Let’s say you get a $200 speeding ticket in D.C. Turns out, if you don’t pay it in 30 days, your fine doubles.
“That’s a very painful penalty,” said TIKD Founder and CEO Chris Riley.
That’s why Riley decided to expand his year-old traffic ticket startup into D.C. in July.
Well, that, and the fact that during fiscal 2016, D.C. drivers were on the receiving end of nearly 1 million tickets from speeding cameras, alone, as reported by The Washington Post.
TIKD is an online platform that gives drivers a chance to lessen the pain of a traffic ticket. The Miami-based company matches drivers with lawyers who represent them in court to fight their traffic tickets. They guarantee that drivers using TIKD will always pay less than the original fine amount.
“Customers go to [our website], click on the ‘submit my ticket’ button, and from there on, the process is less than two minutes,” Riley said. “TIKD pays a lawyer directly who will go represent you and handle everything on your behalf… Even if your case loses, we pay the [fine] for you.”
So, in the case of that that $200 speeding ticket, a customer might pay the company $170 to hire a lawyer and handle fighting the violation. They can pay it upfront, or over a two-month payment plan, but regardless of the outcome, that’s all they’ll have to shell out.
TIKD will pay the fine in its entirety if the case loses, and should you get points on your license, they’ll refund you the amount you originally paid them – but according to Riley, odds of that happening are low.
“The lawyers that work with TIKD have been successful 95 percent of the time,” he said.
The company said that lawyers will often approach them to ask about working with TIKD.
“We are providing them with (a lot of) customers that need their services without them having to spend their own marketing dollars to attract new clients,” a company spokesperson said.
Lawyers receive notifications of new potential clients via email, and they have the option to take on or reject a case. If they accept it, TIKD sends the client an email to let them know, and provides them with the lawyer’s contact information, should they want to speak with them directly.
TIKD will keep the client up to date at every step of the way with email notifications.
The 25-person startup is in three states — all of Florida, most of Georgia, parts of Maryland and all of D.C. — and Riley said his goal is to be in the top 30 metro areas in the country by next summer. TIKD is largely self-funded, he said, but they closed a “pretty significant round” earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.
D.C. was a natural next step for them. The District isn’t exactly known for its drivers.
“D.C. has been one of our fastest growing markets we’ve seen so far,” said Louise Finlay, TIKD director of marketing. “Traffic out of D.C. matched one of our most established cities in the first month.”
Riley founded TIKD after driving through what he said was a well-known speed trap in Miami that resulted in over $500 in fines. Riley said it was the result of bad luck and random, punitive penalties. But TIKD, he said, could have saved him both time and money.
“When you dig in, you realize it’s a very inefficient system. And there are two prices; there’s the price written on your ticket, I call that the inefficient market price,” he said. “And then there’s the price if you exercise your legal rights and take your ticket to court, and that’s way lower.”
“But, yet, very few people do it… Lawyers are expensive, it’s stressful, time-consuming, there’s a bunch of uncertainty, it’s intimidating,” he added. “To me, as an entrepreneur, that signals inefficiency… [TIKD] gives people access to those services in a very cost-efficient way, and takes away the hassle of the process.”
Images courtesy of TIKD