US citizen with an unpaid Canadian parking ticket?

I live in Pennsylvania and in 2007 I drove to Montreal. I ended up with a parking ticket, and truth be told, I never paid it and I never heard from anyone. Fast forward, I am driving to Montreal again this summer and my car while different, has the same license plate. Am I going to come across any trouble at the border?

9 Answers

  • SteveN
    5 days ago

    Canada Border Services will not concern themselves with your unpaid parking ticket from 2007. An unpaid ticket for parking or speeding is not a criminal offense here in Canada. If you had an outstanding warrant due to a hit and run or something like that, maybe…

    By this time, that ticket may have been written off as uncollectable, or was referred to a collection agency. But if it has not been, you are basically going back to the “scene of the crime”.

    If you park legally this time, do not get pulled over for speeding or any such scenario, then there should not be any reason for the cops to be attracted to your out-of-province plate. But if they do pull you over or run the plate, since it is the same one, that old unpaid ticket may show up. If you did not pay last time, odds are good if they just give you another ticket, you won’t pay this one either. So what could happen is either the vehicle could be impounded, or they install a device called a “Denver Boot”.…

    Once that is on, you pay any outstanding fines along with late fees and court costs, or that car is not moving anywhere any time soon.

  • Alain
    5 days ago

    Bon jour from Montréal,

    You seem concerned only about the legality and possible punitive consequences of the issue. That’s unfortunate. Not that I am always a man of good conscience, but I’d pay the ticket.

    I don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion of it’s the right thing to do or was fair or not or cost too much, but it would bother my karma or whatever causes that guilty thing to my brain. — Some kind of cognitive interference.

    If I could pay a few bucks to resolve a lapse in judgment or responsibility for every time I felt pangs of guilt, I’d probably be a very poor guy, but I would pay for an old ticket and send a note saying, “Sorry this is a bit late.”

    Good luck! / Bonne chance!

  • C.M. C
    5 days ago

    LoLo, firstly, unless you show up on the screen with a red flag, boarder services do not concern themselves with a parking fine.

    When you received the parking ticket in 2007, the registration tag relates to your name when processing the unpaid fine. Should your current plate be run by one of the provincial police forces, your name will show up with outstanding payments and a possible bench warrant, then you can be arrested, and the car impounded.

    It doesn’t stop there, should you plate be run by lets say the OPP or RCMP, on a Quebec matter, they can and will hold you.

    You decide.

  • Rona Lachat
    5 days ago

    The Border Guard does not care.

    The parking People in Montreal DO. They are the Police Service You still owe the money

    Doubtful a warrant was issued . Computers have long memories.

    Suggest you just pay your ticket and this time just park where you are permitted.

    Be warned penalties have been increased almost triple since your last visit.

    Look for the Machines to Pay. The parking metre is gone.…

    5 days ago

    Edward is 100% wrong. Parking fines are not a criminal offense, and as such, aren’t relevant to issue of inter country admission.

    Customs and Immigration is a federal area of responsibility. Parking tickets are municipal. Never the twain shall meet.

  • Love.Canada
    5 days ago

    No, it only matters if your car is registered here.

    Plus some tickets are issued by private companies who find it cheaper not to pursue it.

    I had 2 speeding tickets in the states years ago, I never paid them, but I did worry about it for a while

  • Anonymous
    5 days ago

    Yes. The fact that you have outstanding fines and have absconded from the country to avoid paying (which changes it from a civil to a criminal offence), is part of your immigration record.

    You MIGHT be able to pay the fine and the nine years worth of overdue fees upon arrival, but its more likely you’ll be refused entry.

    It would be far better to contact the courts in Montreal and pay the fines before trying to enter Canada.

  • James
    5 days ago

    They will get you on unpaid parking violation, I believe is punishable by death in Canada.

  • robert43041
    5 days ago

    Amazing how that works on your mind even years later. Don’t forget your passport and travel-health insurance: indeed if you have an accident or whatever, med costs are not cheap.

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