Residential Parking Permit Areas

Depending on what area of San Francisco you live in, your neighborhood may be part of a residential permit parking area. Many neighborhoods have time restrictions on how long cars may be parked before they get a ticket (this is separate from parking meters). Usually, cars without a residential parking permit can park for two or four hours before they become fair game for the parking enforcers.

San Francisco Residential Permit Parking Area Map (click to download PDF)

Neighborhood residents who can provide acceptable documentation that they are indeed neighborhood residents can receive a residential parking permit that exempts them from these time limits for street parking. They don’t exempt you from having to move your vehicle for street cleaning!

Neighborhoods are a part of the program by request of the residents, usually so that their streets don’t become filled with commuters parking during the day for free BART or muni streetcar parking. The city actually has a process (it usually takes about six months) where residents can petition to have their block become a part of the permit parking area.

A few years ago San Francisco Pacific Heights resident Danielle Steele caused a bit of  scandal when it was revealed that she had 26 parking permits for her home, which lead to legislation capping the number of available parking permits to four for any household. This being San Francisco there are of course a maze of exceptions and special categories, ranging from teacher permits to foreign diplomat permits…

If you are planning on applying for a parking permit, the most important things you will need are a vehicle registration that is registered to your home address, as well as proof that you live there (utility statements, mortgage statements, a copy of your residential lease, etc.). When I first moved to San Francisco, I was unaware of the parking permit situation and spent day 2 of my new life in San Francisco at the DMV getting the car registered to our new address so that I could then go stand in another line with equally excited bureaucrats to actually get the permit…


  1. says


    Glad we don’t have to deal with this permit here in Nevada…=)

    And esp. people like this…”Danielle Steele caused a bit of scandal when it was revealed that she had 26 parking permits for her home”

    I knew she was up there…but man, 26 permits…

    Nice local post, Matt..

    Glad I stumbled at your blog (from Bigger Pockets)


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