Driving through mine fields in Ecuador: Photo fines

“What? I don’t have any fines or tickets.”  I replied to the guy who I sold my car to here in Ecuador this week.

“Yes, you do, you have two open photo fines.(foto multas)” He responded.

He was right, I didn’t even realize it, and usually you don’t in Ecuador until it’s time to pay your annual registration (matricula).

This past year I passed through Ambato twice, and BOTH times they nabbed me taking a picture of my plates.  Once going 52km in a 50km zone, and again going 56km in a 50km zone.

Each ticket $112.

Yet, driving all year around the coast and Quito areas I didn’t get ONE.

I’ve found the Ambato, Ibarra and Loja areas particularly bad, so be extra careful driving around there.

If renting a car usually the rental company will check to see if you got any photo tickets before returning your deposit.

If issued tickets if you were going just a bit over like in my case you can challenge the ticket with a lawyer in the municipality where you got ticketed.  I’m paying $60 per ticket to the lawyer for help, he says takes a few weeks to process.  This process is called IMPUGNAR.  It’s common to pay lawyer once job is DONE.

You can see if the plate you were driving got any tickets nationally at this link… But some municipalities don’t show up on the national system for months after ticket issued so you can also check directly on their websites (here is the Ambato one).  You can see what my tickets look like if you plug in my old plate number (placa) LBB4559.

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