Boot Program

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What You Need to Know About Parking Enforcement

The City of Evanston’s first step to enforce parking ordinances is to post signs and educate residents about parking restrictions. The city has a wide variety of ways that residents can keep informed about parking restrictions. For instance, in April 2012, a new alert system was launched as a street sweeping notification service. Text or e-mail notifications are sent to subscribers one to two days prior to the actual street sweeping day. Click here for more information.

All residents receive the street sweeping schedule and map in the mail before April 1 each year via the “In The Works” newsletter. The schedule and map is also included in the city’s spring/summer newsletter, which is mailed to all residents in February.

In order to avoid a ticket, be sure your state registration is up to date and your Evanston vehicle sticker is displayed before the deadline. Signs are posted in residential parking districts which require a residential parking permit or one-day visitor’s permit.

Warnings of a declared snow emergency/parking ban are available by checking the city’s homepage, tuning in to cable channel 16, signing up for the city’s E-newsletter, listening to the city’s radio channel (AM 1650), and by calling the snow hotline (847/864-SNOW) or 847/866-2917 for a 24-hour recorded message. If you prefer to receive updates through social media, follow the city on Facebook or Twitter. The city’s 3-1-1 Call Center can be reached from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. by calling 3-1-1 or 847/448-4311; hours will be extended during snow events or citywide emergencies. Visit the 3-1-1 Online Citizen Support Center.

The following information is a simplified version of information in the City Code. The City Code officially determines all procedures and policies having to do with parking enforcement.  Visit the Immobilization Program section of the City Code for additional information.

What happens after the city issues a ticket for a parking violation?

When a ticket is issued, the registered owner is given 10 days to pay the fine. The owner has 10 days from the date it is issued to contest the ticket. If the ticket is contested within the 10-day filing period, no penalties will be assessed while the case is being reviewed. Find out more information about contesting a ticket.

What are my ticket payment options?
Parking tickets may be paid by mail, in person, by phone or online. Click here for details. There are no payment plans available to pay parking tickets.

Please note that fines associated with vehicles that have been immobilized (“booted”) cannot be paid online. Only cash or credit card payments are accepted and you must contact the City Collector’s office to make payment in person or by phone at 847/448-8203.

What happens if a ticket is not paid or contested?
If the ticket is not paid by the original due date, the registered owner is mailed a second notice. The notice supplies information regarding the citation and options for paying or contesting the citation with an in-person, written or online hearing. The hearing will take place at the time indicated in the notice if payment or an alternate hearing request is not received prior to the hearing date on the notice. If the ticket is upheld in the adjudicated hearing, the registered owner has 21 days to pay the fine and applicable penalties.

Failure to pay or contest a citation within 35 days from the hearing decision may result in the matter being referred to a secondary collection agency.

Immobilization Eligibility

After a vehicle has three or more final unpaid parking tickets, a letter will be mailed to alert the registered owner that the vehicle is subject to immobilization (the “boot”). If the fine is not paid within 21 days from the date of the notice, the vehicle will be added to the immobilization list. The owner may challenge the validity of the notice by requesting a hearing within 21 days of the date of the notice and appearing in person to submit evidence which would disprove liability. Please review the City Code for documentary evidence grounds.

The City of Evanston is now using license plate recognition technology as part of their system to enforce parking ordinances, which will make it easier to identify vehicles which are eligible for immobilization (“booting”) due to unpaid parking violations. The vehicle may be immobilized (“booted”) when located on the public way or on any city-owned property.

After Immobilization

After an eligible vehicle is immobilized, a notice will be affixed to the vehicle in a conspicuous place. It will warn that the vehicle is immobilized and that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in its damage. The notice will explain the steps required to have the restraint removed and how the registered owner may obtain an immobilization hearing. If the restraint is not released within twenty-four hours after booting, the restraint will be released and the vehicle towed and impounded. Unauthorized damage or removal of an immobilization device ("boot") is a criminal offense.

After Towing

The owner of an immobilized vehicle or other authorized person may acquire the vehicle by paying the immobilization fee of $125, all fines and penalties related to the vehicle, and the fee for towing and storage. Click here for towing and storage fee information.

Within 10 days after a vehicle has been impounded, a notice of impoundment will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of the registered owner as listed with the Secretary of State. The notice shall state that the owner has the right to request a post-immobilization and post-towing hearing (see paragraph below), and that if the vehicle is not claimed within 30 days from the date of the notice, the vehicle may be sold or otherwise disposed of.

The owner of an immobilized vehicle has the right to a hearing to determine whether the immobilization or any subsequent towing was erroneous, if the owner requests a hearing with the director of administrative adjudication within 14 days after immobilization or 14 days of the date of the notice of impoundment (see paragraph above), whichever is later. Hearings requested will be conducted by an administrative hearing officer. The determination of the administrative hearing officer regarding the validity of the immobilization is final.