Getting and Paying a Parking Ticket

by Little Guy, Sunday, November 28, 2021, 11:21 (49 days ago)

This is probably boring for some, but it may be of interest to someone.

A few weeks ago, I had a rental car and I got a parking ticket. I was on Calle Vicente Guerrero between Altamirano and Morelos, northbound.

Toward the north end of the block was a no parking sign (the E with a line through it) and there were no vehicles parked at that end. I could see that there was yellow paint on the curb. At the south end of the block it looked like there might have been yellow paint in the last, but not now, there was no sign regarding parking, and there were several vehicles parked. It seemed to me like a no-brainer. I parked at the corner, in front of “Electrónica Escobar”. I went and did my banking and my shopping at the mercado.

When I returned, the was a Policía Vial car parked across the street. The guy was in the process of writing up a ticket and already had the front license plate off of the car. In my limited Spanish I pleaded my case. I apologized. I think I inadequately explained that I thought the no parking sign was for the part of the curb that was painted yellow and that it was OK to park where the other cars were parked. He wasn’t buying that and showed me the license plates from those other cars.

(I’m guessing the yellow paint and absence of yellow paint might not have the significance of “no parking” and “parking permitted”.)

I thought I might find it challenging to figure out how to pay the parking ticket. I asked him how much the fine was and whether I could pay him. He said he didn’t know how much the fine would be and said that I had to go to the police station to pay the fine.

On the parking ticket he wrote “(hoy disco)”. I hoped that meant “hoy discuento” and that if I paid today, the fine would be reduced… not that I would be forced to go to a discoteca that day!

I thought that paying it might be a problem. I had to return the rental car that day and I didn’t know how long it would take to get the plate back.

So I went to the police station. There was no where to park except in front of a restaurant on the side street Calle Pablo Neruda. The curb was painted yellow and there was a guy parked there, wearing a Policía Vial uniform, changing his windshield washer blades. I showed him my parking ticket and asked whether it was OK to park there while I paid it. He shrugged, so I took my chance.

The process for paying the ticket was a bit involved. I had to go into a parking compound, show the ticket, and some ID, and sign in. I was given a pass to wear around my neck.

I then went to one desk where a clerk wrote down my information, and I I think I had to sign in again. They pointed to a door and told me to knock. I knocked and was called in. I showed my ticket. A bill was produced for M$537.72. That seemed a bit steep to me, but I figured I would be getting the “hoy disco” when I actually paid it.

Then I was sent to another clerk to pay the bill. But the clerk didn’t have my license plate, so they wouldn’t take my money. They had someone bring more license plates over from another office and looked through them, but it wasn’t there.

He asked when I had gotten the ticket and I told them it was within the hour. He seemed surprised that I was there to pay already. They said the license plate should be there soon. (I thought, “Yeah, there goes the rest of my day.’)

But sure enough, within about 10 minutes the guy who had given me the ticket pulled in. He gave a stack of plates to someone who took them into an office. A couple of minutes later someone brought the plates to the cashier.

I paid the bill of M$537. (I wonder whether the “hoy disco” discount was the M$0.72! :) )

I was given three receipts. I had to take one back to to the person who had produced the bill. I had to give one to the person who had signed me in and given me the “visitor pass”. I kept one copy.

So all in all, not too bad of an experience. I feel a bit more like I am fitting in. So when I do buy a car and get another ticket, I’ll know what to do.

When I returned the rental car, I gave them my copy of the receipt. (I had taken pdfs of the ticket, the bill, and the receipt.) The rental car guy appreciated my having taken care of everything and giving him the original of the receipt. He said some people don’t pay the parking ticket, then the rental company has to pay it later and it costs more.

BTW, can anyone enlighten me on the “hoy disco” notation?


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