Known as the world's traditional automotive center, Detroit, MI is one of the most obviously car-populated cities. And all those cars need a place to park! Read our tips and tricks to help you find the most affordable and convenient Detroit parking spot.
Tons of Parking: There are lots of parking lots and garages clustered in the Downtown Detroit area to accommodate all the cars travelling through the city. There is an average of 398 parking spaces per lot.
Range of Prices: Detroit parking lots have a wide range of parking rates. Lots closer to the 75 Freeway and around Comerica Park are usually a little cheaper at around $4-$5 maximum rates, but can go up to $20 when there are events. The closer to the lake you get the more expensive the parking rates get at around $10-$18. However, several lots offer discounted evening rates.
Street Parking: There are tons of street meters around Detroit, especially in the downtown district. These meters are enforced Monday-Saturday from 7am-6pm. Parking is free in the evenings and Sundays but if you are worried about the safety of your car then the best choice is to park in a secure and staffed parking lot or garage.
Pro Parking Tips:
Pro Tip 1: One of the best places to park in Downtown Detroit is at the Greektown Casino parking lot. The People Mover has a stop at the casino's lot that can take you to most city attractions.
Pro Tip 2: If you are planning on attending an event in Downtown Detroit one of the best ways to park is to plan ahead and reserve a parking space with the Click-and-Park service. Pay and reserve a parking spot ahead of time and you don't have to worry about arriving hours early just to find an open parking space!
Detroit Parking Tickets
Known as the world’s “traditional automotive center” and home to the “Big Three” automotive companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, you can expect, without a doubt, for Detroit, MI to be full of people driving around everywhere. And, while parking tickets are a common occurrence in this automotive city, in recent years the City of Detroit has begun to crack down on ticket collections. So, unless you want to get your Driver’s License put on hold by the Detroit Municipal system, read our information on Detroit parking tickets and what to do if you get one.
Detroit Parking Ticket Types:
In Detroit, prompt payment is rewarded with a reduced fee, whereas late payment is penalized with late fees (and if your vehicle is NOT registered in Michigan, expect this late fee to be even larger). However, if you are quick about it, the lowest fine you may have to pay will be $10. That is the reduced fine for citations issued for overtime parking or meter violations. To be eligible for a reduced fine you have to pay within 10 days of the date the citation was issued. After 10 days you will have to pay the standard fine of $20. After 30 days, late fees are applied. For vehicles that are registered in Michigan the fine for overtime parking increases to $50, but for all other vehicles the fine will jump from $20 to $80!
The most expensive ticket you can get in Detroit is for parking at a handicapped spot without a valid disability placard or plate. This violation will cost you anywhere from $90-$150 in fines ($90 within 10 days, $100 standard fine, $120 after 30 days for Michigan vehicles, $150 after 30 days for all other vehicles). Check out the entire list of Detroit violation types and fines for more information.
Booting/Towing In Detroit
If you have 6 or more unanswered parking citations you are in danger of getting your vehicle booted or towed. The City of Detroit will give you 15 days after your 6th notice before immobilizing or impounding your vehicle. To reclaim your car you will have to pay off all your delinquent fines in full to avoid further action (and even more fines being added to your total!).
Paying a Detroit Parking Ticket:
If you decide to pay your parking ticket please be aware that if you are paying within 10 days of the date issued you are granted a $10 discount! However, after 10 days you will be responsible to pay the full fine amount. After 30 days, Michigan registered vehicles will be charged an extra $20 fine, and non-Michigan registered vehicles will be charged an extra $50 fine. There are 3 ways to pay your ticket: online, by phone, or in person.
Pay your citation online using a Visa or Mastercard. You will need to enter you ticket number or license plate number to look up your citation information.
Pay your citation over the phone using a Visa or Mastercard by calling (313) 963-9630.
Pay your citation in person using cash, check, money order, or credit by going to:
Detroit Parking Department Payment Center
1001 10th Street
Detroit, MI 48216
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
If you cannot afford to pay off your fine you can make a formal payment plan with the Parking Violations Bureau (PVB). Or you also have the option of entering into a possible settlement offer at the Municipal Parking Department.
How to Contest a Detroit Parking Ticket:
If you want to contest your ticket you will have to request a hearing to plead your case. You can request a hearing 3 ways: by phone, by mail, or in person.
Request a hearing by calling (313) 963-9630.
Request a hearing by sending a letter to:
Municipal Parking Department
P.O. Box 2549
Detroit, MI 48231-2549
Request a hearing in person by appearing at the cashiering center at the Municipal Parking Department, located at:
1001 10th Street
Detroit, MI 48216
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
If you are unsatisfied with the decision made after an administrative review you can request to have the ticket heard by a magistrate. In order to do this you will have to post a bond equivalent to the amount owed on the ticket with a written explanation supporting your request. If the motion is granted and ruled in your favor, the bond money is refunded. If the motion is denied, the ticket is paid with the bond and the ticket is settled.
Tips For Fighting Citations:
Tickets are often dismissed in the Detroit Municipal Court for malfunctioning meters. If your meter wouldn’t accept your cash or credit cards don’t hesitate to appeal it! Chances are high that it will be dismissed!
Often times Detroit Parking Enforcement officers don’t check to make sure that the time on your meter has actually expired. Be sure to keep any receipts you have of how much time you paid for or take pictures of meters to use as evidence in a hearing.
Know Your Parking Rights:
You must park your car 15’ from an intersection, 20’ from marked crosswalks, 15’ from unmarked crosswalks, 15’ from fire hydrants, 5’ from driveways, and 30’ from stop signs. Want to know if your car is parked far enough? Each sidewalk block (square) is approximately 5 feet. You can count the squares from your car to determine just how far away you are from a intersection, crosswalk, etc.
If any Michigan resident accrues 3 or more outstanding parking citations and/or 2 outstanding handicap parking citations they are eligible for a Driver’s License Hold. A Driver’s License Hold will not allow you to renew your driver’s license, which could build up to many more serious problems if you are caught driving with an expired driver’s license. Also, to get your driver’s license reinstated will cost another $45 (on top of paying off all your delinquent fines).
You cannot park your car on a public street for more than 48 hours. If your car is left for more than 48 hours without being relocated to a different area it will be impounded.