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John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
C: (202) 253-2171

WASHINGTON, D. C. (Thursday, March 18, 2021) –– As a sign of the times, parking enforcement will resume around no-parking signs in school zones and in other parking spots in the nation’s capital next Monday. Fines will range from $25 to $1,000. Some aspects of what is dubbed “the pandemic-induced reprieve in parking enforcement” ends as clocks strike midnight on March 22. Even then parking tickets and fines will remain suspended for expired meter violations, and for expired residential parking permits. As the District’s public health emergency continues, the city will not issue tickets and fines for rush hour parking restrictions, expired District license plates and inspection stickers, or for emergency no parking violations.

Amid the pandemic, parking enforcement was also temporarily suspended elsewhere across the nation. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic crisis, the District will continue to relax much of its parking enforcement regimen. Yet ticketing begins anew for certain parking violations. Before the ticketing reset, the District implemented a grace period from Monday, March 15 through Friday, March 19. During this period, the city is issuing warning tickets. While such fines aren’t issued, the city warns: “vehicle may be relocated to a legal parking space.” No towing fees are attached to the warning tickets. All of this surceases Monday.

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of cities, including Washington, D.C., and the cities of Baltimore and Alexandria, temporarily suspended or temporally scaled-back parking enforcement. Some localities did this ‘to assist vehicle owners who were working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services,’” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Other cities did so with the goal of helping residents and businesses navigate the public health crisis. Cities, namely Los Angeles, launched a discount for the most common parking citations to ‘assist low-income individuals and individuals experiencing homelessness with outstanding parking citation debt.’”

There are 181 ways to get a parking ticket in the District. Come Monday, the Department of Public Works will recommence ticketing vehicles illegally parked near schools with no-parking signs ($25 fine).  In addition, parking enforcers will also slap pinkish parking tickets weighted with $50 fines on the windshields of non-commercial vehicles parked illegally in commercial loading zones. Ticket writers will restart safety violation ticketing for parking or stopping in or near bike lanes ($150 fine) and for parking in crosswalks ($50 fine), and near fire hydrants (fine $50). $1,000 citations will also be meted out to vehicles, 22 feet and over, such as RVs and travel trailers, illegally parked next to schools, churches, residences, and recreational parks. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the changes during her Coronavirus Situational Update, March 11, 2021.

Prior to the pandemic, motorists spent 65 hours per year, on average, searching for a precious parking space in the District. Drivers don’t have to worry about beating the meter as long as Phase 2 of reopening protocols remain in place. The District will not issue parking citations for expired meter violations or for expired residential parking permits. For the time being, the District will shake its reputation of “Boot Hill” as it refrains from booting and towing vehicles until further notice as the city’s public health emergency continues.

Under coronavirus protocols, the District will keep in place the suspension of issuing citations for vehicles that incur “emergency no parking violations.” However, vehicles in violations of such signs and parking rules, “will be relocated without charge and will not be ticketed,” as Mayor Bowser explained. The District will continue to defer the enforcement of violations for “expired District license plates and inspections tickets.”

Citation Category

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

(through 12/31/20)

Parking Citations




Photo Citations




Moving Violations




Pre-pandemic, the most common parking tickets were for invalid mobile app sessions, at $50 a pop, (165,875 tickets), $30 expired meter tickets (137,728) and $35 residential parking violations (103,629). City meter mavens issued 630,000 fewer parking citations in Fiscal Year 2020, than they handed down in FY 2019. The District issued 873,899 parking citations in FY 2020, compared to 1,467,876 parking tickets in FY 2019. Parking and traffic ticket revenue plummeted by $262 million, a quarter of a billion dollars, in FY 2020. It’s a downward slope of $144 million, compared to an eye-popping $376 million in ticket revenue in FY 2019. 

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, parking enforcement was temporarily suspended in scores of cities far and wide, such as Baltimore, Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, Vancouver, New York City, and Alexandria. Last July, the City of Alexandria resumed enforcement of residential parking zones, weekend meters, and other parking regulations. In the wake of the pandemic, the overall number of traffic and parking tickets plunged – with the notable exceptions of photo tickets – in the nation’s capital in FY 2020.

Total Citations

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

(thru 12/31/20)

Total Citations Processed




Value of Processed Tickets




In the cosmic scheme of things, the District issued approximately $1.261 billion in traffic and parking tickets, over the span of four fiscal years, in FY 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined. Maryland motorists incurred the most tickets in FY20. They defaulted paying 329,327 tickets, valued at $49.4 million.

Unpaid Citations

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021 (as of 12/31/20)

Number of Unpaid Tickets




Value of Unpaid Citations




District Residents Unpaid Tickets And Value of Fines Owed:







Maryland Residents Unpaid Tickets And Value of Fines Owed







Virginia Residents Unpaid Tickets And Value of Fines Owed:







Residents of Other Places Unpaid Tickets and Value of Fines Owed:







As a result of the suspension of parking enforcement in the District, the number of tickets issued by parking control officers plummeted about 43 percent, from 1.4 million parking infractions in FY19, to 838,000 such citations in FY20. Like the District, many municipalities across the United States, from San Francisco to  Erie, Pennsylvania, “suspended some or all parking enforcement because of COVID-19 concerns.” Nothing lasts forever. With the rollout of the vaccine, parking enforcement is resuming in many cities. 

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TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
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  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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