The right to dispute a parking ticket is outlined in California Vehicle Code section 40215. The appeal process is designed to address tickets that were issued in error or when the dismissal of a ticket is in the interest of justice. A ticket appeal must be filled out in all cases. We cannot “take tickets back” or void them in the field, even if the ticket was issued in error.
Please review the ten reasons that tickets will not be dismissed. If you are appealing for one of these reasons, carefully review the parking regulations to avoid future tickets.
Parking fines must be paid or a dispute must be filed within 21 days of the issuance of a ticket or 14 days of the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation. Failure to pay or dispute a ticket within 21 days will lead to an increase in the fine and your vehicle registration will be held by the DMV.
First Level Dispute
Disputes may be filed online only. The appeal must be submitted within 21 calendar days from the date of the ticket or 14 days after the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation to receive consideration.
The hearing officer will consider only the information contained in your dispute. Be thorough and detailed regarding the circumstances of your violation and why you feel the citation should be dismissed. If you have a parking decal or other permit, or if your citation involves the use of a California Disabled Placard, please include the number or a copy of these items. Failure to supply necessary documentation or the exclusion of relevant facts may lead to the denial of your appeal.
Transportation & Parking Services will only consider disputes filed by the driver of the vehicle or the registered owner. Disputes are considered in the order they are received. You will notified by e-mail or mail of the result. It will typically take four to six weeks, however, during peak times (the beginning of a semester, for example), appeals may take longer. Do not pay your fine until you have received the result of your hearing.
Second Level Dispute (Administrative Hearing)
If you are not satisfied with the results of the first level dispute, you may pursue the matter with an Administrative Hearing. This hearing is conducted by a hearing official who is not directly affiliated with Transportation & Parking Services. The Second Level Dispute form can be printed, filled out and mailed to the Parking Management Bureau (address available on form) with a check or money order.
You must file a Request for Administrative Hearing form within 21 days of the mailing of the results of your first level appeal. YOU MUST INCLUDE A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER FOR PAYMENT OF THE CITATION WITH YOUR REQUEST. Requests received without payment will not be considered unless the appellant provides satisfactory proof of inability to pay.
You will receive notice by mail of your in-person hearing date, if requested. If you requested a hearing in writing, you will be notified by mail of the result. If the appeal is denied, your check will be cashed.
Third Level Dispute (Judicial Hearing)
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Administrative Hearing, you may further appeal your case to the Sonoma County Superior Court Civil Division. You must file within 30 days of your Administrative Hearing (per 40230 CVC). The court will charge a fee to file the case. You are responsible for all court fees until the case is heard. If you are successful in your dispute, SSU must refund your court filing fees and the cost of the parking ticket.
If you do not file your claim with the court within the required 30 day period, the outcome of your Administrative Hearing is final. Additionally, any decision by the court is final.