Contesting Des Moines Parking Tickets Successfully

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Overturning Des Moines Parking Tickets With No Lawyer

The Des Moines City Clerk’s office is composed of city employees who are appointed by the city council. Among the many duties that the Code of Iowa has assigned to them is collecting parking violation fees. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to settle or contest Des Moines parking tickets without the need for a lawyer.

Schedule of Parking Violation Fines

According to the Iowa Code Section 321.210, the parking violations are as follows:

Stopping, standing, or parking where prohibited$5
Prohibited parking - theaters, hotels, and auditoriums$5
Parking too far from curb/parallel parking$5
Parking without setting the brake$20
Parking on certain roads without parking lights$100
Parking violations$10
Misuse of wheelchair parking cone$20
Interference with a wheelchair parking cone$200
Improper use of handicapped ID parking space$200
Failure to provide persons with disabilities parking spaces or signs$200

How to Pay For a Parking Ticket in Des Moines?

If you have received a citation from the city of Des Moines, the best thing to do is to resolve it as soon as possible. Whether you plan to pay or contest the ticket, it is best to take care of it immediately. To pay for a parking violation, you may do either of the following:

  • Use Visa or Mastercard to pay online where you can easily search for outstanding parking tickets by looking for your license plate number.
  • Mail a check to the office of the city clerk addressed at:

400 Robert D Ray Dr

Des Moines, IA 50309

You may also drop cash or check at the secure drop box outside the city hall.

  • Visit the city clerk's office from Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM where you can pay by cash, check, Visa, or Mastercard.

If you believe that the parking ticket was unreasonable or issued by mistake, you may file an appeal. You have seven days from the date of the issue of the ticket to contest a citation. To do so, you need to file an online form or submit the document to the city clerk's office during business hours.

What Happens to Unpaid Tickets?

An overdue parking meter can be a headache. There is no predicting how much time you need if you have enough change in your pocket, or whether you will be able to feed the meter again on time. If you park downtown, you have a higher risk of eventually receiving a parking ticket. Although parking tickets in Des Moines are not too expensive, the consequences of late or unpaid tickets can be stressful. Here is what happens to unpaid tickets:

  1. After 30 days, the tickets will be assessed a $5 late fee.
  2. After 130 days, renewal of your vehicle;’s license plate renewal will be halted. If you need new tags, you will have to settle outstanding fees first.
  3. Vehicles with unpaid tickets are also forwarded to the Iowa Department of Revenue where the vehicle owner’s income tax refunds are put on hold.
  4. If still unable to pay, the state will charge you the standing balance on tax day.
  5. Vehicles with four or more unpaid tickets will be placed on the tow list. This means you will be charged towing and storage fees in addition to the unpaid fines to reclaim your car.
  6. Vehicle owners who live outside the state of Iowa will be fined the $5 late fee only. However, since the state cannot deduct from your taxes, your case will be forwarded to a collection agency, adversely affecting your credit score.

What to do When Your Vehicle is Towed?

Cars with unpaid parking tickets cannot be parked on any city property. Since this is illegal, it could result in your vehicle being towed away. The same is also a consequence for vehicles with four or more late unpaid parking tickets. If your vehicle gets towed, here is what you should do:

  • Settle all unpaid parking tickets, in addition to the $20 preservation fee, which you can pay by cash, Visa, or Mastercard.
  • Bring an ID and go to the city clerk's office where they will provide the release to the registered owner during business hours.
  • If outside business hours from 5 PM to 7 PM, the release will be provided by the Des Moines Police Department.
  • Bring the Vehicle Impound Release form to the towing company to claim your vehicle.

Contest Parking Tickets in Des Moines in Less Than 120 Seconds

Fighting a citation takes a lot of time and effort. You may have to lose an entire day’s opportunity to file an appeal or to attend a hearing. Having a expert to back you up can guarantee results but this also means prohibitively expensive fees.

That is where can help! We are the world’s first AI Consumer Champion and we make it fast and easy to contest citations. Gizmodo has called our AI Consumer Champion a “damn hero” having overturned more than 160,000 tickets. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to DoNotPay’s app or .
  2. Answer a few questions.
  3. The AI Consumer Champion will generate an automatic letter written specifically for Des Moines.
  4. Press ‘send’ and DoNotPay will send the letter on your behalf.

That’s it! All you have to do next is to wait a few days to receive a letter and find out the decision.

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