Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Frequently Asked Questions



How does the Area Parking Permit Program work?

This program was developed to allow on-street parking by residents and businesses rather than by commuters. Currently, vehicle parking permits are issued to residents and businesses in 15 (fifteen) different areas. Click here for a map of the current APPP areas

Applicants must provide proof of residency and a current vehicle registration in the resident’s name (or a notarized letter from the legal owner stating permission for the applicant to use the vehicle) to obtain a resident vehicle and a guest vehicle parking permit. Permits are issued by mail only; business owners should call 503-823-2777 for specific application requirements.

Residents and businesses may inquire about starting a new Area Parking Permit Program by calling the Parking Control Section, 503-823-5412.


Is it legal to park large vehicles, such as mobile homes, trailers, or trucks on the street?

Oversized vehicles of this nature can only be parked for short periods of time on the street, and then only for the specific purpose of loading/unloading. In commercial areas, the time limit is 4 hours from 7 am to 4 pm, and 2 hours from 4 pm to 7 am; in residential areas, the time limit is 8 hours.

Oversized vehicles of this nature can only be parked for short periods of time on the street, and then only for the specific purpose of loading/unloading. In commercial areas, the time limit is 4 hours from 7 am to 4 pm, and 2 hours from 4 pm to 7 am; in residential areas, the time limit is 8 hours.


What gives Parking Enforcement Deputies the authority to write expired license plate citations?

They were given the authority in the July 1992 changes in City Code Title 16. They are responsible for enforcing this code. The purpose for this change was to help air quality by more effectively enforcing expired license violations.


Why can't we get enforcement every day around schools when parents are picking up their children?

Parents are parking in the NO PARKING zones and making it hazardous for our children. Unfortunately, we do not have enough staff to give daily enforcement. We have worked individually with schools that have this problem and have provided periods of saturated enforcement. We have also worked with the schools to get information on parking rules out to parents via parent-teacher organization meetings and mailings. We recently worked with the Police Bureau to provide traffic and parking enforcement at several targeted schools during the first three weeks school was in session. We hope to continue this type of program.


Why does it make a difference what type of vehicle I'm using to load and unload from a truck loading zone?

The number of loading zones available in the City are limited. The original intent of these zones was for loading and unloading of large parcels from large vehicles. We have tried to accommodate other needs by allowing properly marked vehicles registered as vans, trucks, and pickups to use truck loading zones.  Permits for special circumstances may be obtained from the Permit Center to use truck loading zones. The decision to allow only these types of vehicles was made by a committee of area residents who represented small and large businesses.


Why do you patrol/enforce some areas differently than others?

Some areas in lower Southeast Portland and Industrial Northwest were originally designed and built to allow trucks to block streets and double-park while loading and unloading.

Due to higher use and congestion in these areas, we recognize this type of loading can no longer occur or must be modified. We also recognize that to change it without making some type of affordable accommodations would severely hurt some businesses. We have successfully taken care of the problem on N.W. 13th. We are using this as an example to change the other areas. The new angle loading permit change in City Code Title 16 has alleviated many of the problems.


Is there a way to keep commuters from parking on my street and then walking or taking transit to downtown?

Yes. We have had the Area Parking Permit Programs for many years. Click here to learn more


Can I park my car on the street for longer than 24 hours at a time?

No. All vehicles must be driven off the block face daily. Private, legal parking must be obtained if a vehicle is not driven daily.  


Why doesn't the City have a downtown residential parking permit program like neighborhoods adjacent to downtown?

The complexity of downtown is quite different from the adjacent neighborhoods (Goose Hollow, Lair Hill/Corbett/Terwilliger) the latter being predominately residential. In downtown, the scarce on-street resource must be managed to have high turnover and serve multiple businesses rather than warehousing a car all day.

City Council has identified the following as priorities in City-owned parking, short-term (4 hours or less), carpooling, and long-term. As of 1991, all meters in the downtown core were converted to 1-hour, 90 minutes, 3-hour, and some quick stop 15-minute meters. Where the City owns a garage, the surrounding meters are 1-hour or 90 minutes; otherwise there's a mix of 1-hour, 90 minutes, and 3-hour. Only the furthest edges of the Central Business District have 5-hour meters.

The City has continued working with the Downtown Community Association to find an off-street parking solution for older residential buildings, and additional demonstration programs will be undertaken as part of the Central City Transportation Management Plan implementation.


Can I use a Disabled Permit at meters or in timed parking zones?

The City of Portland overhauled the Disabled Parking Program in July 2014.  To view the new rules which apply to metered spaces with time limits of one hour or more, please visit:

Less than 30-minute time limit: Disabled Parking Permits are not valid at meters or zones marked less than 30 minutes. At a meter or timed parking zone less than 30 minutes, you must put money into the meter and move the vehicle at the end of the maximum time allowed.


How can I get a Special Parking Permit to park at meters?

Special Parking Permits and Area Parking Permits may be obtained from the Parking Control Section 503-823-2777. To learn more about permits, please click here. 


How much does it cost to park at a meter?

  • Downtown District - $2.00 per hour.
  • Lloyd District - $1 per hour.
  • Marquam Hill District - $1.60 per hour.
  • Central Eastside District - $1.20 per hour.
  • NW District - $1.60 per hour. 


It is important to realize that charging high parking rates actually helps us to encourage access to busy areas by transit and carpooling. For shoppers and visitors, the City has provided its own SMART Park garages at a rate of $ 1.60 for the first two hours which, coupled with the purchase validation program, makes downtown parking competitive with outlying malls.


What days and hours are the parking meters enforced?

In the Downtown District, parking meters operate 8 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 1pm-7pm Sunday unless otherwise posted.

In the Lloyd District, meters operate 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, unless otherwise posted. Note: meters on Grand Avenue and west operate 8 am to 10 pm, Monday through Saturday.

In the Marquam Hill District, meters operate 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted.

In the Central Eastside District, meter operate 8am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted.

In all districts parking is free at meters on the following nine (9) holidays, as specified on each meter: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.


What are the parking meter holidays for this year?

Except in city parks, all metered parking in the City of Portland is free on the following city-recognized holidays:



When it occurs

New Year's Day

January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day third Monday in January
President's Day third Monday in February
Memorial Day last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day first Monday in September
Veteran's Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day December 25


Electronic meters (SmartMeters) are programmed not to accept payment on holidays and will display a message on the screen letting you know that it's a holiday.


Can I talk with the parking enforcement officer who issued me a citation and explain why I didn't deserve a ticket?

No. Once a City parking officer issues a citation, it becomes the property of Multnomah County Circuit Court. Please follow directions on the ticket to resolve or contest it with the Court. It can't be resolved at or by the City. See How to Pay & Contest a Parking Ticket.


I believe I might have several unpaid parking tickets. How do I resolve them?

To inquire about the status of unpaid parking tickets, call the Multnomah County Circuit Court Parking Tag Office at 503-988-3235. You may pay parking citations online.


Where is more information about bicycle parking?

Bicycle Parking, including requests for bike corrals and bike racks, can be found on the Bureau of Transportation's website by clicking here.


Who do I contact about bus stops and bus zones?

Contact TriMet at about bus stops and bus zones.


How do I get a carpool/vanpool permit and where are carpool/vanpool parking spots?

How to apply for and renew a carpool/vanpool parking permit and locations for carpool/vanpool parking are found on our Carpool/Vanpool page here.


Can I have the clearance, no parking area around my driveway painted?

Click here for driveway clearance information.


Can I have the clearance, no parking area around my mailbox signed no parking?

Click here for mailbox clearance information.


How do I get a disabled parking zone, truck loading zone, taxi zone, ‘kiss-and-ride’ zone, rush hour restricted parking zone or valet parking zone?

To request a special parking zone at your home, business or property, call the parking engineer who manages on-street parking for that part of Portland as seen on this map.


Why do some people get to reserve parking spaces?

Contractors who have purchased construction permits from the Bureau of Development Services are allowed by City code (Title 24) to reserve the parking spaces around the project area.  Typically at any time about 500 downtown parking spaces are in use for construction activities or other reserved uses.  Sometimes spaces are reserved for loading and unloading of tour buses that bring convention-goers to shop in downtown. Click here for permit information.


My car was towed - who do I call?

If your car has been towed from a parking place, call Police Records at (503) 823-0044 to find out where it has been stored.


When are parking time limit signs, such as for 1 hour and 30 minute spaces, in effect and enforced?

Non-metered time limit signs tell drivers how long they are allowed to park in a space, such as for 1 hour or 30 minutes. These signs are in effect and enforceable from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, unless the regulating sign shows other restrictions for days or hours. These signs are not in effect and not enforceable on city-recognized holidays.


May I feed the parking meter after my time expires?

Parking meters with time limits of more than 4 hours allow users to purchase additional time without moving the vehicle. For short-term meters (4 hours or less), the vehicle is subject to citation if it remains on the same side of the block beyond the maximum time allowed, regardless of additional payments.