Residential Parking Permit 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 go here. If you have questions about encroachment permits, you can e-mail, 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: 

  1. Call the Police Department’s Parking Enforcement team at (650) 329-2258 to leave a voicemail to report an abandoned vehicle.
  2. Fill out this form to report an abandoned vehicle.