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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Revenue Division

Arts Tax: 503-865-4278

Business Taxes: 503-823-5157

111 SW Columbia St, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Frequently Asked Questions

Parking Penalty Notice FAQs

Is it legal for a non-government entity to issue these notices?

Why did I receive a penalty notice?

Can they charge whatever they want for a penalty?

How much of the money does the City get?

I don't understand my penalty notice.

How long will it take to respond to my complaint?

How many registered lots are there?

The machine was not working when I tried to pay, why did I get a penalty notice?

There was no notice on my car. Can I ignore the letter they sent me?

I have a handicapped parking placard and parked in a spot reserved for handicapped parking. Why did I get a penalty notice?

What if I have a valid proof of payment but it was not properly displayed?

How much time do I have to file a complaint with the Revenue Division?

 

Is it legal for a non-government entity to issue these notices?
Yes, if the company issuing them is a registered operator and if the parking facility is registered with the City. Go to the current list of registered lot operators.

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Why did I receive a penalty notice?

Pay and park facilities: The operator of a pay and park facility may assess and collect a penalty from any parker found to have either parked without paying the required parking fees upon parking the vehicle, or parked without placing the proof of payment in the vehicle so that it is clearly visible through the windshield (if paper receipts are provided).

Non-pay private parking facilities:  The operator of a non-pay private parking facility may assess and collect a penalty from any parker found to have parked without authorization or beyond the time allowed.

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Can they charge whatever they want for a penalty?
No, the penalty is indexed by City Code to the amount assessed by Parking Enforcement officers for overtime parking on City property (parking tickets).

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How much of the money does the City get?
The City does not receive any of the money from parking fees or penalties. The City collects an annual fee from the operator for each registered lot.

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I don't understand my penalty notice.

If you do not understand your penalty notice, contact the lot operator or the Revenue Division with your questions.

Penalty notices, penalty payment letters and any subsequent demands for payment must include:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the operator;
  • The vehicle’s make, model, color and license plate number;
  • The time and date the penalty notice was issued;
  • The location of the facility, including street address or the intersection nearest the entrance as provided on the original registration application;
  • Any facility number that may be assigned by the operator;
  • The amount of the penalty demanded;
  • Instructions describing deadlines and acceptable methods of payment;
  • Warning (if the operator collects an Administrative Fee) that an Administrative Fee may be assessed if the payment of the penalty is not received within 10 days of issuance of a penalty notice;
  • Any additional penalty that may be added if not paid within 30 days; and
  • A statement that the vehicle owner may submit a written complaint to the Revenue Division if attempts to resolve the complaint with the operator have been unsuccessful anytime within 90 days of the date of the first penalty payment letter.  The Division's mailing address must be included on penalty payment letters.

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How long will it take to respond to my complaint?
Complaints are sent to the appropriate registered operator when they are received at the Revenue Division.

The collection process must be suspended immediately until a determination is made on the complaint.

The information is reviewed, to see if there is evidence of a Code violation. A re-inspection of the lot may be necessary to verify that all required signs were posted at the time the penalty notice was issued. The complaint resolution may be as simple as forwarding the copy of a parking payment receipt to the registered operator.

You will be notified of the determination in writing by the Revenue Division Pay and Park and Non-Pay Private Parking Facilities Program.

It may take up to 60 days from the day your complaint is received to receive that notice.

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How many registered lots are there?
Lots are registered and deactivated throughout the year. There are usually about 180 active lots. 

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The machine was not working when I tried to pay, why did I get a penalty notice?
The policy at the pay to park lots is usually posted on a sign at the payment machine, words to the effect of “If machine does not dispense a ticket, do not park in parking facility.” The machines are maintained regularly but something may go wrong later in the day, or maybe there is a problem with the payment method you tried to use. There is always a customer service number that you can call for assistance, but if you leave your car in the lot without valid proof of payment you risk receiving a parking penalty notice.

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There was no notice on my car. Can I ignore the letter they sent me?
No. If you feel that you received the demand for payment letter in error, contact the Revenue Division and we will work to verify the identity of the vehicle for you.

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I have a handicapped parking placard and parked in a spot reserved for handicapped parking. Why did I get a penalty notice?

In the private lots the placard grants the privilege of parking in the reserved spaces, but does not grant free parking. The registered operators add stickers to the blue signs that say “Permit holder responsible for payment” to help clarify any misunderstanding.

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What if I have a valid proof of payment but it was not properly displayed?

The operator must void the penalty if the parker or registered owner provides evidence within 30 days of the issuance of the penalty notice that the parking fee payment was made at the time the vehicle was parked at the facility. Be sure to keep the original proof of payment.

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How much time do I have to file a complaint with the Revenue Division?

You may file a complaint any time up to 90 days from the mailing date of the first penalty payment letter.

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