The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: What if Meter Receipt Was Upside Down on Dash?

By Mike Brockway | September 23, 2013 9:07am
 What happens if your parking meter receipt flips over on your dash?
What happens if your parking meter receipt flips over on your dash?
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Serena Dai

The Parking Ticket Geek from The Expired Meter gets flooded with questions. He's got the answers.


I went to the city with my mom and we purchased one hour to park at a parking meter. I threw the meter receipt on the dash and we went inside.

When we came back outside within 30-40 minutes, we noticed a ticket on the windshield.

I looked at the meter receipt and it was upside down! It must have flipped over when I threw it on the dash. The meter was not expired though. I would never purposely put it upside down, especially since I had plenty of time on it.

I feel stupid. I should have known better. I should have checked. I want to contest the ticket but I don't know how. I was going to contest it in person. Please give me advice on how to beat it.

Thank you!


Sandra: Don't beat yourself up. This situation happens more often than you think.

In fact, it happened to me once. Here's how I beat that ticket.

First, you are correct to request an in-person hearing. Your chances of beating a ticket are much greater when you show up to fight a parking violation in the flesh as opposed to contesting by mail.

Just follow the directions on the bright orange ticket envelope to get the hearing scheduled. You will receive a notice in the mail assigning you a week in which to have your hearing.

At the hearing, simply explain what happened to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and how you most certainly did pay for your parking but the wind flipped it over when you shut the door or something to that effect.

Make sure you bring in the parking meter receipt. This is key evidence that will prove you're not just blowing smoke.

A reasonable ALJ will see you were paid up and dismiss the ticket.

I would also strongly encourage you to get your mother to write a short letter backing up your story. Have her get the letter notarized at a bank or Currency Exchange, and now your mom's letter has become the sworn testimony of a second witness. This will strengthen your case even more and will help you insure parking ticket victory.


Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

I'm hoping you can help me. I have a 49cc moped and received an orange plate sticker (with the plate) when I registered it.

Now that a year has passed, I received a reminder in the mail to renew my plates. I went online, paid the money and received a metal medallion in the mail.

Not being sure what to do with it, I affixed it to my plate but my orange sticker is still out of date. I received a ticket yesterday for expired plates and I don't know what to do. Do I need a sticker or a medallion?

Please help!



Rachel: You actually need both.

I believe you are confused.

The medallion you just received is the scooter/motorcycle version of the Chicago city vehicle sticker. Since many two-wheeled motor vehicles don't have windshields, the Chicago City Clerk gives scooter and motorcycle folks a medallion to attach to your license plate instead of a sticker.

But you still need to renew your license plate every year with the Illinois Secretary of State to get your new plate sticker for this year.

So either hit up a Secretary of State location or go to your friendly, neighborhood Currency Exchange to renew your license plate ASAP before you get ticketed again.


Mr. Geek,

So I forgot about the city sticker this year. I'm an idiot. I'm pretty broke this week, too. I'm an idiot. I got the ticket as soon as the deadline hit.

Can I keep on getting ticketed for not having my sticker? Or do they go away for a week or two before giving me more?

Thanks a lot!



Fabian: For God's sake, get your butt to a Currency Exchange and get your city sticker right this moment!

The city can ticket you EVERY day your vehicle is without a city sticker.

Let me repeat, the city can slap you with a $200 ticket every day you do not have your city sticker.

The other bad news is you're going to be hit with a $60 late fee on top of the $85 city sticker fee as well.

What are you waiting for Fabian?!? Do it now!

The Geek


Ask the Parking Ticket Geek is a regular column at The Expired Meter which offers advice on fighting parking tickets and on how motorists can best survive driving on the mean streets of Chicago. E-mail your questions to: askthegeek@theexpiredmeter.com.