7 months of Seattle parking tickets will be voided, refunded due to lapse of authority for issuing tickets

The city of Seattle said that seven months-worth of parking tickets will either be canceled or refunded due to lapsed authority by the city to issue those tickets.

The city will be mailing notifications to those who received eligible non-moving parking tickets from Sept. 1, 2021 through April 5, 2022. 

The mail notifications will state:

  • If you received a parking ticket from September 1, 2021 through April 5, 2022, you do not have to pay your ticket; these tickets have been canceled. No further action is needed.
  • If you paid a parking ticket issued from September 1, 2021 through April 5, 2022, the City will refund the amount paid, automatically. If the original payment was made using a credit card using the Municipal Court’s website or automated telephone system, the refund will be charged back to the corresponding credit card. For all other payments, a check will be issued and mailed to the best address on record. You should expect to receive a refund within 60 days of the public announcement.

Traffic tickets are not included in this refund. You can see if your tickets are eligible here.

According to The Seattle Times, during this period, parking officers had not been granted the authority to write citations.

This refund will cost the city of Seattle nearly $5 million, according to The Seattle Times. More than 200,000 parking tickets will be eligible for voiding or refunds. 

The lapse in authority comes from a switch made in September of 2021, where parking enforcement was transferred from the jurisdiction of the Seattle Police Department to the Seattle Department of Transportation. 

Since that transition, the officers under SDOT were not granted "special commission" status needed to issue those tickets.