RPZ Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Apply for Permits

Read the instructions under “How to Apply” on the main RPZ Permits Program page.  

No. Scooters and motorcycles do not need to obtain permits, and may park with the same privileges as RPZ permit holders.

No. A valid disabled parking permit allows you to park in Restricted Parking Zones up to the citywide 72-hour limit. 

Please note that business permits are not issued in most dense urban neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, First Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, Fremont, Roosevelt and Uptown.

If your business is located within a Southeast Link Light Rail Zone (Zone 16, 28, 29, 30, or 31), you and your employees are eligible for RPZ permits. Please create a profile in the Seattle Services Portal and apply online.

For all other areas, SDOT considers requests for RPZ permits for employees within an RPZ based on specific criteria. Learn more about this process in our Business Permits Fact Sheet.

If you think your business meets the criteria, fill out the paper Application for Restricted Parking Zone Permits for Businesses

The cost of the permit covers the cost to administer the program.

RPZs are established in areas there is a parking demand generator such as a university, hospital, school, or business district. Most RPZs only allow non-residents like employees, students, customers or visitors to park for a few hours, limiting the impact on residents who need to park their vehicles on those streets near their homes.

No. You may only have one valid RPZ permit on your vehicle at a time.

Seattle Municipal Code 11.16.315 covers the administration of restricted parking zones. SDOT's Director’s Rule 4-2009 outlines specifications, guidelines, and additional information for meeting the requirements of the RPZ Code. You can read it in full here

Applying for Permits: Documents, Vehicle Registration & More

Proof of residency must be dated within 30 days of the current date and must include the applicant's name and address. 

Examples of proof of residency may include:

  • A recently signed lease
  • Rental agreement
  • Forms showing recent purchase of a property
  • Utility bills
  • A cell phone bill
  • Bank statements
  • A cable bill
  • Or any official (not hand-written) and dated piece of mail received within the last 30 days. Undated or "junk" mail is not considered proof of residency. 

We strongly recommend that residents submit their applications online for faster results.   
However, if you cannot apply online, then once our Permit Counter re-opens you may have someone else submit your application for you at our downtown office (as long as they provide the required documentation). Applying online remains the best way to submit your RPZ application. 

An easy, online change of address process can be found at the Washington State Department of Licensing website. It requires the following information: vehicle license number, the last four numbers of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and last name.

If someone else is the sole registered owner of the vehicle, you must add yourself as a co-owner to the title. 

If the vehicle is paid for or owned outright, adding a co-owner is very straightforward. If this is the case, go to the Department of Licensing (DOL) Vehicle Title Application webpage. This process is specifically for people wanting to add or remove a registered owner on a vehicle title. 

  • Download the Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application form, print it, complete it, and have it signed and notarized by all owners (generally notaries are available at most banks.)
  • Mail the notarized certificate to any office of the WA DOL, along with the $12 fee. 
  • When the vehicle’s title has been updated by the DOL, follow the online change of address process.

If the vehicle is still partially owned by a bank or financing institution, adding another name to the ownership may become more difficult, as some lending institutions have strict rules. Contact the appropriate lending institution for specific instructions. 

In response to broad public recognition that there were too many cars vying for a limited number of on-street spaces – and a desire for additional enforcement -- we initiated a comprehensive RPZ policy review in 2008-2009. The rule for vehicle registration was part of a resulting list of changes to the RPZ program.  

That permits should be available only to the registered owners of vehicles received mixed feedback. Some were concerned this might limit student access to affordable group housing. Others supported the change to address parking problems and to bring the city into compliance with state law. Ultimately, SDOT included the provision in the final recommendations which were adopted by the City Council as part of larger changes to the program. 

We will not issue a permanent permit to a vehicle with a temporary registration. We do offer 60-day short term permits, which you can use until your registration arrives from the dealership or the Washington State Department of Licensing. Click here for more information on 60-day short term permits.

If you are an in-state student, yes, your name and address must be on the registration. 

Non-resident (out of state) students are not required to have their name and local address on their vehicle registration. To issue a permit to a vehicle registered out of state, we will need proof of your current enrollment. For most UW students, this can be a copy of your tuition statement showing "non-resident" status. For other institutions, you may provide an official letter (on your institution's Letterhead) stating you are enrolled in classes for the current term. 
Persons who are active military are not required to have their name and local address on their vehicle registration. However, any residential applicant must also present proof that that the applicant is an out of state non-resident or active military personnel. SMC 11.16.315 

Receiving & Using Your Permit(s)

No, we no longer issue stickers or decals for RPZ permits. We completed the transition from physical decals to digital permitting in December 2023.  Please note that this does not apply to guest permits. If you order a guest permit, you will receive a guest permit hangtag in the mail. 

Has your zone transitioned to virtual permitting?  If it has, you will not receive a decal for your vehicle and you will receive an email when your virtual RPZ permit is now active. For more information and schedule for virtual permitting, click here.

When you submit your application for permits online, you will be emailed a 28-day temporary permit to use while it is being reviewed and processed.

If your Zone has not moved to virtual permitting, before you submit your application, you will be emailed a 15-day temporary permit after your application is successfully processed, which you may use until you receive your permanent permits in the mail.

If it has been more than 10 days since your application was successfully processed and you have not received your permit(s) in the mail, please call the Traffic Permits Counter at (206) 684-5086 or email rpzinfo@seattle.gov. 

If your zone has transitioned to virtual permitting and you want to confirm you have a valid virtual permit, you can log into the Seattle Services Portal and click My Records to confirm the status of your RPZ permit.

You may not leave a vehicle on a city street for longer than 72 hours. 

If you need to be gone for a longer period of time, we encourage you to find off-street parking while you are away. Or, leave car keys with a friend or neighbor who can occasionally check on the vehicle and move it. The Seattle Police Department enforces these ordinances, and responds to complaints from the public who have alerted them of a vehicle parked longer than 72 hours.  
If you need to report a vehicle in violation of this rule, please use the non-emergency number ((206) 625-5011) or the City’s Find It, Fix It app

Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) 7 and 21 overlap with the First Hill paid parking area. This means that there are some blocks in each Zone that are both paid and RPZ. Learn more about where you can park without observing the posted time limit or paying the posted rate here

For most RPZs, the answer is no.

There are only four zones (7, 21, 24, and 25) where an RPZ and paid parking overlap on certain blocks. If you have a permit for one of these four Zones, please see the handouts below for further instructions on when you can and cannot use your RPZ permit instead of paying at a pay station.

  • Zones 7 and 21 
  • Zone 24
  • Zone 25—You can use your Zone 25 permit instead of paying at the pay station in the Westlake paid parking area. 

If you believe the citation was issued in error, follow the directions on the ticket envelope to contest the citation. Citations are adjudicated through the Seattle Municipal Court. Read more about how to respond to a parking citation.

When to Update, Replace or Renew Permits

Most RPZ permits are on a two-year cycle, with all permits in a zone expiring at the same time. Click here to see a list of permit expiration dates by zone.

For information on how to renew your RPZ permit when it expires, see the "How do I renew?" FAQ below under "Replacement Permits."

Wondering how to renew your RPZ permit when it expires? If you haven't moved or changed vehicle registration, be on the lookout: About 6 weeks before your RPZ permit is due to expire, you will receive a renewal letter in the mail. Your renewal letter is your proof of residency and contains your individual Renewal PIN and instructions to renew your RPZ permit(s).

The fastest way to renew your RPZ permits is through the Seattle Services Portal. You must first log in to your account. Once you are logged in, start by clicking “My Records” at the top of the screen.  This will show all your active records.  You will need to find your RPZ License (it will have a status of “about to expire”), and on the right side of the screen you should see an option to “Renew.”

If you do not already have a Seattle Services Portal account, you will need to create one before you try to renew online. You may go to the Services Portal and click on “Help” at the top of the screen then click on “Getting Started.”

Because the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is moving to a virtual permitting system, you will not receive a new decal when you renew! We will no longer issue actual decals. Your license plate(s) will be stored electronically. However, if you order a guest pass you will still receive a physical hangtag. 

For additional program information please visit our main RPZ Permits page.

By using these permits you agree to the Conditions of Use for Restricted Parking Zone permits as stated here.

If you move, we will need to issue new permits to you at the new address. RPZ permits are specific to both the vehicle and the address. You will need to provide proof of residency for your new residence.

RPZ permits specific to both the vehicle and the address. They do not transfer between zones. If you move to an address in a new zone, you will need to apply for RPZ permits for the new zone.

If your zone has transitioned to virtual permitting, you will need to request an updated virtual permit. Click here to update your virtual permit online in your existing Seattle Services Portal profile under “make changes.” You may also call us at (206) 684-5086 or email rpzinfo@seattle.gov

For more information and schedule for virtual permitting, click here.

If your zone has not yet transitioned to virtual permitting, you will need to obtain a replacement sticker associated with your new plate number. Return the old sticker to our office with a copy of the new vehicle registration (showing your new plate number) and we will replace the old sticker with a new one. If we do not get the old sticker back, there is a $15.00 replacement fee. 

RPZ permits are specific to both the vehicle and the RPZ address.

RPZ vehicle permits (not guest hang tags) are now digital.  If your license plate or vehicle changes, please contact the SDOT Traffic Permits office by email at rzpinfo@seattle.gov or calling (206) 684-5086.  Your new vehicle license plate will need to meet current requirements and be issued in your name and to your RPZ address.  When you email or call, we will ask for your new license plate number and the make, model, and color of the new vehicle.  If you already have a current RPZ permit there is no fee to update your vehicle.

 We do not issue RPZ permits to temporary plates.  If your new vehicle is issued temporary plates, you may wish to submit an RPZ Residential Short Term permit request or find a temporary off-street parking option until you receive your new license plates. 

Guest Permits

No. Seattle Municipal Code restricts the number of guest permits to one (1) per household (SMC 11.16.315).

No. Guest permits should be used by guests or visitors who do not live at your address. It is illegal to buy, sell or transfer RPZ decals and guest permits to unauthorized persons. If a parking decal or guest permit is misused, your permit eligibility may be revoked for a period of one year and you could be subject to other municipal citations and fines up to $250

You can replace or request a Guest Permit for your address online. Log into the Seattle Services Portal and find your issued license record to make changes. 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Transportation

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.