Vehicle FAQs

 Q: I never owned this vehicle but I am getting parking tickets in my name.  What can I do?

 A: You should contact the parking ticket help line at 312.744.7275. They can walk you through the process of how to contest the tickets or they can review both your records and the tickets, to possibly resolve any ownership issues. You may also want to check with the Secretary of State. 

 Q: I contested these tickets by mail.  When will I get a response?  Why has it doubled?  What shall I do? 

 A: If you submitted a timely hearing contest, you will receive a hearing decision in the mail, which will be sent to the registration address for your vehicle, as recorded in the Secretary of State’s database.  You can call the parking ticket help line at 312.744.7275 to confirm timely receipt of your contest by mail.  If your request for a hearing was late, the ticket may have doubled. 

Q: I received a notice saying that as the registered owner I am responsible for the parking ticket fine. Can I have another hearing? What does this mean?

 A: The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible for any violations issued to the vehicle, regardless of who was driving.  Once you have contested the ticket, a hearing will be scheduled. If you are found not liable, no further action is required.  If you are found liable, you have 25 days from the date of decision to pay before the ticket doubles.  Additionally, you have 35 days from the date of decision to file an appeal in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Daley Center, 50 West Washington St., Room 602. Please be mindful that state mandated filing fees may apply.  

Q: Can I come in on a Saturday to have a hearing on my parking ticket?

A: No, you cannot come in on a Saturday to dispute parking tickets. Only boot and tow hearings resulting from parking tickets are heard on Saturdays, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Central Hearing Facility located at 400 West Superior St. 

Q: My license has been suspended for parking tickets.  How do I request a hearing?

A: You must submit your materials to contest the suspension within 21 days of the notice sent to you by the Secretary of State.  The challenge must be in writing and should include any documents that you wish the Department of Administrative Hearings to consider.  Mail-in your contest to: City of Chicago, Department of Administrative Hearings, Vehicle Hearings Division/DLS, 740 North Sedgwick Street 2nd Floor, Chicago Illinois, 60654. 

Q: How long do I have to pay a parking ticket before it doubles?

A: You have 25 days from the date of decision to pay the ticket before it doubles.  Additionally, if you fail to contest a ticket, you have 25 days from the date of initial default determination to pay the ticket before it doubles. 

Q: How do I get a boot hearing if my car has been immobilized (“booted”)?

A: Your vehicle may be immobilized(booted)when it has accumulated three or more final determinations of liability for parking or compliance violations. This also includes a final determination of liability for a violation of the Red Light or Bus Lane ordinances. If your vehicle has been immobilized (booted), the registered owner may appear for a hearing within 21 days. The vehicle will be towed 24 hours after the boot has been placed, so you should appear for a hearing as soon as possible.  You can request a hearing by completing a “Request for Hearing” form at any one of the City of Chicago payment/hearing locations. Your boot/tow hearing will most likely be conducted the very same day. 

Q: What do I need to bring to a “boot” hearing?

A: To assist in your hearing, you should obtain a “print out” of the violations consolidated on the booted vehicle’s license plate. This can be obtained from the Department of Revenue cashier at any of the hearing facilities, and will assist you in preparing for your hearing.  

Q: What will happen at my “boot” hearing?

A:   At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will review the immobilization (booting) to determine whether:

  1. The City sent a “Notice of the Impending Immobilization (seizure notice)” to the address you last registered with the Illinois Secretary of State for that vehicle’s license plate. You may challenge this information with evidence.
  2. The notice listed at least 3 unpaid “final determinations” of liability against that license plate or a combination of license plates listing you as the registered owner. You can review these determinations on the “printout” from the Department of Revenue. The City has the authority to consolidate violations from any vehicles owned by the registered owner under the license plate at issue.
  3. You were the owner or lessee of the vehicle at the time the tickets were issued.

You can also challenge the immobilization (booting) with evidence that:  the notice was erroneously sent to an incorrect registration address, or that all fines and penalties for the violations cited in the notice have been paid in full. If you succeed at the hearing your vehicle will be removed from the boot list. If it was booted, the boot will be removed. If the Administrative Law Judge finds that the boot was properly placed, the registered owner must pay a boot fee and all fines and penalties  owed to the City of Chicago, Department of Revenue.

Q: I have several cars in my name. If I have tickets on one of them, can the  City boot another car of mine?

 A: No. The other vehicles must have at least one ticket in final determination status that has been included on a seizure notice to be eligible for immobilization (booting). However, you should avoid putting your name as the registered owner with the Secretary of State on any car if you are simply a co-signer. 

Q: I lost my hearing. Can I appeal?

A: If you are dissatisfied with the Administrative Law Judge's decision, you can appeal in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Daley Center, 50 West Washington St., Room 602. This option must be exercised within 35 days of the Administrative Law Judge's decision.  There is no legal aid available to assist with these cases. 

Q: I lost my hearing and cannot pay the fine for my impounded car. What will happen?

 A: Within 10 days after a vehicle has been impounded, the City of Chicago must send a notice of impoundment by certified mail to the address of the registered owner listed with the Secretary of State, and to any lien holder of record. The notice must state:

  1. that the owner has the right to request an impoundment hearing; and
  2. if the vehicle is not claimed within 21 days from the date of notice, the vehicle may be sold or otherwise disposed of. The registered owner may request from the Department of Streets and Sanitation one extension of 15 days before a vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of. A 15 day extension can be requested by calling Department of Street and Sanitation at 312.746.4954, Monday to Friday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Supporting Information Facts