What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Parking Ticket in Alberta?

We are not going to lecture you on the importance of paying parking tickets. Let’s just stick to the facts.

On the matter of the consequences of parking ticket delinquency, the answer depends on who is issuing the ticket.

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in Alberta? If you don’t pay a parking ticket from a non-private entity, you can face collections, legal action or wage garnishments. If it is from a private parking agency, it is not treated as a fine, and therefore, there are no legal consequences. However, the private lot can ban you from using their services in the future.

Parking Tickets Issued by a Public/Government Body

If the parking ticket was issued by a government entity, such as provincial or municipal, it would be treated as a fine.

An example of this might be a parking violation ticket issued by the Calgary Parking Authority.

How Fines are treated in Alberta from Alberta.ca

Summary of how fines are treated

If your parking ticket is issued by a government entity in Alberta, these facts will apply:

  • Paying late will lead to late charges.
  • You must pay all fines, including parking tickets, before you are able to renew your vehicle registration.
  • Failure to pay fines can lead to collections and legal judgements. This can lead to wage garnishment and credit rating damage.

Parking Tickets Issued by a Private Entity

If the parking violation occurred in a private lot ran by a private company, the rules are different.

While they could technically attempt legal action, most of the time, it does not justify the legal fees for them to do this.

Parking tickets issued by private companies are not considered fines, so they are not backed by any laws or bylaws. These companies are legally vulnerable when it comes to parking violation collection issues.

The information in this article does not replace sound legal advice from a competent lawyer or other expert in law.

In Summary

  • Parking tickets issued by the government are treated differently than tickets issued by private parking companies.
  • Government issued parking violations are considered fines, and are treated as such.
  • Privately issued parking violations are not considered fines, and are not backed up by laws or bylaws.
  • Fines must be paid to avoid financial and legal consequences.