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New York City booting cars in effort to collect nearly $500 million in unpaid parking tickets

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New York City booting cars in effort to collect nearly $500 million in unpaid parking tickets

NEW YORK — You might be seeing more parked cars with boots on them around the five boroughs.

New York City says it owns nearly $500 million in unpaid parking tickets and is looking to collect, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Friday.

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

From Midtown, to Brooklyn, to Staten Island, booted cars have recently started lining the streets. Like many other drivers, Riley is stuck in park for the moment.

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

If you’ve been booted, it means you owe the city more than $350 in parking or camera violation tickets.

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

The Department of Finance said, as of June 30, it owed $474 million in outstanding parking tickets. Warning letters sent to drivers in March generated more than $50 million. Final notices went out in July and brought 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 the department only collected 35 cases. That’s just 23 percent.

Tony Valez drives a delivery truck out of Queens and knows all about parking in the five boroughs.

“My boss pays the tickets right away. We can’t afford that. If we lose that truck then we can’t make any deliveries. But I do notice they boot a lot of cars,” said Valez. “If people are not paying, then they should face whatever the consequences are.

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

What should you do if your car gets booted? Call the number on the boot notice. You’ll have to pay the outstanding judgment debt and additional fees – payment plans are an option. Then, you’ll be given a release code for the boot and have to return it as directed.

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

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