Date On My Parking Ticket is Wrong – Is this Grounds for Having it Dismissed?


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Q: I received two minor tickets recently with the wrong date on both. This would seem to be a fatal error.

If I do nothing and let them convict me, would I automatically win on appeal since the evidence is faulty? Or, if I fight it in court, is this a sure dismissal?

A: Stephen Parker of Pointts (, a traffic ticket fighting paralegal firm, replies:

Based on the limited information provided, here is a general answer.

First, how far apart are the dates? If it’s just one day, it’s probably correctible. This is why it’s important to apply for the officer’s notes in relation to the case.

If the officer testifies in court with the correct date, the prosecutor will then request to have the certificate amended to conform to the officer evidence. This is permitted under section 34 of the Provincial Offences Act.

The presiding justice may then ask the defendant if he has any comment. Absent any legitimate argument, the amendment will probably be allowed.

On the other hand, if the mistaken date wasn’t spotted and amended, then the defendant will no doubt testify that he wasn’t at that location on the date written on the tickets. Any prosecutor with any experience will then ask if he did, in fact, receive these tickets from the officer. He’d, of course, have to say yes. He’d then be asked to give the actual date he received them.

I would anticipate a further question from the prosecutor: “The day you were given those tickets by the officer, was that the same day you were stopped by this officer?” He’d have to answer that it was, and the prosecutor could then ask the court to amend the certificates to conform to the witness’s evidence.

Not so simple is it?

Where did this happen and at what court would the matters be heard? Each court has its own peculiarities as to how they deal with charges. What is the reader ultimately looking for? What was his speed? Does it involve any demerit points?

As to winning on appeal as the evidence is faulty, if a defendant fails to appear on the trial date or is otherwise unrepresented, then pursuant to section 9.1 of the Provincial Offences Act, they are deemed not to wish to dispute the charge and the presiding justice shall register a conviction after examining the certificate to ensure it is complete and regular on its face. No evidence is heard from any witness.

On that basis, the justice couldn’t know the date is incorrect as there’d be nothing to indicate it wasn’t complete and regular.

A slight error in penmanship regarding a date that is close to what it should be is not enough to automatically “throw it out.”

The bottom line is, it’s a lot more complicated than it might appear. Any person charged with a traffic offence should, before doing anything, speak to a licensed paralegal or a lawyer specializing in the Highway Traffic Act.

Eric Lai adds:

My mom once got a “psychic” parking ticket predicting the future. The next day she went to the parking tag office and told the clerk, “According to the date and time printed on this ticket, I’ll be illegally parked an hour from now.”

The ticket was cancelled.

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  1. Hi Beatmaker:
    Two years ago the City of Toronto was forced to release, the once secret, “Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines”.

    These are the guidelines which assist City of Toronto clerks who cancel parking tickets.

    In your case, you should refer to:

    1.0 Incorrect or Missing Data on the Parking Ticket
    Parking tickets may be cancelled where there is sufficient evidence to indicate that any of the
    following apply:
     No infraction indicated
     Incorrect or missing date
     Incorrect time of infraction
     Time of infraction missing
     Incorrect or missing plate number
     Plate’s Province/State missing
     Vehicle type model missing or incorrect
     Plate’s expiry month and date missing or incorrect
     Location of infraction missing or incorrect
     Infraction set fine amount missing, incorrect or changed
     Incorrect municipality or former municipality identified in ‘Contrary to (bylaw or code)’
     Parking ticket not signed
     Changes made to infraction not initialled by the Issuing Officer
    the guidelines can be accessed at the following address:

    Keep your parking ticket and if you want it cancelled, read the following:

    No More Line-Ups

    If you want to submit your parking ticket to the City of Toronto to be cancelled in accordance with the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines , rather than lining up, you can now send your ticket and any supporting documentation to the City of Toronto, either by facsimile (fax) or by email.

    Where to Send Your Toronto Parking Ticket and Supporting Documentation
    Download a copy of the Dispute Application Form or visit any of the First Appearance Parking Ticket Counters.
    Complete the form and include any relevant information or supporting documentation to support your claim.
    Submit the form and the proof by e-mail at [email protected] or by fax at 416-696-3652.

    After the City receives the fax/email/mail, they will conduct an investigation and advise the sender/registered owner of the results of the investigation either by mail/phone or email.
    Ensure that you write down your name, address and phone number, so that the City can contact you as soon as possible to provide you with the results of their investigation and to let you know whether your ticket has been cancelled or not – if it hasn’t been cancelled, then you should immediately take your ticket down to one of four locations and request a trial under Option 4 on the back of your ticket (note:you only have 15 days from the date that the ticket was cancelled). You cannot set a trial by mail.

    How Long Do I have to Wait to Find Out Whether the City has Cancelled my Ticket or Not?

    It should generally take two (2) business days. When the City has made a decision, they will contact you to inform you of their decision.

    If you have any additional questions, go to the following:

    Remember to always

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