How to Contest

Per California Vehicle Code sections 40215 and 40230, contesting a citation is a three-tier process:

STEP 1 Request an Initial Review

This is the first step of the three-tier process, and must be requested within 21 calendar days from the date the citation was issued, or 14 calendar days from the date on the first delinquent notice.

Initial Review Process:

  • Payment is not required for an Initial Review.
  • Per California Vehicle Code section 4159, you are required by law to provide the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with a current mailing address within 10 calendar days of a change in address. If you do not notify the DMV of this change of address, you may lose your right to request an Initial Review even though the first delinquent notice was sent to your old address.
  • Per California Vehicle Code section 40204, you will not be able to contest your citation if you pay your citation without requesting an Initial Review within the statutory time limit.
  • ** Once a decision is rendered, you CANNOT request another Initial Review of the same citation. If you are not satisfied with the decision rendered, you may further contest your citation by requesting an Administrative Hearing.

A request for Initial Review can be made by one of the following options:
Please clearly state the reason(s) that you feel the citation(s) were unfairly issued and it will be used as the basis for your contest. Upon completion of the review, a decision will be rendered, and you will be notified of the result via mail.

1. Online
Request an Initial Review online.

2. By Phone (8am-5pm Mon.-Fri.)
(866) 561-9742
(213) 623-7046 TTY

3. In Person (4 locations)

   Downtown – 312 W 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

   Mid-Wilshire – 3333 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 3337, Los Angeles, CA 90010

   Van Nuys – 6309 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 103, Van Nuys, CA 91401

   West Los Angeles – 1575 Westwood Blvd., Suite 100B, Los Angeles, CA 900244

 

4. By Mail (Download and submit an Initial Review Form)

 

Parking Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 30247
Los Angeles, CA 90030

 

Things to know about an Initial Review:

  • An Initial Review may also be referred to as an Administrative Review.
  • The Initial Review is conducted by LADOT. Once an Initial Review is requested, a temporary suspension is placed on any further collection activities until the review is completed.
  • Based on the information provided to LADOT, we will determine if there is sufficient proof to rule that:
    o Violation did not occur
    o Registered owner was not responsible
    o If there were extenuating circumstances
    o Click here for a list of documentation you may wish to consider submitting.
  • LADOT will send written notification regarding the outcome of the review to the address provided.
  • If the Initial Review finds that the citation is “Valid” the customer will be notified by mail that they may request an Administrative Hearing either in person or by written declaration.
  • The intention of an Initial Review is to determine whether a citation is valid under parking regulations. For example, a citation was given for parking during street sweeping. Street sweeping hours are 7 am – 9 am Tuesday, the citation was written at 9:04 am. The citation would be found invalid.
STEP 2 Request an Administrative Hearing

If you are not satisfied with the results of the Initial Review, you may request an Administrative Hearing. You must request the Administrative Hearing within 21 calendar days from the mailing date of the Initial Review decision. Once those 21 calendar days have passed, you are no longer entitled to an Administrative Hearing.

State law requires that you pay all fines owed on the citations before you request an Administrative Hearing. If the Hearing Officer rules in your favor, you will be issued a refund within 30 days of the date of the Hearing Officer’s decision.

You may request a Pre-Payment Waiver if you meet the “very low-income” criteria as noted in the HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) guidelines.

  • A request for a Pre-Payment Waiver can be made by telephone at (866) 561-9742 or mail a completed waiver request form to: Parking Violations Bureau P.O. Box 30420 Los Angeles, CA 90030
  • This Pre-Payment Waiver does NOT cancel your fine. It simply allows you to attend a Hearing without first paying the fine required by state law. If your citation is found to be valid, you must still pay the fine.
  • You will be required to provide detailed income information as part of your Pre-Payment Waiver request. The Parking Violations Bureau will consider all forms of income, while determining your eligibility for the waiver.
  • If your Pre-Payment Waiver is approved, the City of Los Angeles will allow a Hearing without an initial payment of the parking penalty.
  • If your Pre-Payment Waiver request is denied, the parking penalty must be paid for the Hearing to proceed. If not paid timely, you will no longer be entitled to an Administrative Hearing.
  • You will be notified whether or not you have been granted a waiver by mail. You must then request that a Hearing be scheduled.

You may either request an in-person Hearing or a Hearing by Written Declaration. For written declarations you must submit your written reason for contesting the citation and ALL evidence to support your case. You need not be present. For more information, please download the Hearing Request Form.

  • Per California Vehicle Code section 40215(b), only ONE rescheduling is allowed.

 

There are three (3) convenient Hearing Office locations:
Downtown Los Angeles
201 North Los Angeles Street,
Mall Space #21,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Van Nuys
14553 Delano Street Room #212,
Van Nuys, CA 91411

West Los Angeles
1575 Westwood Blvd Suite 100A,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

 

A request for an Administrative Hearing can be made:
1. Online
Request an Administrative Hearing online.

2. By Phone (8am-5pm Mon.-Fri.)
(866) 561-9742
(213) 623-7046 TTY

3.In Person (4 locations)

   Downtown – 312 W 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

   Mid-Wilshire – 3333 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 3337, Los Angeles, CA 90010

   Van Nuys – 6309 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 103, Van Nuys, CA 91401

   West Los Angeles – 1575 Westwood Blvd., Suite 100B, Los Angeles, CA 90024

 

Within 15 days of receipt of your request for an in-person Hearing, you will receive a confirmation letter with the date, time, and Hearing location.

4. By Mail

Parking Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 30247
Los Angeles, CA 90030

When requesting an Administrative Hearing, you may also submit additional supporting documentation and/or evidence to be reviewed.

STEP 3 Appeal

You have the right to appeal a final decision within 30 days from the dated letter of the Hearing Examiner’s decision.

Per Section 40230 of the California Vehicle Code, if you are dissatisfied with the results of the Administrative Hearing, you may appeal the decision at Superior Court (**Small Claims Court is the wrong place to file a parking citation appeal).

  • You must request an appeal within 30 days of the Hearing Officer’s decision. You may NOT skip the Initial Review or Hearing proceedings and file immediately for a Superior Court ruling.
  • You must file for the appeal at the Superior Court, Limited Jurisdiction – PARKING CITATION APPEALS. Stanley Mosk Courthouse is the Superior Court in Los Angeles County where you may file a parking citation appeal.
  • There is a filing fee per citation required by the Court, which will be refunded to you, if the Court rules in your favor.
  • If you need a Pre-Payment Waiver for the court fee to attend the Hearing, you may request a waiver directly from the Superior Court. However, if the Superior Court upholds the citation, payment is due within 30 calendar days of the date on the Notice of Decision. Late penalty fee(s) will be applied if payment is not received timely.
  • You also need to present the written Administrative Hearing decision at the time the appeal is filed. The written Administrative Hearing decision is submitted as evidence for the court appeal.

PROCESS

Contest a Parking Citation

Adjudication Logic Infographic