RPZ Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for and obtain permits

Please visit the How to Get a Permit page for detailed information about how to get a permit.

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.

When the vehicle is paid for: Adding a co-owner to the title is very straightforward if the vehicle is paid for owned outright. If this is the case, go to the website, http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420001.html. 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.) Then, mail the certificate to any office of the WA DOL, along with the $12 fee. Then complete the steps above for changing the address.

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.

Proof of residency must be dated within 30 days of the current date and must include the applicant's name and address. Undated or "junk" mail is not considered proof of residency. Examples of proof of residency may include: recently signed lease, rental agreement, or forms showing recent purchase of a property; utility bill, cell phone bill, bank statement, cable bill; or any official (not hand written), dated piece of mail received within the last 30 days.

You may submit permit applications online, by mail, or in person. Or, you may have someone else submit your application for you at our downtown office. They must provide the required documentation. We will mail the permits to the address on the application and vehicle registration.

We do not accept credit card payments by phone. We accept credit card payments with a VISA or MASTERCARD online and at our public counter on the 37th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower.

If you are an in-state student, yes, your name and address must be on the registration. Non-resident (out of state) students or persons who are active military are not required to have their name and address on their vehicle registration. (SMC 11.16.315)

To issue a permit to your out-of-state registered vehicle 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.

Active military personnel may provide a copy of their current military ID.

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. 

How to use your permit and park in an RPZ

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."

Yes. For a permit on your own vehicle, the RPZ permit decal must be affixed to the lower (left-hand) corner of the driver's side front windshield. Guests may place the hang tag from their rearview mirror. (SMC 11.72.351)

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 leave keys with a friend or neighbor who can occasionally check on and move the vehicle, or find off-street parking while you are away. The Seattle Police Department enforces these ordinances and also responds to specific cases when alerted by complaints from the public. Please use the non-emergency number ((206) 625-5011) or the City’s Find It, Fix It app to report violations.

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

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.

Restricted parking zones are established in residential neighborhoods, often at the request of residents. RPZs are established in areas where there is a parking demand generator such as a university, hospital, school, or business district. Most RPZs allow for short-time parking for non-residents like customers or visitors, the RPZs limit the impact on residents of long-term parking by employees, commuters and students who might otherwise park their vehicles on those streets. The cost of the permit covers the cost to administer the program.

There are only four zones - 7, 21, 24, and 25 - where RPZ restrictions and paid parking overlap. If you have a permit for one of these 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.

Replacement permits, changing your address, etc.

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 more information on our move to virtual permitting, please visit our RPZ Virtual Permits page.

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 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. 

We will issue a new decal for a replacement fee of $15. Click here to apply for a replacement online. You may also submit your request in person or by mail with a written request and the replacement fee of $15.00. We encourage you to apply online. Applying in person or by mail will increase processing time.

  • By mail: 

Seattle Department of Transportation
Traffic Permits
PO Box 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

  • In person:

Traffic Permits Counter
37th Floor
Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Ave (5th & Columbia)

RPZ permits are specific to both the vehicle and the address. Your license plate number is printed on the sticker. If your license plate number changes, we will need to issue a new sticker. If you return the old sticker to our office in person or by mail with a copy of the new vehicle registration (showing your new plate number), we will replace the old sticker with a new one for free. If we do not get the old sticker back, there is a $15.00 replacement fee. Click here to apply for a replacement online. 

  • By mail: 

Seattle Department of Transportation
Traffic Permits
PO Box 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

  • In person:

Traffic Permits Counter
37th Floor
Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Ave (5th & Columbia)

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 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.

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. 

Special vehicle types and permits

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. 

If your business is located within a Southeast Link Light Rail Zone (Zone 16, 28, 29, 30, or 31), your employees are eligible for RPZ permits. Click here to apply online.

For all other areas: In July 2013, the City Council adopted legislation to allow the SDOT Director to consider requests for Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) permits for employees within an RPZ, provided the request is consistent with Council-specified criteria in the law (SMC 11.16.315 H). More information on the RPZ Business Permit Fact Sheet. 

After reading the information sheet, if you think your business would meet the criteria, fill out the Application for Restricted Parking Zone Permits for Businesses.