Dear PoP – Where Should My Parents Park?

DC Photo Enforcement Vehicle
Photo by PoPville flickr user Wayan Vota

“Dear PoP,

My parents are driving down to visit for a couple weeks and have already used up my DC 2 week guest parking permit. I’m wondering where the best place would be for them to park their car. I live near the CH metro and I thought they could just park in the Target garage on weekdays but this would add up fast at $20 a day. They would want to use their car a few times and aren’t savvy with metro travel yet, so leaving it way out at the end of a metro line would be less desirable. Any suggestions for medium term parking that’s not too expensive and is nearby?”

I don’t know how kosher this is but do you have any roomates or friends you could ask for their 2 week guest parking permit? Do you guys know of any medium term parking for a reasonable price? Or would you suggest some unzoned street parking?

27 Comment

  • I’m confused about the wording of the post, but you can get new guest passes all the time. It’s not just two weeks per year or two weeks per car.

  • Unless something has changed very recently, getting another two-week guest pass will not be a problem.

  • You can also park for free in the unzoned parking spots in Crestwood. Pretty much any street north of Shepherd to the west of 17th is unzoned, I believe. That’s what my parents did for a week while they were here over the holidays.

  • Do what the Mt P folks do, take black paint and paint out all the zone signs!

  • Yeah, I think there is a misunderstanding, because I get guest-passes for visitors all the time. I can’t even tell if the police are keeping track of how many I request. You should have no problem.

  • Have you thought about getting them a temporary permit? It is good for 15 days after the day of issuance.

  • All of the police records are kept on pen and paper. The chances that they even know how many days you’ve had a pass are nearly zero.

  • I live in Ward 3 and got a little laminated guest parking permit in the male from the District last summer. I didn’t request it, and it appears to be valid anytime in my neighborhood. Doesn’t everyone get one of these?

  • Yeah considering the DC Police use a ’50s era ledger book to record parking passes and emergency no parking signs, I don’t think they’ll be able to keep track.

  • There’s that, or you can park on the 600 block of Park Rd, near the Petworth metro. It’s unzoned. If you’re not afraid of the housing project.

  • you can just go to the police station and get another pass. i think you have to have proof of residency (dc id) for that zone. i do it all the time when i have visitors, no big deal.

  • You say that they’re not metro savy, but that doesn’t seem to stop anybody else.

  • Another good question is “how do you get parking permits for contractors that are doing work at your residence?”

  • there is no limit on the number of 2 week residential zone parking passes you can get. Police used to think there was, but according to Jim Graham (many emails on this) there is not (and never was.) Plus, as others have said, they don’t even write it down in a book anymore, they just write out the pass.

    Be sure to KEEP the pass however, after the parents have left! Sometimes tickets are still issued and you can fight it with the pass.

  • You can park in my driveway in north columbia heights. Im going to need picks of your mom first before i decide on “payment”.
    /i kid. grabbing the low hanging fruit.

  • I was told that by MPD that there is a two week/year limit but the officer said its generally not enforced. Maybe if someone tried this as a permanent solution for out of state plates (ie MD or VA) the parking enforcement people would catch on, but for the occasional repeat visitor it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • I don’t think there’s a limit on the 2 week pass, but there might be a limit of passes issued to the same tag. the out of state tag will surely catch the eye of the parking enforcement.

    • ah

      The “ROSA” rules/laws (register out of state autos) will apply. The photo parking enforcers pick up plates and if they see one regularly they may hit you for non-registration. You then have to get some sort of long-term visitor exception

  • What are you?


  • You could also try contacting a church near your house with a parking lot. I had my car up here for 2 weeks a while ago (I’m not an official DC resident, btw) and just contacted a church by my house with a parking lot. I asked them if it would be OK if I left my car in the parking lot for 2 weeks, and they were fine with it. I donated some $ to the church, so that might have helped.

  • Um presuming they are from way out of state, aren’t any tickets unenforceable anyway?

  • I got one every two weeks for four months when I first moved to DC. I only had a sublease so I couldn’t register my car officially (I did that as soon as I had a real lease) so it was my only option. Like other posters have said, the cops who gave them to me never recorded my info anywhere but on the front of the permit. You just show them proof of residency (a DC license or in my case, the sublease agreement) and they hand them out.

    I would also recommend, like others have said, that you retain the expired permits for a while – even with it clearly displayed in my window I got three parking tickets for non-resident violations. I just sent them in with a photocopy of the permit and they were waived.

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