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Different provinces have different parking rules. Now, whether you didn’t read the signs or you forgot to move your car, getting a parking ticket can be annoying and expensive. Receiving multiple parking tickets can become an even worse financial burden, especially if you live paycheque to paycheque.

Which province is the worst for parking tickets in Canada? Can you lose your drivers licence if you don’t pay a parking ticket? What happens to your credit score if you don’t pay your ticket? Read this for more details about parking tickets in Canada and what you can do about them.

How Much Is A Parking Ticket In Canada?

In Canada, parking ticket rules vary according to several elements, like the province, municipality, and zone where the infraction takes place. So, before you park anywhere, it’s important to read any signs nearby and understand how things work in that area.  


In Ontario, parking tickets can lead to different fine amounts based on factors like:

  • How much time a meter has expired by
  • If you park in a no stopping or no parking zone
  • If you park in an accessible spot without a proper permit
  • If you park too close to a fire lane or fire hydrant 

Depending on the infraction, here’s how much you could pay in Ontario’s main cities:

  • Toronto = $30 – $450
  • Ottawa = $30 – $450 
  • Mississauga = $30 – $400
  • Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge = $20 – $400 
  • Hamilton = $24 – $350

For example, in Ottawa, the cheapest set fines you can get are $60 for infractions like parking on a municipal lot in a loading zone. That fine will be reduced to $40 if you pay your ticket within 15 days (early payment). You can pay up to $450 (or $350 for early payment) for parking in a space reserved for the physically disabled without a permit.  

How To Dispute It

In Ontario, you can dispute a parking ticket within 15 days of receiving it. The process varies by city, so check with your municipality to find out the required steps. You cannot request a trial online. To ask for a trial, follow the instructions on the back of your ticket.  


In Alberta, parking tickets issued by a government entity (provincial or municipal), are treated as fines. No matter which authority gives you the ticket, these rules will apply:

  • Paying late will result in additional charges.
  • All fines must be paid before you can renew your vehicle registration. 
  • A parking ticket issued on a private lot, by a private company, has different rules.
  • Failing to pay fines can lead to debt collections penalties and legal judgments, including wage garnishment and damage to your credit rating.

In cities like Calgary, parking tickets can be around $70 to $300, based on the offence.  

How To Dispute It

Alberta parking ticket rules vary by city. For example, the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) gives you up to 30 days to pay or dispute your ticket. It uses a three-tiered system for parking fines, the only one of its kind offered by a major city in Alberta: 

  • Tier One = Paying within 10 days results in the lowest possible fine
  • Tier Two = Paying between 10 and 30 days results in the next highest fine
  • Tier Three = Paying after 30 days results in the specified penalty 

Check your parking ticket to see if there’s a link to review photos and/or videos of your infraction. If you dispute it, a prosecutor will review your submission and the evidence of the infraction prior to making a decision. To submit a dispute in Alberta, you will need:

  • A valid email address
  • Information/evidence as to why your ticket(s) should be reviewed        


According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), drivers have up to 30 days to pay or contest a parking ticket in all major cities in Quebec. Citizens must pay their fines to retain their driving and operating privileges. If you fail to pay a fine, the SAAQ will be notified and your privileges will be withdrawn until your debt is settled. 

In cities like Montreal, a basic parking ticket will cost you $60 to $70, while more severe infractions, such as parking in a spot reserved for the disabled, may cost you over $270.  

How To Dispute It

In Montreal, you can dispute a parking ticket as the owner or long-term lessee of a vehicle by entering a plea of “not-guilty” on the ticket and submitting it to the SAAQ online, by mail or email, or in-person. If applicable, make sure to provide explanations and proof related to the offense. Soon after, you’ll receive a notice of hearing in the mail.  

British Columbia

The Provincial Court of British Columbia can issue several types of parking tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act, which range greatly in cost from basic to more severe fines. In Vancouver, the lowest fine is around $25 for an expired meter and the highest is about $450 for parking in an accessible spot, like a handicap space, without a permit. 

Fortunately, BC drivers are given up to 35 days (one of the longest grace periods of any province in Canada) to pay a parking ticket and avoid further penalties.  

How To Dispute It

Although drivers have up to 35 days to pay a parking ticket in BC, most major cities only give you up to 14 days to dispute one, which you can do by mail, online, or in-person. The adjudication process involves various steps and can take 2 to 3 months to finalize.    


According to Manitoba Justice, residents have 3 options when issued a parking ticket:

  • Admit to the infraction and pay the fine listed on the ticket
  • Admit to the infraction but request a lower fine or more time to pay it
  • Dispute the charge and request a court hearing 

The response period varies based on the city and infarction type but will appear at the bottom on the ticket. Infractions committed under the Provincial Offence Act, Highway Traffic Act, and parking tickets are not eligible for Manitoba’s Fine Option Program. In Winnipeg, early payments can be made within 14 days of a parking ticket being issued.   

How To Dispute It

If you wish to dispute a parking ticket, request a hearing, or plead guilty but ask for a fine reduction, call the Provincial Offences Court toll-free at 1-800-282-8069 during the response period on your ticket. If your ticket was issued in Winnipeg, go to the Highway Traffic Matters building (at 373 Broadway) or call 204-945-3156 to plead your case.   


In Saskatchewan, you have 3 different options when issued a ticket (a.k.a. certificate of offense) under an act included in the Summary Offences Procedure Act, 1990:

  • Pay the ticket
  • Talk to the judge or Justice of the Peace about the ticket
  • Please guilty and go to trial over the ticket 

If you do not pay a parking ticket, you (the registered owner of the vehicle) will receive a summons to Provincial Court in the mail, approximately 4 weeks after getting the ticket.       

How To Dispute It

In major cities like Regina, drivers have up to 14 days of getting a parking ticket to pay it early. To dispute a ticket, contact the local registrar of Saskatchewan Court of King’s Bench at 306-933-5135 for information on the appeal process. This process may also be available online or by post. Any costs related to the appeal are your responsibility.   

Newfoundland & Labrador

If you have been issued a parking ticket in Newfoundland & Labrador, you can pay or contest it through the province’s Justice and Public Safety department via their Fines Administration Division. According to Newfoundland Regulation 1997, the minimum fine is around $12 to $50 for the average parking ticket, which is lower than other provinces.    

How To Dispute It

To contest a ticket in NL, fill out the information on your copy and send it to the Supreme Court. If you provide the right contract details, you’ll be notified of a time and place of your trial. Be warned that if you fail to appear at this trial, it will proceed without you. 

Additionally, there is a 30 day appeal period to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Trial Division) for decisions of the Traffic Court. If unforeseen but acceptable circumstances occur, the Supreme Court may grant you an extension of this time.  


In Prince Edward Island, parking violation rules also vary according to municipality. For example, a parking ticket issued in Charlottetown must be paid or disputed toward the Charlottetown City Police. Meter violations will be reduced to $10 if you pay them within 7 days of issuance, with the exception of Disabled or Blocking Sidewalk violations. 

How To Dispute It

To contest a parking ticket in PEI, you can appear before a Justice of the Peace at your city’s Provincial Courthouse during working hours to enter a not-guilty plea. A time and date will then be set for your trial (not on the day you enter the plea). In cities like Charlottetown, you may have to fill out a parking violation dispute form with the police.  

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has a variety of rules concerning parking tickets issued under the Motor Vehicle Act. In Halifax, the average parking ticket is about $35 – $150 and most are due 60 days following issuance. After that point, payment must be made toward a Provincial Courthouse in your area (rather than the Halifax Regional Municipality).  

How To Dispute It

In Halifax, you have up to 14 days to dispute a parking ticket by requesting an administrative review for a number of violations. Appeals can be filed online, by mail, or in-person and it may take 7 – 14 business days for Parking Services to inform you of the outcome. Tickets issued on private property cannot be reviewed by Parking Services.   

New Brunswick

In New Brunswick’s largest cities, such as Saint John, parking fines are based on the specific infraction and normally rise the more time passes from the date of issuance. The average ticket varies from $20 to $125 if you pay it within 15 to 30 days:

  • Approximately 17 days after issuance, you’ll receive a reminder of the ticket
  • About 30 days after issuance, you’ll receive summons to appear in traffic court
  • Further hearings and consequences may occur if you fail to appear in court    

How To Dispute It 

You can file a Notice of Dispute with the court indicated on your ticket. This notice is available online or from any provincial court or Service New Brunswick location. You must deliver it to the court office (by mail, email, fax, or in-person) on or before the response due date. The court staff will then set a date and time for your hearing.    

What Happens If You Can’t Afford To Pay The Parking Ticket?

As you can see, parking tickets are pricey in some areas of Canada, especially if you can’t afford them due to your other bills or debts. Nonetheless, it’s best to pay a parking ticket, sooner rather than later, to avoid any further legal or financial repercussions. 

What Happens If You Don’t Pay The Parking Ticket?

If you don’t pay a parking ticket on time, no matter the reason, the consequences vary based on the province and city where you received it. For instance, Ontario law gives you 15 days to pay your fine, make submissions about the ticket, or contest it in court. 

Some cities even offer incentives for you to pay your ticket early, such as reduced fees. However, if you don’t do any of those things within 15 days, you’ll get a reminder in the mail, shortly before your information is sent to the Ministry of Transportation. If you keep avoiding your ticket, the repercussions may only get more expensive and problematic.       

Can A Parking Ticket Affect My Driving Record?

Luckily, no matter how many parking tickets you receive, they will not affect your driving record or result in demerit points, because they are not considered moving violations. 

Can You Lose Your License Over Unpaid Parking Tickets?

Failing to pay parking tickets cannot lead to the suspension or loss of your driver’s license either. On the other hand, it can prevent you from renewing your license or getting your plate stickers, so you must pay all fines before you can do those things. 

Can Parking Tickets Affect Your Credit Score?

Yes! If you have enough outstanding parking tickets, your municipal traffic authority may send them to collections, which will cause them to show up on your credit report. Every city in Canada has a different process when dealing with the debt from parking tickets. 

Can Parking Tickets Affect Your Insurance?

No. Unpaid parking tickets do not affect your car insurance policy or premium either. 

Where Can You Pay For A Parking Ticket?

Once again, this depends on the regulations of the city where you received the parking ticket. However, if you want to pay a parking ticket, you’ll generally have four options:

  • By Phone – On the back of your parking ticket, you should find a phone number where you can contact a designated office in your area for further instructions. 
  • By Post – You can also pay a parking ticket by mailing a cheque to your local traffic authority. Make sure to account for postal times if you want to pay early.   
  • In-Person – Your city may have several counter locations where you can pay a parking ticket in-person. Some tickets can be paid at your financial institution too.  
  • Online – Nowadays, most parking tickets can also be paid directly on your city’s parking violation website with an approved credit card, like a Visa or Mastercard.

Keep in mind that many cities will charge processing fees and applicable taxes when you pay parking tickets. For example, in Brampton (Ontario), you’ll normally be subject to a fee of $1.50 or $2.50 when you pay a parking ticket online or over the phone.     

Dealing With A Parking Ticket In Your City?

In that case, it’s best to pay it right away and avoid any legal or financial consequences, which may only get worse the longer you wait. While your license won’t be taken away and your insurance rates won’t go up, letting a parking ticket go unpaid can eventually ruin your credit score and prevent you from driving legally, so make sure to act responsibly.    

Parking Tickets In Canada - FAQs

Can my license be suspended for unpaid parking tickets?

No. Your driver’s license cannot be suspended for unpaid parking tickets in Canada but they can stop you from renewing your license or obtaining your license plate stickers.    

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in BC?

In British Columbia, you have up to 35 days from the date of issuance to pay a parking ticket. If you don’t pay the ticket by then, your information will be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and they will charge you a late fee. After that, you won’t be able to renew your license or get your plate stickers until you’ve paid all outstanding fines against you.    

What is the fine for parking in a handicap spot?

It depends on the city where you got the ticket. For instance, parking in a spot reserved for the physically disabled, without a permit, can lead to a ticket of up to $450 in Ottawa. Other cities charge around $300 to $500 but you can get reduced fines by paying early.   
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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