As one of the first colonies of the United States, Philadelphia is a city rich in history, and a popular stop for tourists. With so many landmarks of American culture housed in this city it is not a surprise that the crowds and parking can sometimes be overwhelming. Navigate your way through Philadelphia's parking system with ParkMe's helpful parking tips and tricks.
Searching for parking in a particular neighborhood? Click the links below to find the best Philadelphia parking spots.
Lots of Parking: There are tons of parking lots in Downtown Philadelphia, at least 1 lot on every block! There is an average of 338 parking spaces per lot, which gives drivers plenty of options of where to park.
Street Parking: There is tonsof metered and residential street parking all around Philadelphia. Parking meter rates are typically $2 per hour, but you can park for FREE for 2 hours on residential streets. Make sure to read the signs in residential areas to make sure you don't need a permit.
Motorcycles and Scooters: In the central part of the city, there are specific metered parking spaces assigned for motorcycles and scooters. These spots are located at the end of the blocks and clearly delinieated with painted lines.
Pro Parking Tips:
Pro Tip 1: The heaviest traffic flow heads west to east along South Street (and east to west along Lombard) because of the easy access Highway 95. Parking is ample on South Street during weeknights, but hard to come by on weekends.
Pro Tip 2: Parking around the Southwest Center City district can be one of the toughest to find, but the city is finding creative ways to remedy the parking challenges in this area. One way is through the Easy Passyunk Avenue valet service parking service offered to drivers who want to hang out in the area on busy weekend nights.
Pro Tip 3: Nervous about leaving your car in the city? Park on Vine Street, the lots there are the most secure.
Philadelphia Parking Tickets
Parking enforcement in Philadelphia is an efficient system that doles out thousands of parking tickets each week. Add to that modern day technology and you have a parking system that is so efficient that parking enforcement knows if you are illegally parked over the meter or street time limit within minutes of your time expiring. Now, the extra 5 minutes you took to get back to your car will cost you up to $36! To learn more about Philadelphia parking laws, tickets, and the ways to avoid and fight them check out our tips below.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) is in charge of parking enforcement in Center City, University City, and all neighborhood commercial areas, as well as residential permit parking and street cleaning zones.
The PPA patrols these areas during the following times:
Monday-Wednesday, 6:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Thursday-Friday, 6:30 AM - Midnight
Saturday, 8:00 AM - Midnight
Sunday, 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The PPA also patrols the areas from Spring Garden to Bainbridge, and Columbus Blvd to 40th Street during the following times:
Monday-Tuesday, 10:30 PM - 2:30 AM
Thursday-Saturday, 12:00 AM - 4:00 AM
Note: The Philadelphia Police Department also enforces parking violations and patrol 24/7.
For more information on PPA enforcement visit their website at philapark.org.
With the PPA using state-of-the-art technology it’s no surprise that the most common parking tickets issued are for meter violations. Depending on where you’re parked these tickets can cost anywhere from $26-$36, which is in the lowest price range when it comes to Philadelphia parking tickets. The average parking ticket will cost you $76 but can go up to over $300! Some of the most expensive tickets you can get are issued for abandoned vehicles or parking in a Handicapped space without a valid placard/plate, and will cost you a fine of $301. Check out the complete list of Philadelphia parking violation types and prices for more information.
If you have 3 or more unpaid parking or red light tickets, your vehicle is eligible to be booted. Boot crews patrol all public roadways and PPA managed properties in Philadelphia. If you are booted you must pay all your delinquent fines in full, including any additional penalty fines and a boot removal fee of $150. If your car is booted for more than 72 hours your car will be towed. Check out more information on booting, towing, and impound fees to find out where to reclaim your car and the penalties for not paying your parking tickets on time can cost you!
Paying a Philadelphia Parking Ticket
If you end up getting a parking ticket and wish to pay off your fine you have 15 calendar days of when the ticket was issued to pay before late penalties will be applied. There are 4 ways to pay off a ticket: by mail, by phone, in person, and online. If you cannot pay your parking ticket in full there is a payment plan that you can apply for with the City of Philadelphia.
Place check or money order payable to the City of Philadelphia in the provided envelope and mail promptly. Remember to write your ticket number on your check or money order.
City of Philadelphia
Parking Violations Branch
P.O. Box 41818
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Do not send your check to the PPA.
Call (888) 591-3636 to pay by Visa or Mastercard. This service is available 24/7.
To pay in person visit the Parking Violations Branch Office:
913 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Weekdays, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
You can pay your parking ticket online at www.philpark.org. You will need your ticket number or notice number. If you do not know your ticket number or notice number you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your license plate number and the state it is issued to. There is a processing fee of $2.50 for all web transactions.
You may qualify for a payment plan if you are unable to pay in full. Call (888) 591-3636 for more information. In general, the amount owed must be over $125, you must make a down payment of 25% and you must provide an eligible credit card, debit card or checking account from which automated monthly payments can be electronically withdrawn. The minimum monthly payment is $20 and the maximum term is 12 months.
How To Contest a Ticket
If you wish to contest your parking ticket there are few options available to you. Disputes about parking tickets are resolved by the City of Philadelphia Bureau of Administrative Adjudication. The PPA issues roughly 90% of City of Philadelphia parking tickets. Under certain circumstances, ticket disputes involving matters that can be resolved by the records of the Parking Authority can be handled by the Parking Authority’s Parking Violations Branch (PVB). If your dispute involves a claim of a broken parking meter, or is that you had a valid parking meter kiosk receipt that should have covered the time when the ticket was issued, or that you had a valid permit for the location when the ticket was issued, your best approach would be to address the issue first with the PVB. To access the PVB’s web for for submitting that type of dispute, click here. You may also contact them at:
Parking Violations Branch
P.O. Box 41819
Philadelphia, PA 19101-1819
For all other disputes, you may appeal to the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication to have your case heard by a Hearing Examiner.
In person hearings are conducted at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication:
913 Filbert Street
Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Unless you are booted or towed or have a registration suspension pending or have a resident parking permit renewal that is prevented by tickets that you wish to contest, you must schedule your hearing in advance.
Note: About half the people who schedule hearings don’t show up, so the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication overbooks to account for that. Therefore, on some days the wait times can be long (an hour or more) depending on how many people decide to appear for each scheduled time slot, how many hearing examiners are available that day and how many of the people booted or towed appear for hearings.
To request an in person hearing call (888) 591-3636 or schedule an appointment online.
Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a hearing by telephone. In order to qualify for a hearing by telephone, you must be disabled and have current and valid state issued parking credentials in your own name (either tag or placard) or you must be a disabled veteran. You must submit in advance proof of qualification along with any evidence that you want the hearing examiner to consider. Call (215) 683-9593 to see if you qualify and to schedule.
To have your case heard by mail, include a signed copy of your Rights and Responsibilities Statement (download here) and submit that form along with your written testimony together with any evidence that you would like a hearing examiner to consider in your defense of each violation, by violation number and mail to:
City of Philadelphia BAA
Attn: Hearing Examiner
913 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3117
For more information on how to appeal a ticket by mail visit the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication website.
To submit your appeal by web, you will need to review and accept your Rights and Responsibilities and then complete the form and upload your written testimony together with any evidence that you would like a hearing examiner to consider in your defense of each violation.
For more information on how to appeal a ticket through web upload visit the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication website.
Appealing the Bureau’s Decision
If you are unsatisfied with the decision made after your first appeal you may appeal the decision of the hearing officer, but you must do so very carefully. As prescribed by law, you must serve your appeal by certified or registered US Mail and it must be received at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication within 30 calendar days of the date of the original decision. You cannot successfully file for appeal of the original decision in person, by email, by fax or by any other forms of mail or delivery, or by sending to the wrong address (such as the payment processing lockbox). You cannot successfully file for appeal if you do so late, and the only date that matters is the date on which it is received – not the postmark date. Appeals defectively filed will be returned by first class mail with the reason for rejection. If you wait until day 27 to file your appeal and you get it wrong, there will not be sufficient time for you to cure the defect and get it back in on time.
Tips for Appealing a Ticket
If you are unsure of whether or not to appeal your ticket or not, keep in mind that there is no filing fee to receive a hearing in Philadelphia. The only thing it will cost you is your time.
If you want to appeal your ticket DO NOT pay the fine first. Payment is a guilty plea!
Once a hearing is scheduled, your ticket will be suspended so no additional late fees or penalties will be added. However, if you fail to appear for your scheduled hearing, an adverse decision will be entered, and any pending late penalties will be assessed and collection will be demanded.
Click here for information on who to contact to help you with parking ticket questions.
Know Your Parking Rights
“Feeding the meter” is illegal in Philadelphia. You can only park in one spot for as long as street signs or meter permit. Adding more money to a meter does not allow you more time at that meter. If there is a 2 hour limit, you MUST move your car after 2 hours. The PPA knows if you have not moved your car after 2 hours, so even if the meter has not “expired” you will have just wasted whatever change you put in to refill the meter plus have another $36 fine on top of that.
Most parking regulations are enforced Monday-Friday or Monday-Saturday, but check each sign to be safe!
Click here for tips and tricks on the best places to park around Philadelphia.