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Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) Program

Effective January 2010, new legislation governs the number of restricted parking zone (RPZ) permits allowed per household and also puts in place stricter eligibility criteria in order to qualify for an RPZ permit. This legislation was passed in June 2009. The overall purpose of these changes is to help prevent fraud and abuse in the system, and help residents find parking near their homes, which is the major goal of the program.

  • Effective January 2010, per SMC 11.16.315(c), any applicant must show proof that the address on their vehicle’s Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) registration matches their RPZ eligible address. Since 2005, state law has required that Washington residents have their primary residence street address on their vehicle’s registration record.  Per RCW 46.16.028, residents of Washington State shall also register their vehicles within 30 days of moving to Washington State. If you have not yet changed your address on your registration, you can do this on-line. Please visit: Exceptions to this rule are out-of-state students providing a letter from the registrar’s office or a tuition statement showing non-resident status, or active duty military personnel providing current valid military identification.
  • Effective January 2010, per SMC 11.16.315(d), each residential address is eligible for no more than four permits per address. The only exceptions to this rule are for adult family homes, assisted living facilities, domestic violence shelters, and permitted congregate residences. Permitted congregate residences must show proof that they are designated as such. Each address is still eligible for one guest hangtag.
  • Per SMC 11.16.315(b)(2), permits should be used within six contiguous city blocks of the household unit address. This six-block requirement is intended to reduce the ability for a permit to be used improperly; i.e., by a person trying to park closer to a place of employment, or trying to park closer to board transit, or some other reason other than parking near the residence of the permit owner.
  • Effective January 2010, per SMC 11.16.315(e), residents may obtain a limited number of single-day use guest permits , except in the Husky Stadium Event Zones (Zones A and B). Each permit costs $1.00, and is non-refundable. The maximum allowable number of single-day use permits per household unit address per calendar year is 50. No more than five permits can be sold for any one date for a particular address. However, the Director of Transportation or his or her designee may approve an exception to the five permits per date per address limit in certain situations. A single-day use permit will be valid for one calendar day, from midnight to the following midnight. It must be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard. If a guest is staying overnight, he/she would need two single-day permits. Due to the availability of this single-day permit, SDOT will no longer issue temporary permits for visitors of residents.
  • Effective January 2010, per SMC 11.16.315(f), motorcycles and scooters belonging to residents or their guests are authorized to park in a restricted parking zone without displaying an RPZ permit.

Parking Violations and Penalties (SMC 11.72.351, SMC 11.31.121)

  • A citation ($48) may be issued if:
    • The RPZ permit does not match the vehicle,
    • A guest permit is being used improperly,
    • The zone permit does not match the zone where the vehicle is parked, or
    • The vehicle is parked within the same zone as the permit indicates, but it is parked more than six blocks away from the address for which the permit is issued.
  • A citation ($24) may be issued if an RPZ permit is displayed in an improper location on a vehicle. The permit must be affixed to the vehicle at the lower center of the rear window for which it is issued, or may be placed in the lower left-hand corner of the driver’s side front windshield.
  • It is strictly against the law to buy, sell or transfer an RPZ permit, and a citation ($250) may be issued if this occurs.
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