RPZ Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for and obtain permits

Please visit the RPZ Service for information about how to get a permit. This site has links to applications and more information about the process.

No. Currently, we can only process renewals online. If you are a first-time applicant, you will need to either apply in person or by mail.

Proof of residency must be dated within 30 days of the current date and must include the applicant's name and address. Undated or "junk" mail is not considered proof of residency. Examples of proof of residency may include: recently signed lease, rental agreement, or forms showing recent purchase of a property; utility bill, cell phone bill, bank statement, cable bill; or any official (not hand written), dated piece of mail received within the last 30 days.

You may submit permits by mail, or you may have someone else submit your application for you at our downtown office. They must provide the required documentation (signed application and proof of residency), he or she may submit your application for you. We will mail the permits to the address on the application and vehicle registration.

We do not accept credit card payments by phone. We accept credit card payments with a VISA or MASTERCARD at our public counter on the 37th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower.

If you are an in-state student, yes, your name and address must be on the registration. Non-resident (out of state) students or persons who are active military are not required to have their name and address on their vehicle registration. (SMC 11.16.315)

To issue a permit to your out-of-state registered vehicle we will need proof of your current enrollment. For most UW students, this can be a copy of your tuition statement showing "non-resident" status. For other institutions, you may provide an official letter (on your institution's Letterhead) stating you are enrolled in classes for the current term.

Active military personnel may provide a copy of their current military ID.

How to use your permit and park in an RPZ

Yes. For a permit on your own vehicle, the RPZ permit decal must be affixed to the vehicle at the lower center of the rear window for which it is issued. If the vehicle is a truck, does not have a rear window, has a dark-tinted rear window or a surface defroster, or where the Seattle Department of Transportation has approved an exemption, the permit may instead be placed in the lower (left-hand) corner of the driver's side front windshield. Guests may place the hang tag from their rearview mirror. (SMC 11.72.351)

You may not leave a vehicle on a city street for longer than 72 hours. If you need to be gone for a longer period of time we encourage you to leave keys with a friend or neighbor who can occasionally check on and move the vehicle, or find off-street parking while you are away. The Seattle Police Department 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) or the City’s Find It, Fix It app to report violations.

No. You may only have one valid RPZ permit on your vehicle at a time.

If you believe the citation was issued in error, follow the directions on the ticket envelope to contest the citation. Citations are adjudicated through the Seattle Municipal Court. Read more about how to respond to a parking citation.

Restricted parking zones are established in residential neighborhoods, often at the request of residents. RPZs are established in areas where there is a parking demand generator such as a university, hospital, school, or business district. Most RPZs allow for short-time parking for non-residents like customers or visitors, the RPZs limit the impact on residents of long-term parking by employees, commuters and students who might otherwise park their vehicles on those streets. The cost of the permit covers the cost to administer the program.

Replacement Permits, Changing Your Address, Etc.

You will need to obtain a replacement sticker with your new plate number. Return the old sticker to our office with a copy of the new vehicle registration (showing your new plate number) and we will replace the old sticker with a new one. If we do not get the old sticker back, there is a $15.00 replacement fee.

With a written request and the replacement fee of $15.00, we can issue a new decal (sticker). You may submit your request in person or by mail.

RPZ permits are specific to both the vehicle and the address. Your license plate number is printed on the sticker. If this changes, we will need to issue a new sticker for the new vehicle. If you return the old sticker to our office with a copy of the new vehicle registration (showing your new plate number), we will replace the old sticker with a new one for free. If we do not get the old sticker back, there is a $15.00 replacement fee.

We will not issue a permanent permit to a vehicle with a temporary registration. We do offer temporary permits, which you can use until your registration arrives from the dealership or the Washington State Department of Licensing. Obtain a temporary RPZ permit.

If you move, we will need to issue new permits to you at the new address. RPZ permits are specific to both the vehicle and the address. You will need to provide proof of residency for your new residence.

RPZ permits specific to both the vehicle and the address. They do not transfer between zones. If you move to an address in a new zone, you will need to apply for RPZ permits for the new zone.

Guest Permits

No. Seattle Municipal Code restricts the number of guest permits to one (1) per household (SMC 11.16.315).

No. Guest permits should be used by guests or visitors who do not live at your address. It is illegal to buy, sell or transfer RPZ decals and guest permits to unauthorized persons. If a parking decal or guest permit is misused, your permit eligibility may be revoked for a period of one year and you could be subject to other municipal citations and fines up to $250

With a written request and the replacement fee of $15.00, we can issue a new guest permit. You may submit your request in person or by mail.

Special vehicle types and permits

No. Scooters and motorcycles do not need to obtain permits, and may park with the same privileges as RPZ permit holders.

No. A valid disabled parking permit allows you to park in Restricted Parking Zones up to the citywide 72-hour limit. 

If your business is located within a Southeast Link Light Rail Zone (Zone 16, 28, 29, 30, or 31), employees are eligible for RPZ permits. Download the appropriate application.

For all other areas: In July 2013, the City Council adopted legislation to allow the SDOT Director to consider requests for Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) permits for employees within an RPZ, provided the request is consistent with Council-specified criteria in the law (SMC 11.16.315 H). More information on the RPZ Business Permit Fact Sheet. 

After reading the information sheet, if you think your business would meet the criteria, fill out the Application for Restricted Parking Zone Permits for Businesses.