Starting on Tuesday, March 3, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Division of Parking Management will begin a new parking enforcement program that will make it easier for parking violators with three or more delinquent parking tickets to pay their fines on the spot without being towed. The “PayLock” system uses a vehicle-immobilizing “boot” that can be instantly unlocked once the violator pays outstanding fines using a cell phone and a credit card.
“The new self-release boot system will help Montgomery County collect payment from vehicle owners with three or more delinquent parking tickets without preventing them from picking up their kids, getting to work or keeping important appointments,” said Department of Transportation Director Art Holmes. “Instead, of returning to an empty parking space and realizing their car has been towed, residents will have the convenience of paying on the spot and, within a matter of minutes, having immediate access to their vehicle.”
Until now, Montgomery County used boots only to keep delinquent drivers from moving their vehicle before towing. To reclaim a towed vehicle, owners spent several hours or even an entire day paying fines and retrieving their car. Now, when a motorist finds their car booted, they will also find a notice on the car listing a toll-free phone number that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to the parking fines and late fees they owe, drivers will be required to pay a $115 fee to cover costs of the booting services. If the motorist pays all outstanding fines with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit or debit card and agrees to return the boot to either of two parking stores, he/she can receive the combination to unlock the boot and be on their way within about five minutes. If the driver cannot lift the 16 pound boot, a parking enforcement officer will be sent to meet them at their parking site and retrieve it.
Drivers can also pay fines with cash at the parking stores, which are located at 809 Ellsworth Avenue in Silver Spring (inside the Town Square Garage) or 4720 Cheltenham Drive in Bethesda (inside the Cheltenham Garage). Both stores are open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except County holidays.
Motorists targeted by the boot program are those who have ignored all tickets, as well as several mailed letters notifying them of their delinquency. Car owners with more than $1,500 in unpaid parking violations will continue to be towed rather than booted.
The County will use technology and services provided by PayLock IPT LLC, under their contract with the County’s parking enforcement vendor Duncan Solutions. PayLock systems are currently in use in more than 10 communities nationwide, including Baltimore, Prince George’s County, Wilmington, Delaware and Richmond, Virginia.
Any driver with outstanding parking tickets is encouraged to pay them online, by phone or in person before they are booted. Online, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov, and click on “Residents,” and then “Pay Parking Tickets.” By phone, call Parking Citation Services at 240-453-0113. In person, go to either of the Parking Stores listed above, or the County’s Treasury Division located at 255 Rockville Pike, Rockville (enter from Monroe Street), which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (except County holidays).
For more information about parking locations and regulations in Montgomery County, go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/parking.
Note to Editors: A vehicle will be booted and County staff will demonstrate the call-in process and boot removal on Tuesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. outside the Bethesda Parking Store (at Cheltenham Parking Garage), 4720 Cheltenham Drive, Bethesda.
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Media Contact: Esther Bowring, 240-777-6507
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Program Contact: Steve Nash, 240-777-8740