February 25, 2024
Wilmington City Council Approves Ordinance to Reduce Parking Fines for Early Payments

December 18, 2023

Wilmington, DE – On Thursday, December 14, 2023, during the regular meeting of the Wilmington City Council, an ordinance was approved that reduces parking fines for early payments.

Substitute 1 to Ordinance 23-022 (0301, Rev. 1), available for review here, brings amendments to Chapter 37 of the City Code. The changes include a reduction in civil penalties for specific parking violations from $40 to $25 if paid within 14 days of issuance.

The update eliminates the discount for early payment of civil penalties for certain parking and motor vehicle violations while extending the deadline to protest citations from twenty (20) to twenty-one (21) days. The fiscal impact of this legislation is a yearly reduction of $150,000.

File Photo: Parking ticket seen on the driver’s side of a parked vehicle. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

The Wilmington City Council unanimously passed the ordinance, with At-Large Councilwoman Maria D. Cabrera serving as its main sponsor.

Councilwoman Cabrera expressed gratitude, stating, “It took a lot of work, research, and common sense negotiations to get to this point. I am very thankful to the administration for their willingness to come up with a solution for something that both Mayor Mike Purzycki and I believed to be the right thing.” She emphasized her long-standing belief that $40 parking tickets posed a financial burden for many residents in economically challenged neighborhoods, and she expects that a $25 fee will encourage greater compliance.

Acknowledging the support from community groups and individuals working on parking reform, Councilwoman Cabrera thanked her Council colleagues, the administration, and Finance Director Brett Taylor for collaborating to reach a compromise solution.

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This change represents the latest improvement in Wilmington’s parking enforcement practices over the past year. The new ordinance is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.

Councilwoman Cabrera highlighted that this is just one step in the overall parking reform the administration is undertaking, expressing satisfaction in leading this particular initiative. She encouraged residents to pay parking tickets within the 14-day window, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and negotiation to achieve positive outcomes.