City of Seattle 72-Hour On-Street Parking Ordinance

Updated May 13, 2022

What's happening now?

The City of Seattle is resuming full parking enforcement for any vehicle which has remained in one place for longer than 72 hours, returning to the normal standards which were temporarily paused in 2020 due to COVID-19 public health guidelines. Parking enforcement officers will continue to provide official warning notifications on vehicles allowing owners and occupants to move them before enforcement occurs.

Vehicle owners should get back in the habit of regularly moving vehicles to avoid a possible warning and citation. People should also check their block regularly for temporary parking restriction signs, which can be placed with a minimum of 24-hours notice for things like emergency utility work, cleaning, or special events.

About the Rule

Seattle Municipal Code does not allow a person to park a vehicle on the same block of a city street for longer than 72 consecutive hours. Public streets are not an appropriate place for long-term vehicle storage.  

Regardless of whether or not there is any sign posted, the City's Traffic Code does not allow a vehicle to be parked on a city street for longer than 72 hours. Move your vehicle off the blockface at least once every 72 hours. If you are going on vacation, find off-street parking or leave your keys with a trusted neighbor to check your vehicle and move it as needed.

Additionally, check your block regularly for temporary parking restriction signs, which can be placed with a minimum of 24-hours notice for things like emergency utility work, cleaning, or special events. Vehicles must be moved by the time indicated or drivers may receive a citation and their vehicle may be towed and impounded. 

The first step of enforcement is leaving official warning notices on vehicles, giving the owner time to move them voluntarily and avoid enforcement action. If it appears that people may be living in one of the vehicles, they will receive information about assistance, support services, and resources.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) continues to lead the RV Remediation program, which focuses on cleaning up and disposing of debris and waste around RVs to ensure public health and safety. Days prior to a scheduled remediation event, SPU and parking enforcement staff engage with people staying in RVs to make them aware of the upcoming clean-up activity. SDOT will continue to work with SPU to prioritize the locations of these clean-up efforts over time.

If Your Vehicle Has Been Towed

If a car is towed from a public street, instructions to locate the vehicle and documents required to release your vehicle are available via the resources below. The first step to find and reclaim your vehicle is to contact Lincoln Towing at (206) 364-2000 or search for your vehicle online.

  • Learn more about finding a vehicle towed from a public street and the associated fees here.
  • To find a vehicle towed from a private parking lot, look for posted signs at the lot with instructions and a phone number for the tow company which operates the lot.
  • If you still cannot locate your vehicle, call the Community Safety and Communications Center at (206) 625-5011.
  • If you have located your vehicle and need to redeem it, learn about the process of releasing the vehicle.

More information about your rights to redeem the vehicle, gain access to the vehicle, or request a hearing about the vehicle can be found on the Impounded Vehicle Notice.

Reporting a Violation

To report an abandoned vehicle that is within the Seattle city limits, on a public street or City property, and parked there for over 72 hours, call one of the numbers below or submit a report through the Find It, Fix It app.

The parking enforcement team cannot be everywhere at once and expects it to take longer than usual to respond to the many requests predicted to happen. The enforcement process takes time, and the parking enforcement team will respond to violations as swiftly as possible given capacity.

Community Safety and Communications Center Non-Emergency: (206) 625-5011

Parking Enforcement 72-Hour Parking Limit/Abandoned Vehicles: (206) 684-8763