No one likes getting a parking ticket. We know. But parking enforcement is an important part of managing our parking supply and keeping streets safe. Sometimes we make mistakes (our staff are humans) so below you'll find information about the appeals process.
Payments and Penalties
A citation must be paid and/or appealed within 35 days of its issuance. Important: Please write your citation number on your check. You may pay online, by mail, or in-person at 1033 C Street in Downtown San Rafael.
After 21 days, a courtesy notice is mailed to the registered owner on file with the DMV if the balance is still outstanding. This notice will give the registered owner an additional 14 days to pay the citation without additional penalties. The notice will also outline the penalty structure for the particular violation if payment is not received after the time allotted.
|(21 days + 14 days)||Original bail amount. No penalties.|
|(on the 36th day)||1st penalty assessed (double the original fine up to a maximum of $150).|
|(on the 51st day)||2nd penalty assessed, $40.|
|(on the 54th day)||3rd penalty assessed, $10. Vehicle registration on hold at DMV until citation is paid in full. Payments may be made through the City of San Rafael or at the DMV.|
Appealing a Citation
All appeals must be received in writing; verbal appeals are not accepted.
Disabled Person placard citations:
If you received a citation for parking in a disabled person parking space because you forgot to display your placard, please mail the following documentation within 35 days of the date of the violation:
- Copy of Disabled Person placard
- Copy of the placard registration document issued by DMV along with placard (this is not your vehicle registration or insurance card). Placard holder must have been present in the vehicle at the time of violation.
- Copy of placard holder's Driver’s License or photo I.D.
IMPORTANT: Valid placard and registration must have been issued before the citation date. An application for a disabled person placard is NOT a substitute for the actual placard. A valid unexpired placard must be displayed at the time of parking.
Appeals: 1st Level review:
- The appellant will receive a notification in the mail within 2 to 3 weeks after the appeal is received by the Parking Services Division. Important: If notification is not received within 2 weeks, it is the responsibility of the appellant to follow up on the status of their appeal. For information call: (415) 458-5333.
- If a hearing officer determines that a citation should be dismissed based upon the facts presented, a letter will be sent to the appellant confirming the dismissal.
Appeals: 2nd Level hearing:
- If a hearing officer determines that a citation is valid based upon the facts presented, a notice will be sent notifying the appellant that the citation was upheld and the reason. The appellant will be given two options: 1) pay the citation in full or 2) pay the citation in full and further contest the hearing officer’s judgment by requesting an in-person, written, or phone hearing. 2nd level hearing requests and/or payments must be received by the due date indicated in the notice. Important: If the appellant does not respond by the due date indicated, penalties will be added (see Penalty Structure above).
- A notice will be sent to the appellant confirming their scheduled hearing date, time, and location. Important: If notification is not received within one week, it is the responsibility of the appellant to follow up on the status of their scheduled hearing. For information call: 1 (800) 989-2058.
Appeals: 3rd Level hearing:
- If a hearing officer at the 2nd level determines that a citation is valid based upon the facts presented, a notice will be sent notifying the appellant that the citation was upheld and the reason. The appellant will be given the option of filing a Civil Case with the Marin County Superior Court system. There is a $25 filing fee. For information call: (415) 444-7000.
- The City of San Rafael’s Parking Services Division is not responsible for lost mail, USPS mail delivery inconsistencies and/or address changes. Payments and appeals are filed on the date that they are received. It is the citizen’s responsibility to notify the DMV of any address changes on their vehicle’s registration. Address information is provided to the City of San Rafael’s Parking Services Division by the DMV. This address is used to mail any correspondence to the vehicle owner unless otherwise indicated by the appellant.
- Should you neglect to pay for your parking citation (and collection is not made at the DMV releasing the hold on their registration) the outstanding balance will be reported to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for collection after 301 days. If it is uncollectable through the FTB, debt will be reported to a third party collection agency.