DC Parking Meters: Pay by Phone Parking in Washington DC

The Easiest Way to Pay for Parking in Washington DC

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 Mark Wilson / Staff / Getty Images 

To pay for parking meters in Washington DC, all you need is a cell phone. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has launched a Pay by Phone parking program, a cashless payment option, at approximately 17,000 on-street metered spaces. The meters have green stickers that indicate they accept pay by phone payments. You may also use a credit card to pay the meter onsite. 

The Pay by Phone program is administered by Parkmobile USA, Inc. First-time users need to set up a FREE account. You can do this online or by calling 1-877-727-5758. To apply for the program, drivers need to register their cell phone number, license plate and credit card number in advance. There is also a mobile app.

Pay by phone parking is convenient, easy and safe. Here's how it works:

1. Call 1-877-727-5758
2. Enter Location # (posted on parking meters)
3. Enter Number of Minutes

There is a $0.45 fee for each transaction, which covers the credit-card-processing charge and other program costs. Your credit card number is encrypted when you sign up and is never entered, displayed, or spoken during a transaction. When you pay for your parking by phone, your license plate and parking time are automatically displayed on a handheld device used by the parking enforcement officer. The toll-free number varies by geographical location so it is important that you call the correct number for your area. 

A history of transactions is viewable any time the user logs into their account. When paying by phone, motorists may also select the option to receive a text message reminder minutes before their time expires and can also call back to add additional parking time remotely from any phone, provided they won't exceed the parking time limit. That feature greatly reduces the chance of a parking violation.

Benefits of Pay By Phone Parking Meters

  • No need for cash or credit cards at the meter
  • Text message reminders when parking time is almost up
  • Extend parking time remotely from any phone to avoid tickets
  • No need to display anything on your dashboard
  • Save money by only paying for the exact time you park
  • Pay for parking from the comfort and safety of your vehicle
  • View and print parking receipts online

Parkmobile Wallet

Parkmobile Wallet is a program that allows you to pay for your parking via an online account or from a mobile app (available for iPhone & Android). The Parkmobile Wallet is FDIC insured. Members will pay a lower transaction fee of $0.30 when they utilize the Parkmobile Wallet as a payment method in DC. 

Handicapped Parking Meters

The red parking meters were designed to ensure accessible on-street parking for residents and visitors with disabilities. However, the program is not currently being enforced. Anyone can park at these meters. Persons with disability placards or tags do not have to pay. When the program rolls out, only individuals with disability placards and tags will be allowed to park at these meters and they will have to pay.

Pay By Space Street Parking

In October 2015, the District Department of Transportation launched 1000 Pay-By-Space parking spaces near the Verizon Center in the Penn Quarter and Chinatown areas of Washington, DC. The parking system means drivers park in defined spaces, read the four- or five-digit space number on space marker posts, and then enter the number at the payment kiosks, or on their mobile devices with Parkmobile. There is no need to display a receipt on a dashboard. If the launch is successful, Pay-by-Space Parking will likely be implemented throughout the city. 

More About Parking in Washington, DC

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