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Contest a Citation

Parking or Transit Violation Citations must be protested within 21 days from the date the ticket is issued or from the date of the first courtesy notice.  Protests will not be considered after that period of time has expired.  Do not pay your citation if you wish to protest it. 


Submit or check status of a protest online. You will be able to upload photos, receipts or any other evidence to support your protest. 

You may also submit your protest by mail.  Complete the Protest Form and mail to:

SFMTA Customer Service Center
ATTN: Citation Review
11 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103

Once your protest is received, your citation is placed on hold. Reviews may take up to 90 days.

Late penalties will not be assessed unless your protest is denied and you fail to pay in a timely manner. No further action is required until you receive a decision letter via U.S. mail.  Please ensure that your vehicle registration is updated to your current mailing address to ensure that you receive all correspondence associated with this citation.

Note:  If the parking citations were issued to the vehicle while it was stolen, you must provide a complete police report, not just the police report number, with your protest.  You can submit your request for a police report on the SFPD website


If you are not satisfied with the initial decision, you have a right to an administrative hearing. Within 25 calendar days from the date of the decision letter, you can appear in person, or make a request in writing, for an Administrative Hearing with a civil Administrative Hearing Officer (CVC § 40215).  

The California Vehicle Code and Public Utilities Code requires a deposit of the fine prior to a hearing. You must pay the clerk with cash or credit card only. A waiver may be granted for pre-payment based on financial hardship. Hearing Deposit Waiver Form. You can also pre-pay through the online Citation Payment portal

A hearing officer will evaluate your protest based on the testimony and evidence (if any) you provide, along with the laws, rules, and regulations that are in effect for all parties at the time the citation was issued. You will receive a formal decision by mail. A refund will be issued if the citation is dismissed. California Vehicle Code section 40215(5) provides that a properly filled-out citation creates a presumption that the infraction occurred.  This presumption can be overcome by the submission of sufficient and credible evidence.  A mere assertion that the violation did not occur is insufficient to dismiss a ticket.

How to Request an Administrative Hearing

You can get an administrative hearing using one of the following:

1. Online: Submit a mail hearing request through the Citation Hearings request portal.You will be able to upload photos, receipts or any other evidence to support your protest on this site. Note: You cannot protest online if you are submitting a Hearing Deposit Waiver Form.

2. In-Person Hearings are conducted at 11 South Van Ness Avenue, Monday–Friday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Hearings are conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wait times are minimal. If your citation is dismissed, a refund for the deposit will be mailed within approximately three weeks. You must pay the clerk with cash or credit card only prior to the hearing. 

3. Mail Hearings: Write a letter explaining why you think the citation is not valid. Include the words "Mail Hearing Request" and the citation number at the top of the letter. Mail the letter, with payment if you have not paid online, or with a Hearing Depost Waiver form to - SFMTA Administrative Hearings, 11 South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA, 94103.

Superior Court Appeals

If you were denied at the Administrative Hearing level, you have thirty (30) days from the date of the hearing decision to:

1. In-Person: Appear in person at Superior Court, 850 Bryant Street, Room 145, Monday–Friday (excluding holidays), between 8:30 am and 2:00 pm, to request a de novo hearing. Bring all documents regarding the citation with you. Upon your appearance, a court date will be assigned. A filing fee of $25 will be charged by the Superior Court. If the judge rules in your favor, the citation fine and court filing fees will be refunded by mail.

2. Mail: Mail a copy of your Administrative Hearing Decision letter and a $25 filing fee for each separate citation number along with any documents or testimony you would like to present. Please make you check payable to the San Francisco Superior Court. If the Traffic Commissioner rules in your favor, the $25 will be refunded.