If you receive a parking ticket in Fargo, you can pay for it at the Auditor's Office collections window on the second floor of City Hall at 200 3rd Street North. These tickets may also be paid for at our online payment center. For your convenience, after hours payments may be deposited in the drop box outside City Hall at the southeast corner of the building. These payments will be processed the next business day.
Parking fees must be received and processed in the Auditor’s Office within 15 days or a $5 penalty will be added to the amount due and the vehicle may be subject to impound. Fees may be paid by cash, check, money order or credit card. Parking ticket appeal forms may be obtained at the Fargo Police Department.
Unpaid parking tickets will be sent to a collection agency for further processing.
Appealing a Parking Ticket
Any person who feels that a City of Fargo parking ticket was issued in error may contest the parking ticket by filling out a city notice of appeal form. A paper copy of the form is available at the Fargo Police Department, 222 4th Street North.
All persons receiving a citation have a right to appeal within five days of receiving the ticket. To file an appeal, complete the form. The administrative review involves no court appearance. The appeal will be reviewed within five days by a Fargo Police Department sergeant. If the administrative review is denied, you are obligated to pay the fine noted on the ticket within five days of notice of denial. You will only be notified if this appeal is denied and, in that case, the $5 penalty still becomes effective 15 days after the date the ticket was issued.
Municipal Court Appeals
If this appeal is denied, the owner or person in possession of the vehicle may request a hearing in Fargo Municipal Court. This is done by posting a bond with the Clerk of Court in the amount equal to the amount of the parking ticket. The Clerk of Court will provide notice of the time and place of the hearing.
NDSU parking tickets
If your parking ticket was issued by NDSU police, please visit the university's appeal Web page.
General reasons that violations won't be dismissed
Below are some commonly listed reasons given for violating parking regulations. While these reasons may seem valid to the violator, they do not address City of Fargo Ordinances. These reasons generally will not result in the violations being dismissed, or the violator being successful on appeal.
No errand, no matter how short or how important to the driver, is an acceptable excuse for illegal parking. A short errand is a very common excuse. It is not a valid reason for illegal parking.
"I was late for business or personal appointment"
Being late does not permit the driver the privilege of parking illegally.
"There was no other place to park"
It is driver’s responsibility to locate legal parking.
"I didn't see the sign" or "I didn't understand the sign"
Drivers are required to look for signs when parking. Saying that you did not see a sign preventing parking is not an acceptable excuse.
"Only part of my car was illegally parked"
A violation is not based on a certain percentage of the vehicle being illegally parked. If part of the vehicle extends into a restricted area, the violation is the same as if the entire vehicle encroached.
"I left someone in the car"
"I left my parking lights on (or blinking)"
"I left a note on the car as to my whereabouts"
"I left the motor running"
The purpose of parking regulations is to restrict vehicles from certain places. The presence of a passenger, a note or blinking lights does not satisfy this purpose and does not constitute a valid reason to dismiss a violation.
"It was only a few minutes"
This explanation is one of the most common claims. Even if true, parking in a prohibited area is still a violation.
"Nobody else got a ticket"
Sometimes this excuse is raised as discriminatory enforcement. The officer may have had to leave the area before checking all the vehicles, however, a parking citation stands on its own.
"Someone else had my car; I wasn't even driving it"
The registered owner has joint responsibility with the person driving his or her car. Unless it can be shown by the registered owner that the car was driven without permission, the registered owner, renter or lessee is responsible for a parking citation.
"The violation was not enforced in the past"
This normally is not the case, however, inadequate staffing or other priorities may give rise to violations not being enforced continually; however, apparent failure to enforce parking laws does not constitute a valid excuse for illegal parking.
"I've done it for years" or "Everybody else does it"
This is never a valid excuse for illegally parking. Nobody should be rewarded for getting away with prior violations.
Towing and Impound
The Fargo Police Department impounds vehicles for several reasons:
- Vehicles are often impounded when they are determined to be abandoned. By city ordinance, a vehicle which is parked on a city street in excess of 48 hours without being driven is deemed abandoned and may be impounded.
- Vehicles which have two or more delinquent parking tickets are eligible to be impounded.
- Vehicles which block or otherwise endanger or impede traffic are subject to being impounded. This includes vehicles commonly referred to as "snowbirds." These are vehicles which are left parked on the streets after winter storms and inhibit the removal of snow from the city streets.
- The police department may impound a vehicle when the driver is under arrest, when the vehicle is going to be searched or when the vehicle itself is evidence of a crime.
The police department often places a warning tag on vehicles or attempts to contact the registered owner when impounding abandoned vehicles, or vehicles found to be impeding or blocking traffic. This is a courtesy and is not required by ordinance. Based on individual circumstances, some impounds may occur without advance warning and failure to provide a warning will not normally result in the city waiving the impound or storage fee. The Inspections Department may also have your vehicle towed for illegal parking on private property after proper notice.
Locating and retrieving your vehicle
Border Cities Towing is the city's contracted towing service. All vehicles impounded under the authority of the police department are stored at the city-owned impound lot located at 715 17th Street North. You can contact Border Cities Towing Service at 701-280-0620 to arrange for the return of your vehicle. Border Cities is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Border Cities Towing employees will provide you with all the necessary information to get your vehicle returned. This information will often include impound and storage fees, directions to the impound lot and any additional paperwork you might need, such as driver's license, registration, title, proof of ownership and insurance information.
The standard towing fee is $100 with an additional $10 release fee. A $20 per-day storage fee is charged with the exception that no storage fee is accrued on either the first day of storage or the day of release. Additional charges may be incurred depending on the size of the vehicle towed or whether additional equipment was used to tow the vehicle. All fees must be paid prior to the release of the vehicle. The fees will include all towing and storage fees as well as any outstanding parking tickets and late fees.
Appealing the Impound
After speaking with the employees at Border Cities Towing, if you have questions as to why your vehicle was impounded or wish to contest the impound, you may contact the Office of Professional Standards and Internal Affairs at the Fargo Police Department (701-476-4189). The assigned sergeant will investigate the reason the vehicle was impounded and has the authority to waive or reduce towing costs and storage if the vehicle was determined to be unfairly impounded or if other mitigating or extenuating circumstances exist. Vehicle owners who are not satisfied with the decision of the Office of Professional Standards and Internal Affairs may pursue civil action.
Towing After Accidents
The police department does not tow vehicles from accident scenes unless the department has a reason as described above (abandoned, blocking traffic, driver under arrest, etc). However, if the vehicle is not drivable or the owner is not able to drive due to injury, we will contact our towing service or a towing service of the owner's choice for a private tow. Private tows will result in the towing service either towing the vehicle to a private lot or to a location the owner specifies for a fee. Often your insurance company will either pay this fee outright or reimburse the owner for the cost. Please check with your insurance company to see when they pay for towing.
If you have an abandoned vehicle or other parking concerns on your street, please contact the Red River Regional Dispatch Center at 701-235-4493. Learn more about the regulations for junk and abandoned vehicles in our neighborhood problems section.