Warning about new St. Louis City Parking Meters

When you park your car in the City of St. Louis in a space controlled by an electronic payment kiosk, make sure you print a receipt, so you'll have proof if the City writes you a ticket for your unexpired meter.

We originally posted this information as a blog post on July 4, 2015, but after we discovered that the City of St. Louis is still issuing questionable parking tickets, we decide to post this warning.

March 2017 Update

On March 8, 2017, I received another bogus parking ticket while parked on Chestnut at Tucker across from the St. Louis Circuit Court Building. At 9:39 a.m. I deposited three dollars into the parking meter for two hours of parking and printed a receipt, shown below. The receipt is dated 3-8-2017 for space 2154 and expires at 11:39 am.

Parking meter receipt for space #2154
Parking meter receipt for space #2154

I returned to my vehicle to find a parking ticket which had been issued only 32 minutes after I had parked and still had close to an hour and a half left on the meter. The ticket, shown below, was issued on 3-8-2017 for space 2154 at 10:11 a.m., which was 1 hour and 28 minutes before my meter was set to expire. The license plate number is not shown for privacy reasons.

Ticket for expired meter for parking space #2154
Ticket for expired meter for parking space #2154
This was the second time that I have received an expired meter ticket when my meter was unexpired. Two years ago when I received my first ticket, the parking meter system was fairly new, but there has been more than enough time to fix whatever glitch the City of St. Louis is claiming they had. You have to wonder if the City is fraudulently issuing tickets for unexpired meters hoping people will pay the fine rather than take the time to contest them? 

I drove to the Parking Violation Bureau was at 229 North 7th Street about 11:30 am and presented my ticket and receipt and pointed out that my parking meter as I stood there was still not expired. The clerk photo copied my ticket and receipt and stated I would most likely receive a letter dismissing my ticket.

About the only time I park at meters is when I'm downtown which is not very often. However, I have received two expired parking meter tickets while parking downtown. I was originally planning to park at the Scottrade Center Lot, which is only one dollar per hour, but found a parking space directly across from the court house which was my destination. 

This appears to be yet another St. Louis City money grab, just like the unconstitutional red light camera tickets and the unauthorized $11 monthly trash collection tax that appears on St. Louis City Water Bills. 


June 30, 2015

The City of St. Louis has recently installed new parking meters systems throughout the city. The new system has central payment kiosk and the parking spaces are individually numbered. At the kiosk, you enter your space number, insert your payment and then you are given the option to print a receipt, I highly recommend you print your receipt each and every time and keep it.

St. Louis parking meter

Originally, I thought it was a good idea that you could add time to your  meter using a credit card and mobile app, but I won't be using that option since printing the receipt is the best defense against these bogus tickets.

I had a case a pending case involving the City of St. Louis before the Missouri Court of Appeals the day I received my ticket. Part of the appeal process involves securing the “legal file”, which is the collection of court orders, motions and other pleading involved in a case. On June 30, 2015, I visited the St. Louis City Circuit Court to obtain my legal file. This was my very first time obtaining and organizing a legal file, so I assumed it would take a while and put the maximum amount of time on my parking meters, two hours.

I finished and had a few minutes to spare, but when I returned to my vehicle, I was shocked to see a parking ticket for an expired meter. I checked the ticket and saw that the ticket had my license plate number and the correct number of my parking meter 2150 and then I noticed the time on the ticket was 12:15 pm and my meter didn’t expire until 12:44 pm. I still had almost a full half hour on my parking meter when the ticket was issued.

Below is a copy of my ticket and meter receipt. I covered my license plate number from the ticket, but everything else is just as it appeared on the originals. Click the photo to see an enlarged version. Effective July 1, 2015, the fine for expired meters went up from $10 to $15 dollars. Those tickets double to $30 after 22 days and triple to $45 after 45 days (see St. Louis City parking policy). Don’t forget to print your receipt whenever you park at the new St. Louis City parking meters!

scan of parking ticket and meter receipt

Fortunately, I knew the Parking Violation Bureau was at 229 North 7th Street, about six or seven blocks from where I was parked, so I immediately went there and was forced to park at another meter. I went inside handed the clerk the ticket and my meter receipt and inquired why I would have received a ticket when I clearly had plenty of time on my meter. She could offer no explanation, but made a photocopy of the ticket and receipt and told me I would receive a response most likely canceling the ticket. The City of St. Louis has allegedly targeted and harassed me in the past for publishing information they do not like and I hope this was just a glitch in a new system and not more harassment from the city. However, the timing is suspect.

Had I not had my receipt, I’m certain the City would have argued that I must have made some type of mistake; maybe I put time on the wrong meter, or was mistaken about the time my meter expired, or maybe I was lying and just trying to get out of paying. However, since I had proof, I’m sure the City will claim some sort of system glitch or that the officer made a mistake using the new equipment.


City of St. Louis Parking Meter Ordinance:

Chapter 17.62 – PARKING METERS

Chapter 17.63 – PARKING VIOLATIONS—INCAPACITATION OF VEHICLE BY CITY

Other parking and traffic related ordinances: Title 17 – VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC


Problem not fixed

Eight months after I received my ticket, the City of St. Louis was still issuing bad tickets. On February 5, 2016, KTVI, Fox 2 News, ran the story below about a flaw in St. Louis Parking Meters.

St. Louis has known about this issue since at least June 30, 2015 when I reported my issue. The question of a possible scam was raised during the news story.


Find the Lowest Cost Parking

BestParking is a search engine that allows users to find the cheapest parking rates or most convenient parking locations in a 105 cities (including St. Louis) and 115 airports. You can find parking in downtown St. Louis as low as $1 per hour and all day parking as low as $2.

Mobile apps for popular devices for BestParking are also available . To find parking location, rates and mobile app information visit:http://www.bestparking.com/st-louis-parking/

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