Contesting a Parking Citation F.A.Q.

Information on avoiding common parking citations, and Frequently Asked Questions.

Page updated on Dec 14, 2017 at 12:27 PM

Quick Guide

Common Citations and How to Avoid Them Frequently Asked Questions
Failure to display current State Inspection Sticker I've received a parking citation with which I do not agree. What can I do?
Expired meter/No meter receipt displayed How do I request an Administrative Review?
Failure to display a current City decal How do I contest a citation with the General District Court?
Parking without a current Residential Parking Permit I have a question about completing the affidavit, or would like to check the status of a pending hearing. Where can I call?
Additional Parking Facts On what days and at what times does the court hear citation cases?
What if I cannot attend the hearing date?
What happens if the parking citation I've contested with the court is upheld?

Common Citations and How to Avoid Them

Failure to display current State Inspection sticker

Upon  moving into Virginia or purchasing a new vehicle, vehicle owners have 30 days to register with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and purchase a license plate.

Every vehicle operating in Virginia must pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker. Generally, all new car dealerships perform inspections. Many garages that repair vehicles are also licensed to perform inspections and will display a large white sign with blue lettering designating them as official inspection stations. Many businesses advertise inspection services in the local phone directory. To find safety inspection stations near you, you can also contact the Safety Division Area Office for Northern Virginia by  email or by phone at 703.803.2622. The cost for a safety inspection is $16 for motor vehicles and recreation vehicles, and $12 for motorcycles.

Note: Proof of purchase does not constitute proof of display.

Expired meter/No meter receipt displayed

There is no grace period allowed after the expiration of a parking meter. Parking Enforcement Officers must cite a vehicle if the meter has expired, regardless of how much or how little time has passed since expiration.

Vehicles parked in spaces covered by the City's multi-space meters must have a meter receipt displayed on the dashboard in such a way that the date and time information is clearly visible from outside the vehicle. If a meter is broken or fails to print a receipt, the user must obtain a receipt from another meter or use Pango.

If using Pango, the City's mobile parking app, the vehicle operator is responsible for entering all information correctly, as well as starting and stopping the parking session at the appropriate times. If a citation is issued as the result of a Pango user error, the citation is valid. 

Failure to display a current City decal

Every vehicle normally parked, stored, or garaged in the City must be registered for the City's  personal property tax and display a current City decal. Upon moving into the City or purchasing a new vehicle, a vehicle owner has 30 days to register with the City, purchase a City decal, and place the City decal on his or her vehicle's windshield. The City decal must be replaced each year by November 15. Citations for failure to display a City decal or for displaying an expired decal cannot be paid until the vehicle owner provides proof that he or she has purchased a City decal. (Payment for these citations must, therefore, be submitted in person or by mail.)

Note: Proof of purchase does not constitute proof of display.

Parking without current Residential Parking Permit

In 1979, the Alexandria City Council designated certain areas in the City as residential permit parking districts. Council established these parking districts because of the increased demand for parking. The residential permit parking ordinance prohibits on-street parking for more than two or three hours during varying time periods. The City's Transportation Division posts signs in each block of the parking districts describing the time limits and hours of enforcement. Vehicles displaying the appropriate parking permits are exempt from these restrictions.

Vehicle owners who live in residential parking districts can obtain  residential parking permits at the Treasury Division, 301 King Street, Room 1510, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The vehicle owner must present proof of residency (e.g., copy of a lease) within the permit parking district for which he or she wishes to obtain a permit. This permit can only be obtained after registration for the  personal property tax and purchase of the City decal. Both the City decal and residential parking permit must be properly displayed on the vehicle. The residential parking permit must be replaced on or before the expiration date each year. As of 2010, the fee for the residential parking permit is $30 for the first vehicle, $40 for the second vehicle, and $100 for each additional vehicle.

If a resident of a residential parking permit district has a temporary rental or loaner vehicle other than the vehicle that is registered with the City, he or she must obtain a visitor's permit for the vehicle before parking it on the street. Residents may obtain temporary permits for rental/loaner vehicles or their visitors' vehicle(s) at the Treasury Division, 301 King Street, Room 1510 during regular business hours. The "Visitor" permit is valid for a maximum of 30 days. The permit is not renewable, and no more than two "Visitor" permits will be issued to the same residence at the same time. The fee for "Visitor" permits issued for more than seven enforceable days is $5.

Additional Parking Facts

  • No vehicle may be parked less than 15 feet from any corner.
  • No vehicle may be parked less than 15 feet from a fire hydrant.
  • Generally, it is illegal to park a vehicle on the City streets for more than 72 consecutive hours.
  • In time restricted parking areas, a vehicle may not remain parked within the same block beyond the posted time limit. Citations can be avoided by not parking on a block beyond the permitted time.
  • Commercial vehicles cannot be parked overnight in residential areas.
  • It is illegal to perform repair or maintenance on a vehicle parked on the street or in a public parking lot.
  • Vehicles must be parked with the right side of the vehicle parallel to the curb unless the street is designated as "one way."
  • In Virginia, it is illegal to transfer ownership of a vehicle without removing the license plates.
  • If a vehicle is booted, the responsibility is on the owner to resolve the issue.
  • Disabled parking spaces need only be marked by signs. No marking on the pavement is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Citation Questions

1. I've received a parking citation with which I do not agree. What can I do? 

If you believe your citation was issued in error, you may request an administrative review by the Parking Adjudication Office within 10 days of the issue date. Visit to see if your citation qualifies. A $10 fee may apply if the citation is upheld.

If your citation does not qualify for an administrative review but you still believe it is invalid, the registered vehicle owner may contest the citation in the Alexandria General District Court, Traffic Division, within three years of the citation issue date.

Note: If the fine is not paid, or the citation contested within 30 days after the citation is issued, a late payment fee of $25 is assessed. 

2. How do I request an administrative review?

On occasion, the vehicle owner may believe the ticket was issued in error and request the citation be reviewed by the Office of Parking Adjudication in lieu of scheduling a General District Court hearing date. If you believe your citation qualifies under one of the errors listed on, you can request an administrative review using the City's Call.Click.Connect.system.

3. How do I contest a citation with the General District Court?

Hearings must be scheduled in advance and cannot be scheduled by physically appearing at the General District Court. 

To schedule a hearing, fill out the District Court Affidavit (one for each citation contested). Hearing scheduling staff will process your request then mail you information concerning your court date. If you contest a citation, you may have to pay court costs. Request an affidavit to schedule a hearing:

You must have the affidavit notarized, and return it by mail, along with copies of the citation and your driver’s license to, City of Alexandria, P.O. Box 1423, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1423. You must return the affidavit before the court date will be entered in the Traffic Court's Docket. Once you schedule a court hearing, you forfeit your ability to prepay the ticket and your request cannot be removed or adjusted by the City’s Finance Department. 

4. I have a question about completing the affidavit, or I would like to check the status of a pending hearing, where can I call?

You may call the customer service call center at 1.866.353.0454, representatives will not be able to address specific inquiries regarding the citation or payment. 

Hearings with the General District Court

1. On what days and at what times does the court hear parking citation cases? 

Hearing dates and times are subject to the availability of the issuing officer and court, hearings are scheduled Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. If you schedule a hearing in the District Court, you will be required to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. and wait until your case is called. Please note that this does not mean that your case will be heard at 9:30 a.m., only that you must be present in court at that time. 

2. What if I cannot attend the hearing date?

If you cannot appear on your assigned court date, contact the General District Court at 703-746-4041. The Court will decide what course of action you must take. 

3. What happens if the parking citation I've contested with the court is upheld?

If the citation is upheld, you will be assessed the original fine plus any court costs, court costs are typically $63 but are at the discretion of the judge.