Parking Tickets & Appeals

jackson-simmer-AR-eJn8SCG0-unsplashGeneral Reasons 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 the City of Steamboat Springs Parking Laws. These reasons generally will not result in the violations being dismissed, or the violator being successful with a challenge.

  • Someone at the event told me it would be OK to park there - A posted sign is what should be read and followed. Event volunteers don’t always know the law.
  • I've done it for years/weeks/days and this is the first ticket I got or Everybody else does it - This is never a valid excuse for illegally parking. Nobody should be rewarded for getting away with prior violations.   Anyone who parks illegally risks receiving a parking ticket.
  • It hasn’t snowed or snow wasn’t predicted so I should be able to park overnight on the street - The weather has no bearing on this law. City snow removal often takes place when it is not snowing.
  • Leaving my car all night on the street in the winter was a better decision than driving after drinking - This is correct and a parking ticket is cheaper than a DUI. When going out, a good decision is to take the bus or a cab both ways, or have a designated driver.
  • I parked where someone just pulled out - That car might also have been ticketed. But either way, just because someone else was parked there doesn’t mean it was legal.
  • Short errands - 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 or some vehicles may have parked in that area after the officer was there, 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.

Appealing a Parking Ticket


Any person who feels that a City of Steamboat Springs parking ticket was issued in error may appeal the parking ticket by submitting this online form. Staff will not be able to discuss your case in person or over the phone.

  • You may view photos of your infraction at the ticket lookup link. Please view photos before proceeding with your appeal.
  • Appeal (and emailed photos, if any) must be submitted within 14 days from the date your ticket was issued. After 14 days, this option becomes unavailable and the fine doubles.
  • The ticket fine will not double after 14 days if you have submitted your appeal before 14 days has passed.
  • This review by the City Prosecutor requires no court appearance and will be completed within 21 days from date of appeal submission.
  • After receiving the response from the Prosecutor, the defendant will have 7 days within which to either pay the ticket, or submit a written demand to schedule a trial with the Court. After 7 days, if the defendant fails to take action, the fine will double. The City Prosecutor will respond by email and defendant is responsible for checking email and spam folder for response.

Information, Restrictions & Lots

Parking is enforced through the Steamboat Springs Police Department. Parking laws may be found in the 2020 Model Traffic Code.

Parking Information, restrictions and public parking lot locations can be found HERE