Disabled Parking in the City of Seattle

Updated April 2, 2014

Based on Washington State law, the City of Seattle allows on-street parking at no cost to holders of disabled parking permits (placards, license plates, and tabs), including permits issued by other US states or Canadian provinces.

If you would like to apply for or renew a disabled parking permit , please visit the Washington State Department of Licensing’s website at www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/parking.html or call (360) 902-3770 or TTY (360) 664-0116.

The City of Seattle does not issue disabled parking permits, but does set forth rules for parking on a city street with such permit. The table below shows what is typically allowed and not allowed for vehicles with valid disabled parking permits:

Allowed
-- Free parking at on-street paid parking meters and pay station kiosk
-- Unlimited parking at paid and time-limited street parking
-- Unlimited parking in Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) without an RPZ permit

Not Allowed
-- Use of loading zones (load/unload, truck load, passenger load zones) past time allowed
-- Parking in No Parking or No Stopping areas
-- Parking in peak period restricted areas (e.g., No Stopping 3 pm – 6 pm)
-- Parking in car-sharing or carpool parking zones

This privilege applies to all public thoroughfares where parking is permitted. It does not necessarily apply to parking lots and garages, even if government-operated, unless specific signage is posted indicating otherwise.

Disabled parking spaces in residential areas  

Seattle residents who possess a valid Washington State Disabled Parking Permit may request installation (at no cost) of a disabled parking space adjacent to their residence subject to certain conditions. However, a space signed for disabled parking may be used by any vehicle with a valid Disabled Parking Permit and is not dedicated to the exclusive use by the requesting resident. The City of Seattle does not provide disabled parking spaces for businesses. Please contact Fred Perez at SDOT at (206) 684-8415 or Frederic.Perez@seattle.gov with any sign requests.

Addressing abuse of disabled parking placards

The City is committed to ensuring that on-street parking is managed effectively for short-term access in business districts. Recent studies have shown that between 30% and 40% of downtown, First Hill, Pioneer Square and Cherry Hill parking are typically used by vehicles with disabled parking placards. The tremendous amount of abuse of these placards limits access to legitimate permit holders and other parkers.

SDOT and Seattle Police Department Parking Enforcement staff. recently participated in a statewide workgroup led by the Department of Licensing (DOL). The workgroup was convened by request of the State Legislature to study disabled placard use and to develop a strategic plan to end any abuse. DOL’s report contains multiple recommendations for the Legislature to consider and is available online. Many of the report recommendations were included in House Bill 2463, which was delivered to the Governor for signature on March 17, 2014.

If you have questions about obtaining or renewing a disabled parking permit, please contact the Washington State Department of Licensing:

 If you have comments or questions about Seattle on-street parking for disabled parking permits, please contact:
Jonathan Williams at jonathan.williams2@seattle.gov or (206) 733-9026