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Parking Quiz Answer! Are You Absolved of Parking Tickets If You Sell Your Car?

Just before lunch, this question was posed: If you've got a car with outstanding parking tickets on it but sell it, will you still be responsible for paying those parking tickets? Take the quiz and find out the answer after the jump!

A) SFMTA will not stop hunting her until they finally track her down and get your money.

B) She sold the car before SFMTA caught up to her, she is scot-free.

C) The new owner will get the bill for the tickets, and they can sue her for reimbursement.

D) SFMTA has three years from the date of issuance to collect the fees, after that she does not owe them a nickel.

E) None of the above.
Dear Alex,

It seems like selling the car is the perfect Houdini trick to make the tickets disappear, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t pass the test on Myth Busters.  And, SFMTA has seen Houdini's act before, and they've made laws so that they will never be left holding the bag.  The answer is A) 

Parking tickets follow the registered owner of the vehicle at the time that the citations were issued, and SFMTA will track her down with bloodhounds if necessary. Three pesky meter violation tickets will turn into $465 owed to SFMTA (the max amount with penalty and collection agency surcharge per ticket is $155). The next time that she is at DMV to register another vehicle or to renew her license, she will need to settle her debt before she can do that. 

And, even if she plans to never own or drive a car again (which I’m sure somebody will suggest in the comments section), I just found out today, straight from the horse’s mouth, that SFMTA is authorized to deduct any money owed them for outstanding parking tickets from a scofflaw's state income tax refund.  My advice would be to just pay it, get free and clear, make sure it is removed from her credit report if it was put on there as a bad debt, lend her your copy Finding the Sweet Spot. Then she can turn this into a positive by making it her mission to never get a parking ticket ever again, park for free most of the time, and in the long run, she’ll be the big winner.

Thanks for the kind words, and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

If you’d like to never get a parking ticket again and want your own copy of Finding the Sweet Spot, click here. Otherwise, check it out in the SF Public Library or maybe you can borrow Alex’s copy when his girlfriend is finished reading it.