Recently there was a court case in Michigan that deemed the chalking of tires to be a violation of a person's constitutional rights. Wow. Anyone else remember the days when you would park someplace and the police would be out there in force, and the only way for them to really check how long you had been parked in a spot was to chalk your tires?

This got me to thinking, is this done in New York State anymore? I do remember getting a parking ticket because of this, but that was years ago. So, can the police in New York do this (legally) anymore?

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What does it mean to chalk a tire? Why would someone do this? Does it hurt the tire?

Getty Images/ Julian Finney
Getty Images/ Julian Finney

First, it really doesn't hurt the tire. Your tire gets hurt more when you hit a curb. The person doing the chalking just simply makes a mark on the asphalt and then on your tire so they line up. If the police come back and the marks are still there, then they know you haven't moved your car, so you have been parked there too long, and they would (in the past) give you a ticket. Depending on where you were parked, and how long, this could start to add up to quite a few bucks.

So, is it legal to get your tires chalked anymore in New York State?

Rack with variety of new car tires in automobile store, selective focus
Zigmunds Dizgalvis

The truth? It depends on where you are in New York State. Some smaller municipalities will keep doing it. Is it a huge revenue driver for them? Maybe that is why they keep doing it. It is also possibly another reason that a lot of cities and towns across the state have switched over to parking meters.

When was the last time that you were aware that your tires got chalked? Did you end up getting a ticket? If so, how much was your ticket? After this big court case in the Midwest, something tells me there are going to be a great deal more people who are looking at their tires when they park in a 2-hour or 4-hour only parking zone, that doesn't have a meter to pay.

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