Downtown Residential Parking Permits
The Downtown Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) Program requires all residents to have a permit to park on the street for more than 2 hours between the hours of 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. (View Map)
How to get a permit
Visit the Duncan Solutions Permit Portal. Residents creating new accounts will be required to upload proof of residency, i.e. driver’s license, Palo Alto utility bill, lease, mortgage statement, etc.
- Annual Resident Permits expire every March 31, with the new annual sales cycle beginning April 1 and sales starting in early March.
Downtown residents may request:
- Up to 6 digital or physical transferable hangtag permits per residential unit per year at $50 each
- Up to 50 daily visitor hangtag permits per year at $5 each
Learn more about the RPP program in the RPP Administrative Guidelines.
Annual Permit Types
Annual permits can be purchased by RPP Program area residents and intended for use by the residents of a specific property within the RPP Program district. Virtual Permits are vehicle-specific and are not transferable between vehicles. Virtual Permits are intended for use by the residents of a specific property within the RPP Program district. A vehicle’s license plate number shall serve as the RPP parking permit, uploaded into the City’s parking permit database, and enforced using License Plate Recognition (LPR) software. Customers must provide a current DMV motor vehicle registration for each vehicle requesting a virtual permit.
Hangtag Permits are permits hung from the rear-view mirror or fully displayed, face-up on the front dashboard and may be used for a nanny, baby-sitter, caregiver, household employee, or other regular visitor to the property. Annual RPP Permit Hangtags must be purchased by the resident of the property and may be transferred between motor vehicles. A DMV motor vehicle registration is not required when ordering hangtag permits.
Resident Parking Permit Eligibility
- A completed application form (online) in the residents’ name and address
- Provide a current DMV motor vehicle registration for each vehicle requesting a virtual/digital permit; and
- Provide proof of residency/ownership in the resident’s/owner’s name reflecting the permit address in the RPP Program area. Acceptable proof of residency shall be a driver’s license, the vehicle registration, a utility bill, car insurance policy, lease agreement or a preprinted personal check with the resident’s name and address.
Duncan Permit Portal Help
If you need additional help on the Duncan Solutions permit portal, consult this Step by Step Duncan Permit Purchasing Guide(PDF, 1MB) or check out the FAQ(PDF, 234KB). On occasion, permit emails will be directed to your spam/junk folder. Please check this folder if you do not receive a message in your inbox. For technical or fulfillment issues, please contact our permit vendor for assistance. You can reach Duncan Solutions between 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. PST at (866) 210-2417; please listen very carefully to the full list of menu options to reach the phone tree's permit section. You can also email Duncan at Onlineissues@DuncanSolutions.com.
To fully utilize the online system, we ask RPP participants to review the instructions to apply for a permits. Visit the Permit Portal and create an account with the required information:
- Secure your login credentials by email (permit emails may be directed to your spam/junk folder)
- Enter vehicle information
- Order your permits - Online permit renewal for residents will begin the following year
- Customer will be charged a service fee for each permit
- Submit program eligibility documentation
- If applicable, pay for permits
- Monitor inbox for order confirmation
Residents creating new accounts will be required to upload proof of residency (i.e., driver’s license & Palo Alto utility bill, lease, or mortgage statement etc.). For more information, please review the RPP Administrative Guidelines.
Once your purchase is complete, the payment receipt (email) will serve as a temporary permit, valid 30 days after purchase. Please print and fully display, face-up until your order arrives by mail. Digital RPP permits will be activated on the following business day after purchase. Physical RPP Permits are processed and shipped by USPS, and we recommend ordering your permits in advance to avoid shipping delays.
If you have general questions on the RPP program, please contact the Office of Transportation by calling (650) 329-2340 or emailing Transportation@CityofPaloAlto.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are digital permits?
A vehicle’s license plate number shall serve as the RPP parking permit, uploaded into the City’s parking permit database, and enforced using License Plate Recognition (LPR) software. Digital permits are vehicle specific and not transferable between motor vehicles. RPP Digital Permits are intended for use by the customer of a specific property within the RPP Program district.
Can I park for more than 2 hours with no permit?
In RPP Districts with a time limit for non-permitted vehicles, vehicles not displaying a valid permit may park up to the posted time limit during the period designated by posted signage. After the maximum time limit period, vehicles will be prohibited from re-parking within the same district.
Parking in the Palo Alto RPP Program Area without a permit for longer than two hours will result in a citation.
I’m a resident. Why do I need to pay for a permit?
The group of resident stakeholders who helped design the program agreed that residents should have a stake in the program by paying a token sum for permits.
Is my RPP permit valid in surface lots and garages in the University Avenue or California Avenue Business District?
RPP permits are valid only in areas designated by RPP parking restrictions (green 2-hour parking signs noting ‘Permits Exempt’ and specifying an RPP Employee Parking Zone). RPP permits are not valid in the City lots or garages, or in any other time-restricted spaces.
Enforcement for issues like parking during street-sweeping, blocking fire hydrants and red curbs, and any other violations prohibited by law is always in effect.
What are Palo Alto RPP regulation days and times?
The parking restrictions are enforced Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. depending on the district. Please check the RPP signs on your block for hours of enforcement. City holidays are exempt, please refer to Holiday Closures to see which holidays the City observes.
Where can residents park with a permit?
Resident Parking Permits are valid anywhere with posted Palo Alto RPP parking restrictions.
Where are physical permits displayed on a vehicle?
- Hangtags or scratchers must be hung from the rearview mirror or face-up on your dashboard with the permit information visible from the exterior of the vehicle. Note – Hanging your permit incorrectly shall invalidate your parking exemption.
Does the City offer discounted rates for RPP permits?
Certain employees may be eligible for a reduced-price permit if they meet and agree to the terms and requirements below. Proof of income must be provided at the time of every purchase, and information may be audited at any time by the City. The requirements to obtain a reduced-price permit are:
- Employed by a business within the designated parking district
- Eligible employees who earn an annual income which is exactly or less than $50,000
- The City will periodically evaluate this limit and adjust for inflation
- Acceptable proof of income would be two consecutive wage statements from the employer
Reduced price permits are vehicle specific, and not subject to proration at any time of the permit cycle. Sales are final, and refunds will not be provided for all reduced-price purchases or in instances of permit/account misuse.
I see zone numbers and letters on RPP street signs. What do these mean?
The Employee Parking Zone designations apply for employee parking with valid RPP permits. Employees working within the RPP Program area are eligible to purchase permits on a first come, first served basis. These permits are sold for specific zones and are only valid for non-restricted parking in the zone issued.
Resident permits are valid in all Employee Parking Zones.
Who provides enforcement?
LAZ has been contracted by the City to provide enforcement services for the Palo Alto RPP districts. LAZ employees wear uniforms with identification, and you may see them walking, biking, or driving throughout the RPP Program area.
Are RPP permits prorated and how do I get a refund?
Annual Resident and full price Employee parking permit fees may be prorated for purchase midway through the permit period (i.e. 50% discount).
Employee Parking Permits are refundable at the prorated amount anytime 30 days prior to the permit's expiration date. Refunds are issued by the full calendar month (the first day of the month through the last day of the month) and are not prorated for partial months.
Refunds will not be provided for daily/hourly permits, reduced price permits, or in instances of permit/account misuse.
If an employee with an Employee Parking Permit is terminated, the employer may transfer the remaining balance of the unused permit to another employee by updating the vehicle information online. The new permit will expire on the same date as the original permit.
I got an RPP citation. What do I do?
Follow the instructions on the RPP citation to pay a citation. If you do not have the instructions available, call 650-814-4501 for assistance.
How do I reserve curb space?
To reserve curb space, requests should be made at least one week ahead of the date needed.
- To reserve curb space for moving trucks in residential areas, please call the Police Department’s Parking Enforcement Division at 650-329-2258 and leave a voicemail requesting “no parking” signs for curbs. A Community Service Officer will respond to the request.
- To reserve curb space for moving trucks in commercial areas, please call the City’s Development Services department at 650-329-2496 and press option 1 to reach a Project Coordinator.
- Stationary pods on the public right-of-way require an encroachment permit. For more information, including pricing, please visit. If you have questions about encroachment permits, you can e-mail pwecips@CityofPaloAlto.org, or call 650-329-2496 and press option 8.
What do I do when there is a vehicle parked in one space longer than 72-hours?
Regarding on-street parking, the City has an ordinance requiring all vehicles to relocate every seventy two (72) hours. Reference: Municipal Code 10.36.030 - Use of streets or public parking facilities for storage of vehicles. This ordinance applies to all on-street parking.
For parking enforcement issues:
- Call the Police Department’s Parking Enforcement team at 650-329-2258 to leave a voicemail to report an abandoned vehicle.
- Fill out this form to report an abandoned vehicle.