Can I Lose My License for Unpaid Parking Tickets?
Florida residents rely on their driving privileges to earn a living, go to school and manage their household. If you find yourself in a situation where your license is in jeopardy, you need to act quickly to correct the problem. At McShane & McShane Law Firm, P.A. in Orlando, we have been helping Floridians protect their driving privileges for decades. We offer dependable advice and effective advocacy for all license-related issues.
It is common for drivers to have their licenses suspended for unpaid traffic tickets, but can you lose your license because you haven’t paid parking tickets? Municipalities issue parking tickets, but the county courts have the authority to suspend drivers licenses for a number of reasons, including the failure to appear in court on a criminal matter. That means a town or city must issue a summons for you to appear in county court for your unpaid tickets. If you fail to appear or refuse to pay, the municipality can ask the judge to issue a D-6 license suspension. So, losing your license is theoretically possible, but other enforcement measures are likely to hit you much sooner.
Many municipalities have authorized local law enforcement to immobilize cars that have unpaid parking tickets. In Orlando, for example, Code § 39.30 authorizes police to place a “boot” on your car if you have “one (1) outstanding parking violation notice for parking in a space…for persons who have disabilities or three (3) or more outstanding…notices for other parking violations….”
Some Florida municipalities have equipped police cruisers with high-speed license plate scanners that can process the plate numbers of parked cars as the cruiser passes. This allows police to identify cars with tickets owed and then immobilize the car.
If it’s time to re-register your vehicle, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will not allow you to renew. Florida Statute § 316.1967 authorizes DHSMV to put a hold on vehicle registrations when parking tickets are owed. This will not prevent you from driving, but does expose you to penalties for having an unregistered vehicle.