DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you have an overdue parking ticket in Des Moines, your time is running out to pay. You have three more days to pay it before the city of Des Moines sends them to a collection agency.
The City of Des Moines is asking for $1.49 million in more than 20 years of unpaid parking tickets. In the last three weeks they have collected $90,000 -- the tickets range from $20 to $200.
The city launched a similar program to get people to pay their parking tickets in 2005 and they collected $300,000 over a three-week period before sending the rest of the debt to a collection agency.
Des Moines is contracted with Triple-A Collections out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They say if the unpaid ticket is sent to collections, it will not increase the fine, but it could have an impact on your credit rating. But before it is sent to collections, you can pay your parking tickets in three ways.
“You can go online and be home in your jammies in the middle of the night and pay your tickets, that’s www.dmgov.org. and then it will be right on the main page where you can see to pay your tickets, or you can send in a check, or you can come in and visit us here at City Hall and see these ladies' smiling faces,” Des Moines City Clerk Diane Rauh said.
Rauh said the city has done all they can before sending these unpaid tickets to collections, for example, if you have four or more tickets the City puts you on their tow list, then if they find you on the street your vehicle can be towed. They also hold your registration in Polk County, then you won’t be able to renew your license plates until the tickets are paid. They also hold your state of Iowa income tax refund for unpaid tickets.
Rauh hopes people take the next three days to pay their tickets, “We’re not meanies, we want people to come in and get this taken care of, we don’t really want to send anyone to collection that’s why we’re trying to give one last chance for people to get in and get this taken care of.”
The money from these unpaid parking tickets will go toward the city’s general fund and used for police and fire services, streets and just everyday expenses of the city.