What Is A Required Element And How To Use It To Beat A NYC Parking Ticket

learn about a required element on a parking ticket

Summary & Quick Facts

  • A required element is a piece of information that all parking tickets are required to have recorded on it. 
  • This information includes your license plate number, the exact date the violation occurred and vehicle type, among other things.
  • A ticket is defective when a required element under the law is illegible, missing or misdescribed.
  • If you see an N/S or N/A on a required element on your ticket, this means not shown or not available
  • Defective tickets may be dismissed even if you do not have another defense to a charged parking violation.

A Required Element Can Be Your Friend

In an earlier post, we shared the steps you can take to dispute your pesky parking ticket. But have you ever wondered if there are any easy ways to get your parking ticket dismissed? Believe it or not, the city has on its law books a way drivers can easily dismiss tickets. That is, if they notice certain errors about their ticket. Here, if your parking ticket has just one required element wrong, you’re in luck. Your ticket can automatically be dismissed. Learn about the required elements of a parking ticket and how missing information can get you off scot-free.


What Is A Required Element?

A required element can make or break any fight against a parking ticket. But what is a required element exactly?  A required element is a piece of information that all traffic enforcement agents and police officers are required to enter on your parking ticket by law.

According to Title 19, Chapter 34, and section 39-02(a) of the Official Compilation of the Rules of the City of New York, the following are required elements:

  1. License plate number.
  2. The type of registration.
  3. The state of registration.
  4. The date of expiration of the vehicle registration.
  5. A description of the vehicle.
  6. A general statement of the violation alleged, including a reference to section 4-08 of title 34 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York or applicable provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or of the Administrative Code of the City of New York or any other law or rule.
  7. Information on the days and hours the applicable rule or provision is in effect unless the rule or provision is in effect at all times. Here agents may use the appropriate word ‘all’ when the days and/or hours in effect are every day and/or twenty-four hours a day.
  8. The date, time and place of occurrence.
  9. If a meter violation, the meter number. A mere listing of a meter number in cases of charged meter violations shall not be a sufficient description of a particular place of occurrence of the charged violation.


Is The Ticket Written Correctly?

We always recommend that drivers carefully look at the front of their NYC parking tickets for any omitted, incorrectly described, or illegible required element. Remember, a ticket is defective when a required element under the law is missing or misdescribed. Defective tickets may be dismissed even if you do not have another defense to a charged violation. When conducting a hearing, the judge will review recently issued summonses for these defects and if any defects are found they will dismiss the tickets.


What To Look Out For On Your Parking Ticket

Below are the required elements you should always check to make sure there are not any mistakes or omissions.


License Plate:

All traffic enforcement agents who issue you a ticket must record your license plate accurately. If this is not the case, the judge should dismiss your ticket upon application and proof.


Name Of The Vehicle Operator:

All traffic enforcement agents are also required to enter the name of the car’s driver if she/he is seated behind the wheel at the time the parking ticket is issued.


Expiration Date:

The expiration date of your registration recorded correctly on the ticket if it is on your car’s windshield or license plate. The month-date-year must be entered on a parking ticket for all vehicles registered in NY. Nevertheless, this differs from cars that come from out of the state. Here. the month and year must be entered on a parking ticket for only if this data is displayed on the plate or the registration sticker attached to the windshield of the vehicle. If not, your ticket will be dismissed if you choose to dispute it.



Just as the expiration date of your car’s registration, the traffic agent must also record your vehicle’s state of registration correctly. If not, you can have this ticket dismissed.


Plate Type:

This is an easy element for NY State driver, but not so easy for out-of-towners. The plate type must be an exact match for vehicles registered in NY State. However, traffic enforcement agents are permitted to enter “N/S” or not stated/not shown if your plate type is not displayed on the plate. For example, New Jersey doesn’t display plate type so technically, In this case, “N/S” will suffice.


Vehicle Make:

When recording the make of your vehicle, the traffic agent must record it on the ticket as it is described on your NY State registration. However, the make of cars that are registered out-of-state must be displayed on the car, otherwise, the traffic agent can enter “N/S.”


Body Type:

It is much easier for NY State cars to beat their ticket when the body type is omitted, misdescribed or illegible than out-of-state cars. The “body type” for cars registered in New York State must be an exact match between the issued parking ticket, and the data entered on the vehicle registration. Nevertheless, this differs from out of state vehicles. The standard of proof for out-of-staters is “reasonably accurate.” This means that judges tend to give a lot more leeway to traffic enforcement agents as far as how they describe your car’s body type.


Place Of Occurrence:

This is a description of the location of your parking space. Always check it for accuracy because if it is misdescribed, you win upon presenting the proper proof.



Traffic enforcement agents must enter the correct reference to Rule 4-08 or else your ticket is dismissed upon application. For example, in the above parking ticket, the warrior referenced the correct rule for a fire hydrant violation, R. 4-08(e)(2). Please note that the violation code number is not a required element.



The date and time required elements is an easy thing to check. However, it isn’t the easiest to win a dismissal. Make sure to check your ticket to see if the right time of day is written (12 AM vs. 12 PM). Also, it is a good idea to make sure the time on the ticket made allowances for your parking space. This is especially the case if it is subject to the 5-minute grace period. (Usually metered parking spots)


Check The Diagram

Feel free to use this visual guide to help you find the required elements on your ticket.

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