|Pay for a Parking Citation||Failure to Pay||Sold Vehicles||Correctable Violations|
Parking CitationsParking violation notices (parking citations) for minor parking infractions are issued within the City of San Marcos by San Marcos Parking Enforcement Officers, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Senior Volunteers on behalf of the City of San Marcos, as well as by the City Code Compliance Officers, and Park Rangers. Minor parking violations are not considered criminal infractions; they are treated as civil offenses. Accordingly, the criminal court system does not hear parking matters. The City of San Marcos processes parking citations issued by the City.
Appealing a parking citation
There are three levels of review/appeal for a parking citation. Each step in the process must be taken in order and initiated within strict timeframes. No step can be skipped in favor of jumping to another step.
Step One – Administrative Review
To contest a parking citation, you must request an administrative review of the citation by the City within 21 calendar days from the issuance of the citation.
Requests for an administrative review may be made by calling the City's Parking Administration at 760.744.1050, ext. 3179; in writing; or in person at City Hall. Please complete the Initiation of Administrative Review form and return it with any other applicable proof and a check or money order for the amount of the fine to: San Marcos Parking Administration, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069-2918. You must pay the fine before the hearing can be scheduled.
The administrative review is performed by City Parking Administration staff. There is no fee to request an administrative review. You will be notified in writing of the City's determination within 30 calendar days from the date the City receives the request for administrative review. Please provide a valid return address in the Request for Administrative Review form (include suite number, apartment, zip code, etc.)
If the citation is dismissed by the City, the matter is resolved. If the citation is upheld by the City, you must either pay the applicable fine noted in the citation and/or move on to Step 2 in the appeal process and request an administrative hearing.
Step Two – Administrative Hearing
If you are dissatisfied with the results of the administrative review and wish to contest the decision, you must request an administrative hearing within 21 calendar days following the mailing of administrative review determination.
Requests for an administrative hearing may be made by calling the City's Parking Administration at 760.744.1050, ext. 3179; in writing; or in person at City Hall. Please complete the Initiation of Administrative Hearing form and return it with any other applicable proof and a check or money order for the amount of the fine to: San Marcos Parking Administration, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069. You must pay the fine before the hearing can be scheduled.
The administrative hearing is performed by a neutral, third-party hearing officer, and will be held within 90 calendar days from the date the City receives the request for an administrative hearing. You may attend the hearing in person, or by providing a written declaration to the City, which will be given to the hearing officer at the administrative hearing. You will be notified in person or by writing of the hearing officer's determination within 30 calendar days from the date of the administrative hearing.
If the citation is dismissed by the hearing officer, you may consider the matter resolved and the City will refund the amount of the fine to you. If the citation is upheld by the hearing officer, you move on to Step 3 in the appeal process and request an appeal to the Superior Court.
Step Three – Superior Court Traffic Division
If you are dissatisfied with the results of the administrative hearing, you may appeal the citation to the Superior Court. Any appeal to the Superior Court must be filed within 30 calendar days following the mailing of the administrative hearing determination.
You are responsible for paying the $25.00 filing fee to the Superior Court to appeal the citation. If the citation is dismissed by the Superior Court, the matter will be resolved and the City will refund the $25 filing fee, together with the amount of the fine to you. Click here fore more information on how to file an appeal with the Superior Court.
If you do not appeal the citation to the Superior Court within 30 calendar days following the mailing of the administrative hearing determination, the administrative determination becomes final.
Citation payment information is also available on the back of every printed parking citation.
- *Pay On-line: You will need the Parking Citation Number.
*Note: if your citation number starts with the letters “SM” you will have to pay by mail or in person.
- Pay by Mail
Mail to the address on the back of the citation or to
San Marcos Parking Administration
1 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 100
San Marcos, CA 92069-2918
Mail check or money order only, payable to City of San Marcos. DO NOT SEND CASH. Include your citation with your payment or write the license plate number on your check or money order. There will be a $25 service charge for retuned checks.
- Pay in Person
City Hall, 1st Floor Cashier Window
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
7:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday-Friday (closed alternate Fridays)
Accepted forms of payment: cash, check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover
Avoid late charges
Do not wait until the due date to mail your payment. Payments are applied using the official postmark date provided by the Post Office. There is no grace period and there are no exceptions.
Failure to pay
If a parking citation is not paid within the specified time frame, the City will proceed to take actions that will result in the citation being reported to the DMV.
If your vehicle was sold prior to when the citation was issued, you should:
- Write a letter or fill out the Request for Administrative Review
- Provide the name and address of the person whom the vehicle was sold to
- Provide a copy of the bill of sale and/or the DMV notice of transfer and release of liability
- Provide a copy of the parking citation
Correctable ViolationsIf you were issued a citation for one of the following violations, you must provide valid proof of correction within the timeframe specified on the citation or notice.
- 5200A CVC missing or improperly displayed license plates
- 5204A CVC missing, expired or improperly displayed registration tabs
- 4000A CVC registration required
Please take your citation and the vehicle to one of the agencies below to have it validated (signed-off) by an officer of the agency:
There is a correction fee due of $10.00 along with the signed-off citation. We also require that you submit a photo of your license plate with valid registration tabs displayed. To correct citations issued for 4000A CVC, you must provide proof of valid registration issued prior to the date of the citation. Mail the correction fee, signed-off citation, and photo of your license plate to:
San Marcos Parking Administration, Ste. 100
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069-2918.
Do not send cash. Make check or money order payable to San Marcos Parking Administration. NOTE: Any fees paid at the Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, or Police Station for getting the citation signed off does not include the City of San Marcos $10.00 correction fee.
- 22507.8 CVC failure to display disabled persons parking placard
The requirements for disabled parking zones as specified in the Vehicle Code are very stringent. The placard must be displayed on the rearview mirror. There are no exceptions for parking in a disabled space without a valid placard. Parking in crosshatched areas adjacent to disabled zones is strictly prohibited even if you have a disabled persons parking placard or disabled person license plates.
If you were issued a citation for failure to display your disabled persons parking placard you must show proof that you had been issued a valid placard at the time the citation was written.
| 1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3179