Last week, my family found ourselves at our local courthouse to purchase a lifetime dog license and the only place to park was in a metered space.

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I grabbed a fist full of change and handed it over to my son so he could feed the meter. Then, I told him we should walk around to the surrounding meters and fill them up for people because we had the change, it wouldn't break the bank, and it would be a nice thing to do.

But then my husband spoke up.

My husband stopped our son from dropping coins in the parking meters saying that filling another person's parking meter is illegal in New York.

I was incredulous. I'd not heard that dropping coins in another person's parking meter was illegal and it sparked a conversation (mostly about how I thought my husband was wrong) in which my husband swore he was right.

I was too shy to ask the security officer at the door of the courthouse (because what if I was wrong? My husband would gloat) but I decided to do a little research when I got home.

As it turns out, in New York, it is not illegal to fill another person's parking meter (are you reading this, husband?). With that said, parking regulations, such as the maximum amount of time a vehicle is allowed to sit in a metered spot, vary depending on the specific city or jurisdiction in New York but the state as a whole is not against paying it forward with parking meters.

Some cities and towns with time limits on how long a vehicle can stay parked in space before clearing the space for another vehicle will take issue with meter feeding, but if you're in a small upstate New York town with more open meter spaces than filled spaces and if there are no signs with time limits on parking, it probably won't be such a big deal.

In other words, both my husband and I were right, so it's a tie. Being kind is never a bad thing, but where you practice your kindness and what the local rules are do matter so definitely check your local laws before you start popping dimes into meters.

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