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San Diego Parking

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Parking Guides and Additional Details

Additional Details - Parking Tickets

San Diego, CA is a city that lives on the edge - on the edge of the coast, and on the edge of the US-Mexico border, so it's no surprise that this city is a major tourist attraction!  But lots of tourists almost always equals lots of traffic and almost no empty parking lots.  So whether you're in San Diego for vacation, or you're lucky enough to live in this beautiful city, ParkMe will give you all you need to know about San Diego's parking situation.

Plenty of Parking: There are tons of parking lots and garages scattered around San Diego, with an average of 210 parking spaces per lot.  

Price is All About the Location: If you are looking for a cheap parking spot, then head towards the outer edges of San Diego, near the 5 Freeway or harbor.  The more expensive lots tend to be towards the center of Downtown San Diego and around the Convention Center, where many hotels are located.

Street Parking: There are thousands of parking meters that are scattered around San Diego.  Most are mainly concentrated in the downtown area.  These meters charge $0.50-$1.25 per hour and are enforced Monday-Saturday from 10am-6pm.  Parking is free after 6pm and on Sundays.  Meters accept most major credit cards.

Pro Parking Tips:

Pro Tip 1: If you're parking on the street, one of the best things to buy is a prepaid card.  Most street meters still require change, and the electronic meters only accept prepaid cards.  Also, if you don't use all the time you paid for, you can get the remaining money put back onto your card!


Pro Tip 2: The San Diego Trolley will take you to several popular hotspots around the city, and some stops even have free parking!

San Diego Parking Tickets: 

San Diego City parking ticket enforcement and parking related service cross many city organizational boundaries, and are closely coordinated to ensure the highest level of service on all fronts. It’s run by the Parking Authority, but police and highway patrol also have the ability to issue tickets in certain situations. In San Diego, safety is the primary goal of all the parking restrictions throughout the city. Citations must be paid within 21 days or the driver will incur added fees/delinquent status.


San Diego Parking Ticket Types:

Overall, there are more than 100 different types of parking violations meter maids or police officers can issue you. Like in most cities, the most common types of ticket violations for San Diego parking are from expired meter violations. If you get ticketed for this you’ll probably pay somewhere between $43 and $50. Parking near a red zone/fire hydrant will run you around $80. Like other cities, San Diego views illegal handicapped parking a serious offense because it goes against their strong commitment to safety. Unauthorized parking in disabled spaces will take a large bite out of your budget, running upwards of $440.


Paying A San Diego Parking Ticket:

San Diego’s online parking service center the most recommended method the pay your citation. It allows you to perform website inquiries while being able to handle payment options. You can pay online here.

Paying Online:

Paying online allows you to perform website inquiries while being able to process most payment options. Depending on whether your ticket was issued by an electronic handheld device or written by hand, it may take a few days to show up in the system. Thankfully, San Diego has managed to seemingly answer EVERY frequently asked question about using Pay Cite. You can find them here: http://www.sandiego.gov/parking/faqs/paycitefaq.shtml


Paying By Mail:

Direct your check or money order to the following address:


City of San Diego

Consolidated Payment Processing

P.O. Box 129038

San Diego, CA 92112-9038


Paying By Phone:

To pay by phone you will need either your citation or license plate number. This option lets you pay by Debit Card, Electronic Funds, Visa or Master Card.

Just call: (866) 470 - 1308


Paying In Person

There are two locations of which you may pay your parking ticket in person. Cash, check, money order, debit card, Mastercard and Visa are all accepted forms of payment. They locations are:

Parking Administration

1010 Second Ave, Sixth Floor West Tower

San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Or at:

Civic Center Plaza Building

Office of City Treasurer - Cashiers

1200 Third Avenue, 1st Floor Lobby

San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


How to Contest a San Diego Parking Ticket:

First and foremost, parking citations are not criminal offenses. They are civil penalties and are full liability of the owner. If a drivers feels they were issued an erroneous citation, they must go through an appeals process no more than 21 days from the date the ticket was issued.


Contesting Your Ticket Online:

Using the online service is the most common way to contest your ticket. Before you can get a hearing and potential appeal, you must submit your information for an administrative review.

You can find all the information about appealing a citation here: http://www.sandiego.gov/parking/citations/appeal/index.shtml#step2


Contest Your Ticket By Mail:

You can contest your ticket through mail by simply sending a written request and any supporting documentation to the city. They request you be as concise as possible, and send along a copy of the citation to expedite the process.


P.O. Box 129038

San Diego, CA 92112-9038


Make sure you read all signs thoroughly, particularly if you are parked in an area with rush-hour policies.