You're visiting another state, and you got yourself a rental car. Unfortunately you also ran out the meter, and managed to get yourself a $63 parking ticket. You might be thinking, ahhhhh, screw it. I won't be back in this state any time soon. And this isn't even my car! Do I really have to pay this stupid thing?

I recently found myself asking this question, as this happened to me. I was in California on vacation, driving a rented Toyota RAV4. My lady friend and myself parked on the street to grab a bite to eat at a Los Angeles restaurant that had good reviews. The meter accepted cards, but we also had some loose coins rattling around in our pockets, so we decided to feed them to the meter. It bought us 45 minutes, and we figured that would be enough time. It wasn't.

Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash
Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash

Our negligence led to California hitting us with a $63 parking ticket. We kinda laughed it off, thinking it wasn't really our problem. After all, the parking ticket is tied to the vehicle, not the person driving it. And we were headed back to New York the next day. I almost even threw the ticket out. But something told me I should do some research first.

According to my research, here's what happens if I don't pay the ticket: The city of Los Angeles will report the unpaid ticket to Avis Car Rental's violations department. Avis will pay the ticket, but they will then hound me incessantly until I pay them back, and they may even add some sort of processing fee for their troubles. The $63 parking ticket could skyrocket past the $100 point if I let it get out of hand.

So, in short: Do you have to pay an out-of-state parking ticket for a rental car? Yes, yes you do. But there's no law that says you can't wipe your butt with it first.

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