Residential Parking Permit Program Facts

Page updated on Jul 13, 2021 at 10:34 AM


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In 1979 the Alexandria City Council designated certain areas in the City as residential permit parking districts. Council established these parking districts because of the increased demand for parking, particularly in the Old Town and residential areas of the City near METRO stations. The residential permit parking ordinance prohibits on-street parking for more than two or three hours during varying time periods. The City's Transportation Division posts signs in each block of the parking districts describing the time limits and hours of enforcement. Vehicles displaying the appropriate parking permits are exempt from these restrictions.

Questions & Answers

Q. Who is eligible to obtain parking permits? 

A. Only persons who maintain their residence within the boundaries of a permit parking district are eligible to obtain parking permits.

Q. My business is in one of the permit parking districts. Can my employees and I obtain parking permits for our vehicle(s) if we register them in the business name at the address in the permit parking district? 

A. No. Employees and owners of businesses located in a permit parking district cannot obtain parking permits for their vehicle(s). Only full-time residents of a permit parking district may obtain parking permits.

Q. How do I obtain parking permit(s) for my vehicle(s)? 

A. You can obtain a parking permit sticker for the bumper of your vehicle at the Treasury Division of the Finance Department, City Hall, Room 1510, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will have to present proof of your residency (e.g., copy of a lease) within the permit parking district for which you wish to obtain a permit. You must register your vehicle(s) for personal property tax before you can obtain a parking permit. For information on how to register your vehicle(s), please see the Personal Property Tax web page.

Q. Is there a charge for the parking permit? 

A. Yes. The fee for the residential parking permit is $40 for the first vehicle, $50 for the second vehicle, and $150 for each additional vehicle.

Q. What is the difference between a "Visitor" permit and a "Guest" permit? 

A. The City issues a "Visitor" permit for the vehicle of a person who stays at a residence within a permit parking district for more than 24 hours. A "Guest" permit is issued for the vehicle of a person who visits at a residence within a permit parking district for less than 24 hours. NOTE: The City is temporarily allowing Guest permits to be renewed for up to seven consecutive days. There is no charge for a "Guest" permit, or for a "Visitor" permit for seven days or less.

Q. Visitors will be staying at my home for longer than 24 hours. Can I obtain permits for their vehicle(s)? 

A. Yes. You may obtain a temporary permit for your visitors' vehicle(s) at City Hall, 301 King Street, Treasury Division, Room 1510 during regular business hours. The "Visitor" permit is valid for a maximum of 30 days. The permit is not renewable, and no more than two "Visitor" permits will be issued to the same residence at the same time. The fee for "Visitor" permits issued for more than seven enforceable days is $5.00. You can also obtain "Guest" and "Business" permits at the Treasury Division.

Q. What do you mean, "Visitor' permits are not renewable?" Are you saying that I cannot have the same visitor stay more than one time at my home? 

A. The issuance of two consecutive permits for the same vehicle is "renewal" of a permit. If you obtained a permit for the vehicle of a weekend visitor and that same visitor returns the following weekend, you can obtain a second permit for the vehicle. If you obtained a 30 day permit for the vehicle of someone staying in your home, you would not be able to obtain a permit for the following 30 days. Vehicle(s) remaining in the City or for more than 30 days must be registered for personal property tax, and a permanent parking permit must be purchased for the vehicle(s).

Q. What is a "Business" permit? 

A. The City issues a "Business" permit for the vehicle of a contractor doing business in the home of a resident of a permit parking district. No more than three "Business" permits are issued for the same residence at the same time. There is no charge for the "Business" permit.

Q. Do I have to obtain the permit(s) for my visitor's vehicle or can my guest apply for the permit(s)? 

A. The applicant for a parking permit must be the resident; not the visitor, guest, or business representative. Only residents of permit parking districts are eligible to obtain parking permits.

Q. I own a residence located in a permit parking district but do not live there. I lease the property to others. Can I obtain a temporary parking permit when I am painting and making repairs between tenants? 

A. No. An owner of a property within a permit parking district cannot obtain parking permits unless he/she is also the resident. Only persons who live full-time in a permit parking district can obtain parking permits.

Q. What information must I present to obtain parking permits for my guests' vehicles and the vehicles of contractors work in my home? 

A. You will need the following information to obtain "Visitor" and "Business" permits: make of the vehicle, body style/model, year, color, license plate number and State of issue. The license plate number and State of issue are particularly important since the clerk enters this information on the permit before giving it to you. You are not required to provide this information when making application for "Guest" permits. However, after you obtain the "Guest" permit, it is your responsibility to enter the license plate number and State of issue on the "Guest" permit before you display it on your guest's vehicle. If you do not enter this information on the permit, parking enforcement officers will not honor the permit.

Q. It is not possible for me to get to City Hall during the day to obtain the permits. Is there somewhere I can obtain the permits in the evening or on weekends? 

A. Yes. Guest permits (valid for up to 24 hours) or Visitor Permits valid for two to seven days may be obtained online, or at any Alexandria Library branch, in addition to City Hall. Visitor Permits valid for eight or more days must be requested at City Hall.

Q. Does the parking permit allow me to park my vehicle anywhere? 

A. The parking permit allows you to park your vehicle anywhere within the permit parking district for which it was issued on block faces signed with Residential Parking Permit (RPP) exemptions. Such exemptions post hourly restrictions and times, followed by the phrase “Except Holders of District [Number] Permits.”  Below is an example of an RPP sign. Unless specifically noted, all other restriction signs remain effective. For example, if there is a sign posted which prohibits "parking from here to corner," the parking permit would not allow you to park your vehicle in such a space. Nor does the residential parking permit exempt the holder from paying the required fees when parking in an area with metered parking. The City Code also prohibits parking a vehicle in the same place for more than 72 continuous hours. The parking permit would not override this restriction.

parking sign example

Q. Is my parking valid in other permit parking districts in the City? 

A. No. If you park your vehicle in another permit parking district, you must observe the posted time limits just as any other non-resident of the district.

Q. I am having a party next weekend. Can I obtain the parking permits for my guests' vehicles in advance? 

A. Yes. You can obtain the temporary "Guest" parking permits before the date(s) you will need them. You can also obtain "Visitor" and "Business" parking permits in advance.

Q. Can my parking permit be transferred to a new vehicle?

A. Yes. You may transfer your residential parking permit from a vehicle already registered in the City to a new vehicle for $1. 

For Additional Information, Contact: 

Treasury Division
301 King St., Suite 1510
Alexandria, VA 22314
Email: Email button(1)