Meter Maid

Meter Maid


Toronto, ON

Female, 30

I currently work as a Parking Enforcement Officer in the wonderful city of Toronto. I am feared, and loathed by all. I may not work in your particular city, but I'm positive that I can help give you a better understanding of what Meter Maids do. I am knowledgeable in all parking matters so ask me anything.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

103 Questions


Last Answer on September 05, 2013

Best Rated

Has anyone ever offered you a bribe not to write them a ticket?

Asked by Anj almost 12 years ago

Most of the time people jokingly offer to give me something to make their ticket go away, but there have been a few instances where people attempted to bribe me. The most common one would be to offer me money, sometimes more than what the ticket is worth. I have also been offered food and drinks (including a 6 pack of beer). When people start to haggle with me, I usually walk away to avoid this type of situation altogether.

If I park in a spot that's designated for "2 hour parking", can I just refill my meter once the 2 hours expires and keep my car there?

Asked by Iwonderwonderwonder... over 11 years ago

As long as the meter has been paid you are legally parked, at least that is the case in Toronto. The city has a three hour maximum at meters which mainly means that you can only pay for blocks of three hours at a time. This means as long as you continue to pay you are legally parked.

A meter maid ticketed 1 car on our street with >6mths expired registration 3x over the span of a few months. She had another vehicle towed without warning for the same that had been on the street for 2 days. Is it legal to execute the law differently

Asked by whit13 almost 11 years ago

It's hard for me to answer this without knowing the facts and circumstances. Specific situations require different forms of action.

There are rules that govern our job, but some vehicles may be towed over others depending on what offence they are committing. This doesn't mean that the officer is being selective on what they are towing, but maybe the second vehicle you mentioned was committing an offence that allowed for immediate towing. This can include no stopping, no standing, and even areas that block peoples driveways. 

I wouldn't say that she is executing the law differently, but maybe the rules that we follow didn't allow her to tow the first vehicle. This is because we need to have three tickets on a vehicle from three different days in order to tow it. Maybe the second car had three tickets on it which warranted her to tow the vehicle.

Without the facts I am just giving hypothetical answers. If you feel strongly about this and you live on that particular street, you can call in and get more information from our office.

Do you ever wait by the meter for the time to expire (assuming it is close)? And do you give people a buffer in terms of timing (e.g. 1 min, 5 mins, etc.) before you issue a ticket? Also, do you have quotas you need to meet?

Asked by liteofc almost 12 years ago

People assume that we wait around for meters/receipts to expire, but in reality we don't have that much time on our hands. If I am doing a loop of a street and I remember that a certain car is about to expire I may go back to it on my way back to my car, but I don't just sit at a car and wait to ticket it. In the city of Toronto we give a five minute grace period for expired receipts. There has recently been some talk of extending it to ten minutes, but I think that is just overkill. If people know they may need some extra time they should be parking in parking lots with a flat rate, and leaving the street parking for people who need a spot to quickly go about their business. As for your question about quotas...I answered this earlier this year. We don't have quotas in Toronto, but we do have a performance standard that we have to attain. The city has calculated the average ticket number in every area in the city, and officers assigned to these zones should be getting roughly the same amount as their counterparts on different shifts.

Can you get arrested for unpaid parking tickets? How many tickets would that take?

Asked by aaron almost 12 years ago

Parking infractions aren't important enough to have someone least they aren't in Toronto. Parking tickets only affect an individual when they are looking to sell their vehicle, or to renew their plates. In order to get their plates renewed they must pay off their outstanding parking fines. Every time a parking officer types the license plate of a vehicle into their handheld device, they are able to see how many outstanding tickets and unpaid fines an individual has, and I have seen many individuals with hundreds of unpaid fines. In theory, when people have an unpaid ticket the city will look to a collection agency to get their money. I don't actually think this is actually in practice, as many people just continue to rack up parking tickets and avoid renewing their plates for as long as possible (AKA when they are fined by a police officer). I have heard of other cities that have a booting system in place, in order to have people pay their fines more diligently. Their car will remained booted until the city receives full payment of unpaid tickets.

What's the nicest thing someone's said to you, or the sweetest surprise you received?

Asked by Mary W over 11 years ago

It's hard to recall the nicest thing someone has ever said to me, but I have had several encounters with individuals who have brightened my day. Most of the time it's just someone asking if I'm cold and would like something warm to drink. Or someone giving me words of encouragement. I've also had times where a passerby will stop to make sure I'm okay when a disgruntled individual I have ticketed is raising their voice with me. There is one individual who stands out to me as well. A particular business owner I see on a regular basis always watches to make sure that no one gives me a hard time when I am approached on his particular street. He is always friendly and makes sure I have enough water on a hot day, or invites me inside if I need to warm up on a frigid day. It's people like this that actually make my job more meaningful.

Can you issue a ticket when someone is still in their car?

Asked by Lucky 7 over 11 years ago

Yes, a ticket can be issued to someone while they are in their car. Our unit policy, however is to first ask them to move. If they do not comply then we can issue the ticket. Asking them to move is not mandatory, but we do it to be nice, as some people don't realize that they are parked illegally. Most people are happy to oblige, but those who refuse to listen can still get a ticket.