parking meter

Parking Common Questions

Jump To:

Who is responsible for enforcing City parking ordinances? Where is the Raleigh Parking office located? What is the fine for meter and time zone violations? What are the minimum distances from which a vehicle can be legally parked? Who can utilize each type of loading zone and what is the maximum time limit? What is the purpose of No Parking Anytime zones? What are Residential Permits and how do I get one? What do I do if I get a parking citation?

The following information is provided as a public service to inform and educate citizens about unfamiliar and misunderstood parking regulations that are commonly violated.

Mixed Use Loading Zones

Learn more about Raleigh's new mixed-use loading zones.

Who is responsible for enforcing City parking ordinances?

Raleigh Parking Field Agents enforce parking primarily in the downtown area and along the Hillsborough Street corridor as well as in residential permit areas. The Raleigh Police Department also enforces parking regulations throughout the city.

Where is the Raleigh Parking office located?

Raleigh Parking is located at 310 W. Martin St. on the first floor of the Dillon Building, Suite 109. They are located across from the Employee Health Center. The Customer Service number is 919-996-3996.

When is parking enforced?

Parking regulations are enforced 24 hours, every day. Appropriate signage is posted at such locations to inform motorists of the current parking restrictions for that area.

Do enforcement agents or the police ever write warnings?

Yes. The police and enforcement agents exercise their own discretion daily in the writing of a citation or a warning without any defined standard or instruction. The best advice is to obey the obvious regulations and do not assume when in doubt. Call the parking office at 919-996-3996 for clarification before leaving your vehicle parked.

What is the fine for meter and time zone violations?

The current fine is $20.00 plus a late fee of $20.00 if not paid within 21 days of issuance.

How much does it cost to park in a metered space?

Metered parking rates vary based on location. It is advised to check the closest pay station to where you are parked. Parkers are able to pay for up the maximum time as indicated by the pay station or signage adjacent to the parked vehicle. Raleigh’s pay stations  accept coins and all major credit cards.

When is payment required to park in on-street metered spaces?

  • All downtown areas, including Glenwood South, require payment from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday
  • Hillsborough District (NC State area) require payment from 8 a.m. to  8 p.m., Monday thru Friday
  • Saturday and Sunday - no payment is required

Is on-street parking ever free?

On observed holidays, meters display: 

On weekends and weekday after hours, meters display:

  • All downtown districts including Glenwood South, parking is free every weekend and Monday thru Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Hillsborough District parking is free 8 p.m. until 8 a.m.

May I re-feed the parking meter or pay station?

Yes. Meter payments can be extended so long as the maximum time (as posted by signage near the pay station) has not been reached. However; the pay stations have been programmed to enable those with valid handicap placards or license plates to purchase as much time as they may need over the designated time limit in one payment to avoid making return visits.  On-street parking is intended for short-term parking up to the maximum time limits posted.  The City offers off-street parking (via garage, deck and lots) for visits that may be longer in nature.

How can I get a receipt for my payment?

Receipts are offered at the paystation.

What if a parking meter/pay station does not work?

Please call the Raleigh Parking Office at 919-996-3996. This number is also posted on each machine. Please note the street name and have your license plate number handy when speaking to the Customer Service Representative. Because the pay stations communicate with each other you can also pay for your vehicle at any pay station on the same block.

What are the minimum distances from which a vehicle can be legally parked?

  • Not less than 50 feet from a railroad crossing
  • Not less than 25 feet from an intersection, stop sign, flashing beacon or traffic control signal
  • Not less than 15 feet from either side of a fire hydrant
  • Not less than 12 feet from either side of a crosswalk
  • Not less than 5 feet either side of a private or public driveway

What are the rules for parking next to curbs?

In unmarked (unlined) parking areas, vehicles must not be parked more than 12 inches from the curb or, if no curb exists, from the edge of the roadway. Where parking spaces are lined, such as with metered parking, vehicles must be parked inside the lines so that no portion is extended into another space or into the travel portion of the road.

May I park on a sidewalk?

No. Even if a sidewalk crosses over a private driveway, no portion of any vehicle parked in the driveway can protrude into the sidewalk.

Who can utilize each type of loading zone and what is the maximum time limit?

The City utilizes four unique types of Loading Zones throughout the City or Raleigh in order to facilitate the different needs of the surrounding businesses and/or property owners. These zones have different time limits based on the required use for that zone.  At no point is it ok to park in a loading zone other than for the purposes of expeditiously loading and unloading.

Loading Zone Type 

Maximum Time Limit            

Who Can Utilize this Zone and for What Uses 

Material Loading Zones 1 Hour Max This loading zone can be utilized by all users for loading and unloading bulk items
Commercial Loading Zones 1 Hour Max

This loading zone is specifically for the use of Commercial Vehicles. Commercial Vehicles must display a N.C. commercial license plate and/or the company or operator name/logo

Passenger Loading Zones                         10 Minute Max This loading zone can be utilized by all users for quick pick up and drop off of passengers
Mixed Use Loading Zones 30 Minute Max This loading zone can be utilized by all users, and will encompass all types of loading from food deliveries, to move-ins, to commercial loading

Police and enforcement agents observe vehicles in these zones for signs of active loading or unloading as stipulated by City ordinance 11-2177.  If no activity is observed, a citation can be issued.

If a user should need a longer time limit than approved by City Code, you should reach out to the City’s Parking Office at 919-996-3996 for specific instructions on how to proceed.

What is a Mixed-Use Loading Zone?

These new zones will provide motorist safe locations to load and unload outside, rather than pulling into No Parking Zones and travel lanes.

This is a new loading zone type which will encompass all types of loading and will be mainly utilized around apartment complexes, hotels, and other large developments where multiple types curb space usage are typically requested.

Mixed Use Loading Zones will restrict motorists to a maximum time limit of 30 minutes of expeditious loading and/or unloading and will usually be in affect 24/7.

Current Mixed-Use Loading Zone Locations

What is the difference between "Commercial" and "Regular" loading zones?

Commercial loading zones are restricted to vehicles displaying a N.C. commercial license plate and/or the company or operator name/logo with letters at least 2" or greater in size permanently affixed on both sides of the vehicle. Regular loading zones may be used by any motorist but only for the purpose of active loading or unloading.

Can a large commercial vehicle be parked on a city street for any other purpose than loading and unloading?

City ordinance 11-2176 restricts commercial vehicles from using city streets for any other purpose than for transporting, loading and unloading. Only small trucks, City buses and school buses are exempt from this regulation.

What is the purpose of No Parking Anytime zones?

These zones are installed where views are obstructed between motorists, pedestrians and objects or in areas where parked vehicles jeopardize the safe flow of traffic.

May any portion of my vehicle be parked within a No Parking Zone legally?

No. City ordinance stipulates that no portion of a vehicle shall extend into a No Parking Zone or a citation may be issued. No Parking zones are clearly identified by signs and arrows indicating the beginning and ending of the zone.

Is parking on City Plaza permitted? If not, may I stop briefly at a pavilion or to use an ATM?

No. The Plaza was designed to be a pedestrian-friendly area. The inclined approach, the brick-paver surface, absence of curbing, and the presence of handcrafted stainless steel bollards creates a unique area which serves as a giant pedestrian mall and crosswalk for which all vehicles are legally required to slow down and yield right of way to pedestrians. Vehicles parked on the plaza would obstruct drivers' views of pedestrians making it more dangerous for them to cross the street. Without curbs to define the edge of the street the handcrafted bollards would be at risk of damage every time someone parks. There is ample parking space in the decks underneath and on the street north and south of the Plaza for those willing to walk a few extra steps.

Can I get a parking permit for construction purposes?

Yes. Construction parking permits are issued by the Raleigh Parking office located at 310 W. Martin St., Suite 109. The fee for such permits are determined by the number of days requested and includes the daily rate of each space. Please reach us via phone at 919-996-3996 if you have any questions regarding permits.

Can I leave my boat parked on a city street?

No. It is against city ordinance to park a boat trailer or any other type of trailer on a city street except for temporary active loading or unloading of effects.

What are Residential Permits and how do I get one?

The Residential Permit Parking program was adopted by City Council many years ago to free up on-street parking for neighborhood residents by restricting non-residents from parking all day. Commuters are encouraged to take public transportation or park in nearby lots or decks. Annual permits are purchased from the Raleigh Parking Office. New applicants must show proof of residency such as a current utility bill, current notarized affidavit of the landlord, auto registration cards or deed in the name of the permittee and showing the address within the controlled parking area. Only legal residents with a vehicle qualify for a permit. You will also need to provide proof of DMV registration. Displaying the permit on a vehicle not registered with Raleigh Parking is a contravention punishable by fine. The cost of a permit is currently $20 annually.

Can I get a Residential Permit for a non-resident? (e.g., regular babysitter, nursing care, maid service, lawn maintenance service or relatives?)

Non-residents do not qualify for a residential permit. The only exception is nursing care. In such case Raleigh Parking will print a special permit allowing the vehicle to be parked for a certain time limit in accordance with the contracted time. The health care professional is required to apply in person to the Raleigh Parking office and provide documented proof of the time required to park as well as their vehicle registration.

How can I get my neighborhood into the Residential Permit program?

Begin by requesting a Residential Permit Petition from the Raleigh Parking Office 919-996-3996. The main requirements are that there must be a minimum of 8 contiguous blocks to form a Residential Permit Area with 75% of residents and property owners in favor.

What do I do if I get a parking citation?

You must pay or appeal the citation within 21 days of the citation issue date. Instructions are detailed on the back of the ticket.

How do I pay a parking citation?

Payments can be made in person, by mail or online. Visit our Paying A Parking Citation page for more information.

What if I fail to pay or appeal a parking citation within 21 days?

A late fee of $20.00 is applied to the violation penalty and you forfeit your right to appeal. If you continue to ignore your obligation to pay, the City may resort to other means of collection including booting your vehicle and/or referring your account to a collections agency.

What if I feel that a parking citation was issued in error or if I have a question or concern about the violation?

Contact the Raleigh Parking office to discuss as soon as possible either by phone 919-996-3996, in person or by registering a formal appeal which instruction is provided on the back of the citation or on our Citation Appeal Process page. Be advised that appeals are not accepted over the phone.

When would my vehicle be booted?

Vehicles with three (3) or more outstanding citations at least 90 days old are subject to being booted.

What should I do if my vehicle is booted?

  1. Contact Raleigh Parking at 919-996-3996 or attend the parking office at 310 W. Martin St Suite 109. Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M.- 5:00 P.M.
  2. You must pay all fines and any additional fees within 24 hours to avoid your vehicle being towed at your expense. Only cash, cashier's check, or bank draft is accepted once a vehicle is booted.

When will the City of Raleigh tow a vehicle?

  1. Parking in a signed tow away zone
  2. Parking in a travel lane
  3. Parking in an area restricted by a posted notice by Raleigh Parking or the Raleigh Police Department
  4. Failing to pay all delinquent parking fines in relation to a booted vehicle within 24 hours

Can I be held responsible for parking citations issued to a vehicle that I own or co-own if I was not driving the vehicle at the time?

Yes. Regardless if you are the sole registered owner or a co-owner, you are still legally liable for any citations issued even if you were not present in the vehicle at the time.


Lead Department:
Service Categories:
Parking Services