All About Seattle Parking Tickets

Leaving your vehicle in a secure parking garage is the safest choice, but on-street parking is usually quicker and more convenient. It’s also a more affordable short-term parking option, but getting a parking ticket can spoil your chances of saving money. That’s where we come in! Parking Access offers useful tips on avoiding Seattle parking tickets and valuable information on how to dispute a ticket. You will also discover more about Seattle street parking and where to find a low-cost parking spot near locations like Sea-Tac Airport and the Port of Seattle.

Seattle Street Parking

Parking in Seattle is enforced Monday through Saturday, from 8 AM to 6 PM. The time limit ranges from 2 to 10 hours, as well as hourly parking rates, which vary based on the location. The hourly cost is between $0.50 and $2.00—morning and evening rates are lower than afternoon rates. To discover the price in any part of Seattle, check the on-street parking map. The most convenient way to pay for parking is through the free PayByPhone app, but you can use pay stations, too. Enter the license plate number, the amount of time you want, and pay! The stations accept coins and both credit and debit cards.

Street parking is free of charge on Sundays and holidays like New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If a holiday is on Sunday, Seattle residents and visitors will get free street parking on Monday. Unlike San Diego and many other cities, the City of Seattle doesn’t enforce time limits on free parking days. Check the sign before you leave the vehicle to make sure it doesn’t indicate otherwise.

Avoid the City of Seattle Parking Tickets

Avoiding pricey tickets is simple if you’re aware of Seattle parking regulations and read the parking signs carefully. This way, you can run errands or go shopping worry-free. Alternatively, turn to any Seattle parking garage or lot and leave your vehicle there. You could also stay away from Seattle parking tickets by avoiding parking altogether—consider using public transportation. Learn the nitty-gritty of each option below!

Parking Regulations 

We listed some of the most important rules in the City of Seattle—follow them if you wish to avoid parking citations:

  • A vehicle cannot be parked on a street more than 72 hours
  • No parking is allowed within five feet of any driveway or alley
  • Load zones provide spots only for (un)loading people or goods
  • Food truck zone signs indicate the times when only certain trucks can park there

Be sure to remember what each colored curb indicates:

  • Red: Tow-Away Zone
  • White: Passenger Load/Unload Zone, SPD/SFD Vehicles Only
  • Yellow: Generic Load/Unload Zone, Truck-Only Load Zone, Taxi Stand
  • Red and Yellow: Bus Zone

We also suggest going through the Seattle parking signs and making sure you fully understand all of them.

Seattle Parking Garages & Lots

If you opt for a city parking lot, you won’t have to worry about getting a Seattle parking ticket! Plenty of options are available throughout the city, and you can use e-parking services like SpotHero and ParkWhiz to find a suitable spot. Parking Access can also help you find discounted parking lots near the most important points in the city. If you’re searching for airport parking, cruise port parking, or event parking in Seattle, check out our guides:

Public Transportation

According to a WalletHub study, Seattle has the best public transit system nationwide! Getting around the city without a car is simple and affordable thanks to King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit. The average one-way fare for adults is $2.75. You can purchase ORCA Cards and load an all-day transit pass for only $8.

Already Got a Ticket? Can You Contest It?

Overturning your parking infringement is easier than you think! A lot of reasons can give you a legal ground to dispute Seattle parking tickets, including:

  • Inaccurate date or time of issuance
  • Illegible handwriting
  • Wrong or missing details about your car, such as the color or model
  • Address or position of the parked vehicle
  • Faded or not clearly seen parking sign
  • Malfunctioning street parking meter
  • Your vehicle was stolen or sold

If you think you have even a slight chance of winning, don’t hesitate to fight it.

How To Dispute Seattle Parking Tickets

To contest your ticket properly, you must take certain steps and respond by the due date listed on the ticket. If you accept that you committed the violation but wish to explain the situation, ask for a mitigation hearing. If you deny, seek a contested hearing. 

To request any hearing, complete the form on the back of your parking ticket and do one of the following:

  1. Call (206) 684-5600
  2. Mail it to Seattle Municipal Court at 600 Fifth Avenue, PO BOX 34987
  3. Drop it off at the court

If you asked for a contested hearing, the court will schedule a pre-hearing settlement conference, which is the opportunity to resolve the issue without the formal hearing. Make sure you come prepared and bring any evidence that may help you win the appeal.

To speed up and simplify the process, consider using DoNotPay. Provide answers to several questions and the photo of your ticket before sending, and the robot lawyer will create a template that will help you dispute your Seattle parking ticket successfully.

Pay Your Fine

The City of Seattle offers four convenient ways of paying your parking citation. See all the options below and choose the one that works for you.

  1. Pay online by entering your citation number and following the directions
  2. Call (206) 233-7000 and use a Visa or MasterCard to pay
  3. Go to the court between 8 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday
  4. Mail either a personal check or money order to Seattle Municipal Court, PO BOX C-34109, Seattle, WA 98124-1109

Note that you cannot send cash by mail.


  • How much is a parking ticket in Seattle?

The cost varies based on the violation, and it ranges from $47 to over $200.

  • How do I dispute a parking ticket in Seattle?

To request a hearing and dispute your ticket, complete the form on the back of your parking ticket and mail it to Seattle Municipal Court or call (206) 684-5600.

  • Can I pay a Seattle parking ticket online?

Yes! Pay online by typing in your parking citation number and following the listed directions.

  • What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in Seattle?

If you don’t pay or dispute your ticket by the due date listed on your ticket, the court will add fees to your original ticket, and the final cost can be significantly higher.

Parking Access can help you with parking tickets in other major cities, too! Check out our guides to learn how to avoid or contest a ticket in Atlanta, San Francisco, New York City, and San Diego!

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