Parking Citations and Enforcement

Overview

Alameda’s parking enforcement program aims to increase compliance with parking rules to ensure spaces are available for visitors, crosswalks and bike lanes are clear, accessible parking zones are reserved for people with disability placards, street sweeping keeps debris out of our waterways, and more.

How to Park Legally

Whenever you park, look at all signs, curb paint, and parking meters. Some things to look out for:

  • Street Sweeping signs
  • Time limit signs
  • Curb zone paint and signage:
    • Green is short-term parking limited to the duration stated on the sign and/or parking meter. Look for signs stating active hours. If a parking meter is present, check meter to see if payment is required during your visit.
    • White is passenger loading. Look for signs stating applicable hours and days.
    • Yellow is commercial loading, limited to trucks and vehicles with commercial license plates during active hours. Look for signs stating active hours and days.
    • Blue is parking for vehicles displaying DMV-issued parking placards or license plates. These zones are active 24 hours a day, except for when parking is prohibited, such as street sweeping.
    • Red is no parking any time.

Examples of other important ways to park legally:

  • Keep crosswalks, curb ramps, and driveways clear.
  • Do not double-park.
  • Do not park on any portion of the sidewalk.
  • Park at least 15 feet from fire hydrants, whether the curb is painted red or not.
  • Do not park in front of bus stop signs.
  • When parking parallel, make sure your wheels are within 18 inches of the curb.
  • Do not use the public right of way for long-term vehicle storage. Vehicles parked longer than 72 hours can be marked abandoned and later towed by the Abandoned Vehicle Unit.
  • More information on avoiding towing is available in the “Traffic Section” tab on the Police Department’s Bureau of Field Services page.

Note that if there is more than one sign posted for the same area, the more restrictive one is the one in effect. If a sign is missing on a block, the remaining posted regulations are the ones that are in effect. Please check the entire block and read all signs carefully before you park.

Information about parking with a disabled parking placard is in the accessible parking FAQs.

Pay or Contest a Citation

Parking citations issued within Alameda city limits can be paid online or by mail via pticket.

To contest a parking citation, see the pticket instructions.

You must pay the fine or contest your citation within 21 days of issuance. After, that you will be charged additional fees and can no longer contest the citation. Further delay may result in notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to refuse registration of the vehicle until all fees are paid in full to the DMV and/or garnishment of Franchise Tax Refund.

Retrieve a Towed Vehicle

The Police Department handles towing in the public right of way and City lots in Alameda. For information and instructions to retrieve a towed vehicle, see the “Traffic Section” or “Abandoned Vehicle Unit” tabs on the Police Department’s Bureau of Field Services page.

Report a Parking Problem

To report a parking violation that does not require towing, call (510) 522-PARK. For issues requiring towing (e.g., blocked driveway, roadway obstruction, or abandoned vehicle), call the Police non-emergency line at (510) 337-8340.

For broken meters or parking enforcement issues that don’t require immediate attention or towing, you can also write to pw@alamedaca.gov or submit a SeeClickFix report in the parking category. When reporting broken meters, please include the meter ID number (if visible on the screen or meter) or the nearest address.

SeeClickFix logo

For more details on reporting parking issues, see the Parking FAQs.