All About Madison Parking Tickets

Last Updated on December 3, 2022 by Usama

If you’re searching for reliable and up-to-date information on Madison parking tickets, you’re in the right place! Parking Access offers information on downtown parking meters, parking regulations, and citations. Learn how to avoid getting a Madison parking ticket, request a review if it’s issued in error, or contest it without any hassle. Use our tips and advice to save your time and money!

How To Avoid Madison Parking Tickets Successfully

To stay away from citations in Madison, you should know how parking meters work and look into a couple of car parking alternatives. Not only will our guide save you from getting a ticket, but we’ll also save a lot of your time! Go through the sections below to get the lowdown on metered parking and downtown parking garages and lots.

Parking Meters in Madison

The City of Madison offers two types of on-street meters: single-space ones and multi-space pay stations. Both accept Visa, Mastercard, coin, and phone app payments. The easiest way to pay for parking in Madison is through the Park Smarter app. The downtown hourly parking rate is $2.00, and meters are in effect between 8 AM and 6 PM Monday through Saturday. Many streets also have time limits noted on the signs. If there are no posted restrictions time-wise, the limit is 48 hours. Check the parking sign before you park to make sure you don’t leave the car for too long and get a citation.

Reserve Parking in Advance

Another way to avoid Madison parking tickets and charges is to park in an off-street parking lot or garage. Most downtown parking facilities have lower hourly rates and accept both cash and credit cards like Mastercard and Visa. Here are the best downtown garages and lots:

Parking Facility Hourly Rate
South Livingston Street Garage $0.80
Overture Center Garage $1.00
Blair Lot $1.00
Capitol Square North Garage $1.20
State Street Campus Garage $1.50
Buckeye Lot $1.80

You could also look into parking platforms like SpotHero or ParkWhiz, but they offer extremely limited parking options in Madison.

Use Public Transit

Metro buses offer many routes that cover all the neighborhoods and allow easy traveling across the city. The bus service is very affordable—a single-ride fare is $2, while the day pass is only $5. Check out its routes and schedules to find the bus route that fits you and plan your trip in no time. 

Already Got a Ticket? Discover What To Do If It’s Invalid!

There are several reasons your ticket might be issued in error, and even illegible handwriting can save you from paying it. You can request a review if:

  • any detail regarding your vehicle is missing or incorrect
  • the address of the parked car is inaccurate
  • there’s an issue with a parking meter or sign

To set up a court date and have your ticket reviewed, you need to fill out the Parking Ticket Review Form. Provide an explanation and your personal/vehicle details and submit it within ten days of the ticket issuance date. The Madison Police Department will determine if you’re wrongfully incriminated and let you know promptly.

Dispute Your Madison Parking Ticket

If you have any other reason for contesting a ticket, you need to wait five days and then call (608) 266-4170 to schedule a court appearance. Parking court in Madison is held on Tuesdays. If your case isn’t resolved at the initial appointment, the court will set a date for another trial. Make sure you come prepared, bring evidence if possible, as well as other documents. If you’re having trouble preparing your case, turn to DoNotPay, and let the robot lawyer take care of it!

How To Pay Your Ticket

The City of Madison gives you three parking ticket payment methods:

  1. Online: enter the license plate number and follow the instructions to pay with your credit card
  2. By Mail: send a check or money order to City Treasurer, PO Box 20, Madison, WI 53701-0020, and don’t forget to write down the citation number
  3. In Person: head to the Central District at 211 S. Carroll Street, Rm. GR-10, and pay via cash, checks, money order, Visa, or Mastercard

If you opt for the final option, make sure you come to the office between 8 AM and 4 PM.


  • How do I avoid parking tickets in Madison, WI?

Go through our section on parking meters to learn how they work, or park your vehicle in any off-street parking facility from our list above.

  • How much are parking tickets in Madison, WI?

Parking fines in Wisconsin range from $20 to $200. The average cost is $30.

  • How do I pay for a Madison parking ticket?

Pay your Madison parking citation online, by mail (send checks to City Treasurer, PO Box 20, Madison, WI 53701-0020), or head to the Central District at 211 S. Carroll Street, Rm. GR-10.

Contest Parking Citation in Other Cities

Parking Access provides public parking information for cities across the country! You’ve learned how to avoid, appeal, or pay Madison parking tickets—check out the guides from our list below to discover the procedures in other cities:

San Jose Detroit Albany
Cleveland San Diego Portland
Seattle Austin Baltimore

If you’re starting a trip soon and need a low-cost Madison Airport parking spot, discover more about Dane County Airport Parking and make a reservation in no time!

Don't miss a single parking deal

Stay one step ahead with our parking deals, tips and news sent straight to your inbox.

Invalid email address
You can unsubscribe at any time.