Number of parking tickets issued in Los Angeles climbs slightly this year

Despite increase, count is far below pre-pandemic level, meaning a hit on city finances
City Life

Illustration of parking tickets on a windshield


In the first five months of 2024, approximately 784,000 parking tickets were handed out in the city of Los Angeles. That is 6.4% more than in the same period last year.


As always, failing to feed the meter or clearly read (sometimes confusing) signs packs a punch: More than 90% of the tickets this year carried fines of $50 or more.


Yet there is a silver lining for drivers: Citation numbers remain below what they were before COVID-19. From Jan. 1–May 31, 2019, approximately 890,000 tickets were dispensed. Two years before that the count in the time frame was over 945,000, according to publicly available Los Angeles Department of Transportation data.


Horizontal bar chart of parking tickets issued each year in period from Jan. 1-May 31


The decline from past highs has been partly attributed to open jobs in the LADOT. Crosstown has previously written about scores of unfilled positions in the traffic enforcement ranks. An analysis by the City Controller’s office found that as of Dec. 30, 2023, vacancy in the department (including all jobs, not just those in traffic enforcement) was 18.6%.


The situation could persist. In the effort to close a budget deficit, the City Council recently authorized Mayor Karen Bass’ spending plan that eliminates 1,700 vacant positions from the city’s payroll.  


What has been good for drivers is bad for governmental finances. Crosstown previously reported that the city earned less in parking ticket revenue than it paid to operate its traffic enforcement division.


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In the current fiscal year, the city expects parking fine proceeds of $110 million, according to budget data. That accounts for 0.86% of the $12.82 billion the city anticipates in revenues this year.


Yet four years ago, parking ticket fines generated $140.5 million. In 2014, the city earned $165.2 million from parking citations.That accounted for 2.03% of the $8.12 billion in revenue that year.


Bar chart of annual amount that parking fines generate for the city of Los Angeles budget


Cleaner windshields

For much of the 2010s the city disbursed more than 2 million parking tickets each year. That changed with the onset of the pandemic, as in the spring of 2020 many parking restrictions were relaxed. That year approximately 1.5 million tickets were placed on windshields.


Numbers have gone up and down since then, with the 1.78 million citations last year being below the 2022 count.


Bar chart of annual number of parking tickets in the city of Los Angeles


The monthly parking ticket peak occurred right before COVID-19 hit. According to LADOT data, 206,000 tickets were written in January 2020.


Within the past year the monthly citation count has generally ranged from 140,000 to 160,000.


Line chart of parking tickets dispensed by month in the city of Los Angeles


Not surprisingly, densely populated neighborhoods see the most citations. From Jan. 1–May 31 of this year, there were over 77,000 tickets given out in Downtown. That is more than double the number in Hollywood, which had the second-highest total.


Table of neighborhoods with the most parking tickets in the first 5 months of 2024


The most common day to get a ticket in Los Angeles is Thursday; 152,000 were dispensed on Thursdays this year, according to LADOT data. Just under 35,000 citations were made on a Sunday.


How we did it: We examined publicly available parking citation data from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation from Jan. 1, 2014–May 31, 2024. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LADOT makes publicly available. LADOT may update past reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database. We also examined city of Los Angeles budget data.


Learn more about our data here. Or write to us at