City of Seattle 72-Hour On-Street Parking Ordinance
The City of Seattle has many signs posted around the city that limit the amount of time a vehicle may park on the street (such as a 2-hour limit between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., etc.). Regardless of whether or not there is any sign posted, the City's Traffic Code does not allow a vehicle to be parked on a city street for longer than 72 hours. The Traffic Code also prohibits junk motor vehicles from being left on City streets (see Abandoned Vehicle Hotline) (SMC 11.72.440). Additionally, the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) prohibits vehicles over 80 inches in width (such as RVs, tractor trailers, and larger trucks) from parking on most city streets (any street except those adjacent to Manufacturing or Industrial zoning) between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. (SMC 11.72.070). The Seattle Police Department routinely enforces these ordinances and also responds to specific cases when alerted by complaints from the public - please use the non-emergency number (206-625-5011) to report violations.
Sometimes the ordinary parking restrictions on a street may change, such as to allow street cleaning, construction activity, special events or other unusual circumstances that require that the street be cleared of parked vehicles. When this happens, official signs (easels) will be posted announcing the temporary change to parking restrictions with the dates and times when no parking is allowed (see Temporary No Parking Zones). In some cases these signs may be set up with as little as 24-hour advance notice before the restrictions take effect. Vehicles must be moved by the time indicated or drivers may receive a citation and their vehicle may be impounded and towed.
Although some people may not use their vehicles on a regular basis (and therefore leave them parked on the street), the vehicles must still be moved every 72 hours and comply with all posted signs, including the ones announcing temporary parking restrictions that may go into effect after 24 hours. When a car is parked on a public street, drivers are encouraged to check their car at least once a day, even if their car is on a street where they are allowed to park up to the citywide 72-hour maximum.
If you believe your vehicle has been towed, please call (206) 684-5444 (Seattle Police Department). To learn about the impound process, please visit our Tow-Away Zone page.
To report an abandoned vehicle, call the Seattle Police Department Abandoned Vehicles Hotline at (206) 684-8763 or fill out this form.
For more information on the 72-hour On-Street Parking Ordinance, call (206) 684 ROAD (684-7623).