. Avatar for Jason
    Jason April 16th, 2007

    Weird. Make sure you get it in writing, though. The same thing happened to a friend of mine and he thought it was cleared up over the phone, only to have it come back to bite him 3 years later when he got pulled over again.

  6. Avatar for Bill Curnow
    Bill Curnow April 16th, 2007

    I had a similar experience. A year ago I received a demand letter from a law firm representing the City of Houston. It stated that I was 12 months delinquent in paying a parking ticket and that I had 30 days to correct the situation. This was the first I'd heard of the ticket. They had the correct license plate, but the wrong make, model and color. Also, my car was at my office some 600 miles from where it was supposedly ticketed. It took three phone calls and two FedEx packages before they admited that a mistake had been made.

  7. Avatar for Dominic Cronin
    Dominic Cronin April 17th, 2007

    My first thought was that someone is driving round in a car with fake plates using your number. If you are going to clone someone's plates, your best chance of evading detection is to match the make and model. That way if the police check you out, you probably won't be busted. The colour probably doesn't matter too much.

  8. Avatar for the other side
    the other side May 15th, 2007

    i received a parking ticket on my car but the tag # on the ticket differs from my actual tag #. what would happen if i left it delinquent? this is in NYC the worst place to park..

  9. Avatar for Shannon
    Shannon January 8th, 2008

    The same thing just happened to me...I just got a ticket in West Hollywood and I live in Palm Desert...3+ hours away. I have record of emails I sent that same day from my home computer & picking up my daughter from school....what should I do to prove I could not possibly have been in Los Angeles? The true license number has an "S" I suspect, instead of a "5"....They also got the color wrong, grey instead of beige. Is there a way to get a copy of the ticket? Do they note the make AND model on the original ticket?