Dear PoP – Unzoned Parking

“Dear PoP,

Is there a google map of unzoned parking spots in DC? I just moved into the district off of Florida Ave and 2nd St NW and I have no idea were to park till I change my tags.”

We spoke about some long-term parking options here. Anyone familiar with a map of unzoned parking options? Anyone have recommendations of where this reader can park for the next week or so? Can’t he get a temp. pass for a week? If so, who should he contact? Thanks.

51 Comment

  • The local police station issues parking passes that are good for a week or so. I use them when I have guests drive into down.

  • Any DC police station will issue a temporary permit.

  • Please don’t tell this person where unzoned parking is. The blocks that have it like it that way, but if people from outside our blocks start using it, we’ll have to go to permits too. The police permits are all they should need.

    • This is a major problem in many neighborhoods. Idiots who have lived here for years but refuse to register their cars here are warehousing them on unzoned streets.

      • That’s actually, in my limited experience, pretty hard to do. Parking enforcement seems to love ticketing cars with out-of-state tags.

        • Yes- if you park your out-of-state tagged car in an unzoned area for more than a certain number of weeks (maybe 2?), and parking enforcement catches on, you will get a ticket. I think it’s like 100 bucks for not registering your car in DC.

  • If you ask nicely, the police often issue you a temporary permit for 30 days. That should give you plenty of time to jump through all of DC’s parking hoops.

    Also, it is pretty easy to rent a space in the neighborhood. Check-out Craigslist or post something to the Bloomingdale listserv.

  • There is a lot of unzoned parking around meridian hill park — although you are likely to get a ticket if you continue to park there with out of state tags (especially if you have a very conspicuous car that the parking police could easily recognize)

  • My street is unzoned parking, and it’s hard for those of us who actually live there to get spots because of the number of out of state tags. We can’t get zoned tags because we’re not a zoned block, so we’re stuck on the one little block we have. Please be considerate and get yourself a temporary permit.

  • Unzoned doesn’t mean free for all, you’ll still get tickets for out-of-state tags.

    Do not park in unzoned spots unless you live there or are visiting somebody who lives on that street. We have enough problems with asshole cab drivers taking up our spots and using our alleys as their own personal bathrooms.

    In my experience living on an unzoned street we were unable to get temporary passes when we moved here because according to the police officer we talked to there is no such thing as an unzoned street(that’s what she said!) and you can only get a pass for a specific zone. The police in DC are… less than competent.

    • ah

      You can’t get an RPP if you live on an unzoned street. Her explanation makes no sense, but if it’s unzoned there’s no need for any kind of permit, kind of by definition.

  • When I first moved to DC, I dreaded going to the DMV, so I did a reverse commute each day from east Capitol Hill to the Minnesota Ave Metro station garage. Worked fine for about a month, until my Maryland tags were stolen one day. That pretty much motivated me to do the right thing and get my DC tags. So just grin and bear it get your DC tags ASAP. Penn Branch is the quickest DMV, in my experience. Avoid Georgetown and M Street at all costs.

    • Penn Branch can be even worse than Gtown. Go to the one in SW.

      • SW was out of the door and around the back corner of the building when I tried to go there. Seems to be very popular during the day, being close to downtown. I drove over to Penn Branch and was in and out in 45 minutes. Went back to Penn Branch twice since and had the same result.

        Plus, the people you wait in line with at Penn Branch are far more interesting than everyone at Georgetown or SW 🙂

  • If you don’t actually own your car (ie. have a lien) it can actually take much longer than the 30 day permit the police will give you. Once you realize that you have to send a special letter to the bank, have them mail the actual title to the DC DMV and have them process it, it took me about 45 days and 3 parking tickets for the whole process. Either pay to park your car somewhere in the meantime or get it legal quick

  • The DMV in DC is far better and more efficient than the ghastly MD and VA ones. I know from experience. I don’t understand why people feel entitled to avoid civic duties here, besides basic selfishness.

    • It doesn’t seem to me like the op is trying to “avoid civic duties.” It seems like he/she just realizes it might take a week or so to get everything in order, which is a reasonable amount of time. Moving is time-consuming and annoying; I think it’s perfectly understandable that someone might need a small of amount of “lag time” in order to get the proper licensing, etc.

    • The fact that it’s a ridiculous multi-day affair to get proper plates here probably has one thing to do with it. Streamline that, and you’d probably see people going about it much faster.

      • Ahhhhh 30 days is more than enough time for anyone to get the proper tags.

        If you don’t have what you need, try email or the phone before you spend “45 days to mail something” – give me break.

        Come on people. This is lot of whinning cosidering it is the law.

        Once again, small crimes are ok with this group…

  • Belt road between fessenden and chesapeake in Tenleytown was go-to spot for one summer when I was in town interning

  • Porter Street was our trick until we got tags four years ago. Not sure if it’s still unzoned…

    • From what I recall, all of porter is zoned now. There may be a couple of spots down by the bridge over Rock Creek Park, but I kind of doubt it.

  • There are some things that you just don’t share on the internet. Locations of unzoned spaces are one of them.

  • I have a parking question,

    I live in MD and work at a studio in DC.
    I am renting the place in a residential area. I am a MD resident and often drive to work. I have a temporary guest parking permit, that is all I could get since I dont have DC Plates.

    However last month I got a ticket with the temporary parking permit because my car “Has been spotted” parked on Irving St. several times and I need to switch to DC Plates/get a parking permit

    I dont live here, I come here during the day, leave at night. What could I do to legally keep parking on the street. These days I take the metro, red line then green line to Columbia heights and takes me almost 1.5 hrs to get here.

    Any suggestions?

    • rent a parking space in a lot and stop freeloading. seriously, people who drive in from out of state and park in residential parking drive me crazy. i don’t come and park in your driveway, so let’s not park in mine, mkay?

      • I pay taxes, since I work in DC. I am not free loading. I work in a residential area. I wouldnt mind paying for a garage if there was one closeby. I have often parked in the zoo and walked over to Irving, but zoo closes early since it gets dark and I often work till late.

        The street is your driveway? You are more than welcome to come park on the street outside my house, specially if you are renting my basement.

        • Call DMV, if you can prove that you work there and dont live there, they may be able to issue u a parking. I read something like that on the DMV website.

        • how is it you pay dc taxes but don’t live in dc? we don’t have a commuter tax.

        • yeah, you may pay taxes…but we district residents don’t see a dime of it. it all goes to maryland.

        • you definitely dont pay DC taxes. you and your car are grossly misinformed. and parking outside on the street of your your suburban house/condo is much different than parking on a city street, so we dont have as much parking as you on your street. take the metro, rent a parking space (there are many, many private residential parking spaces for rent on craiglist), or move.

    • Yes. Pay for parking in the DCUSA garage. Stop using residential streets for free commuter parking.

  • Why would anyone disclose the location of unzoned parking? It is similar to the kid in high school who would remind the teacher that he/she forgot to ask for homework 30 seconds before the bell…totally clueless. However, as a 365 cyclist, I do find the problems of the car driver quite amusing.

  • But half of those out-of-state-tags tickets are dismissed by the DMV. As poster Nate said, residents with out-of-state cars jam whatever unzoned blocks remain in a neighborhood. In Mount Pleasant, I found that one-third of the parking spaces on unzoned blocks were being taken up by these resident-but-not-DC-tagged cars. The solution was to get those blocks RPP zoned, despite the hardships that that has caused, e.g., to our elementary school teachers.

  • Get the ROSA and use a visitors pass

  • or you could ask a neighbor to borrow their guest parking pass.

  • In front of churches. Those spots are unzoned. Also you can get a temporary parking pass from a police station in the same zone as your address.

  • There is a block of unzoned parking on the NW side of North Capitol where Seaton Market is. It also doesn’t adhere to the same restrictions as other parts of North Capitol (i.e. no parking from 7:00 – 9:30 AM) so you can leave your car there all day. It’ll be about a 5 block walk from where you moved and is the only one I know off in the immediate area (although there are likely others).

    Another thing to keep in mind when driving around is to just keep your eyes out for tags that aren’t registered in DC. Oftentimes that’s the easiest way to spot unzoned areas.

    • That is the block that I live on, and I can assure you that it is zoned parking (it’s zone 5, 7am to 8:30pm). While I was getting my stuff in order to switch my tags, I just got a temporary permit from the local police station, which lasts 14 days, although if you get a nice officer, they may give you some extra time. You will need proof of address, though (like a lease or utility bill). I’ve known people who have gotten additional temporary permits after the earlier ones expire, but it may or may not work, and once they recognize your car, you’re done for.

      When I got my vehicle inspected, I went on a weekday just as they opened (around 7am, I think) and the DMV was totally empty, and the inspection line was pretty short. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the rest of my documentation on me at the time so I wound up going to get my license and tags from Georgetown on Saturday morning. That’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back.

  • DC Council bill:

    Whereas, cabs are the bane of all parking areas in the District of Columbia;

    Whereas, parts of the District of Columbia are zoned specifically as cabs-only parking;

    Resolved, that for all areas that are unzoned parking in the District, cabs will be banned between 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m.;

    To that end, a sign will be put up in each such place, indicating “NO CABS ALLOWED MORNINGS/EVENINGS/OVERNIGHT” or something to that effect, yadi, yadi, yada.

  • 11th St next to Shaw Middle School

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