Philadelphia Community Bulletin Board

Philadelphia Complicated Sign Breakdown

Can people really “fight City Hall” if they get a parking ticket or are towed in error?

If you were given a parking ticket and believe you didn't do anything wrong, or were towed when you were parked legally, you absolutely can challenge the ticket. If you need our help, please consult with The Parking Expert. The best strategy, obviously, is to not get a ticket in the first place.

Should I fight a ticket/tow if I was parked illegally?

If you are guilty of a parking infraction, it is naturally much more difficult to fight a parking ticket or a tow. There are, however, some instances where an infraction can be contested—especially if the ticket was filled out incorrectly by the officer who wrote it. If things like the date, time, location, or type of infraction and/or the make and model of your car are improperly filled out on the ticket, the ticket should be dismissed.

Are there other tips or tricks you have for finding the best places to park in Philadelphia?

It’s difficult to generalize, but there are some good methods to find parking in the busiest sections of big cities—usually their downtown areas or business districts. For instance, instead of trying to park right in the middle of Downtown Philadelphia, say, on Market Street between 15th and 16th Streets, it’s easier to find parking if you travel a little farther towards the outskirts of the city. Basically, even in places where there seems to be no street parking, there probably will be something available if you are willing to park a little farther away and walk a little bit more. Exercise is healthy, so kill two birds with one stone! Another tip: I f you call ahead to a parking garage, or go to their website and reserve ahead of time, you'll likely get a better rate.

What does it mean when a sign says “No Standing” ?

Standing actually means sitting! Specifically, it means that you are sitting behind the wheel in your parked vehicle.

What is the difference between No Standing and No Parking?

No Parking means that you can’t park your car and walk away, but you can stand in your car (see above). You can wait as long as you like while standing as long as you’re not asked to move by a police officer or traffic enforcement agent (you must move if asked). No Standing means that you can’t wait in your car for more than a few seconds (i.e., to drop off or pick up passengers).

How is No Stopping different than No Parking and No Standing?

No Stopping means exactly what it says—you can’t stop there at all, not even for one second!

What are commercial vehicles?

Commercial vehicles—generally vans and trucks that make deliveries—have special license plates. If you don’t have commercial license plates, you don’t have a commercial vehicle (no matter how big the vehicle is) and can’t park in spots designated for commercial vehicles.

In Philadelphia, what is a Multi-Meter or “meter kiosk?"

Meter kiosks, found in many cities including Philadelphia, are centralized meters that accept payment for designated parking spaces in the immediate area. These centralized meters are replacing the older meters at individual parking spaces. Meter kiosks accept payment for all the nearby parking spaces on the block. You put money in the machine (which usually takes credit cards and special parking cards, as well as cash) and get a receipt, which you put on your dash board facing up, so that the time at which you paid for parking and the amount of time you paid for are clearly visible.

In Philadelphia, what are the regulations for handicapped parking?

In Philadelphia, special parking privileges are available for individuals with certain disabilities. Those whose disability is certified by a health care provider as having a permanent or temporary disability are eligible for a Person with Disability Parking Placard. The placard is issued for use in any vehicle being operated exclusively by or for the benefit of a person with disability and may only be used when those persons are actually being transported in the vehicle. This parking placard is to be displayed on the rearview mirror when a vehicle is utilizing a parking space reserved for persons with disabilities. With a valid Person with Disability Parking Placard, parking is permitted in spaces designated for disabled persons and for 60 minutes in excess of legal parking period except where local ordinances or police regulations provide for the accommodation of heavy traffic during morning, afternoon or evening hours. Upon request of a person with disability, local authorities may erect a sign(s) on the highway or street as close as possible to the person’s residence indicating that the place is reserved for the person with disability, that no one else may park there unless a person with disability plate or placard is displayed and that any unauthorized person parking there will be subject to a fine.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive a Person with Disability Parking Placard in Philadelphia?

Eligibility includes a person who:

  • Is blind;
  • Does not have full use of an arm or both arms
  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;
  • Cannot walk without use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device;
  • Is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxy tension is less than 60 MM/HG on room air at rest;
  • Uses portable oxygen;
  • Has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association;
  • Is severely limited in his or her ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition;
  • Is in loco parentis of a person specified in one of the above mentioned disabilities

  • How do I apply for a Person with Disability Parking Placard in Philadelphia?

    There are two different forms available to be completed in order to obtain a Person with Disability or Severely Disabled Veteran Placard or Motorcycle Decal. These applications require notarization.

    • Form MV-145A, “Person with Disability Parking Placard Application”
    • Form MV-145V, “Application for Disabled Veteran, Severely Disabled Veteran Registration Plate or Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Plate Decal”.

    You can obtain the above forms online at:

    Submit the above forms to:

    PA Department of Transportation
    Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    P.O. Box 68268
    Harrisburg, PA 17106

    How do I Renew my Person with Disability Parking Placard in Philadelphia?

    Permanent placards are renewed in March and September each year. You will be mailed a renewal form approximately 60 days prior to its expiration. If you do not receive a renewal application, you should complete Form MV-145A. NOTE: Temporary Person with Disability Parking Placards may not be renewed. Temporary Disability Placard applications must be re-certified by a licensed health care provider when a temporary placard has expired and a placard is still required for a period not to exceed 6 months. Motorcycle Decals are valid for the period of registration assigned to the motorcycle registration plate. When the motorcycle registration plate is renewed, the motorcycle decal is also renewed. NOTE: If the motorcycle registration plate is expired, the motorcycle decal is no longer valid.

    What do “Alternate side street cleaning rules” mean?

    These rules refer to the time of day and days of the week when the streets are cleaned. During these days/times, one side of the street will not be eligible for parking. Often—though not always—parking will be allowed during all other days/times.

    I hear about people who wait in their cars and sometimes double-park during the street-cleaning times. What’s the story with that?

    Very often people will move their vehicles at the last minute before the prohibited time (when one is not allowed to park), and then wait for the street cleaner to go by, at which time they will drive back to the side where they started and wait for parking to be legal again before they leave their cars. Since the street cleaning sign says “No Parking,” people can legally stand (sit behind the wheel) while waiting for the magic minute when parking is again allowed. Double-parking is never legal and you run the risk of getting an expensive parking ticket anytime you do it.
    Sometimes police and traffic enforcement agents will look the other when people double-park while waiting for the street cleaner to go by, but it is not worth the risk.

    Do street parking rules apply during holidays in Philadelphia?

    Yes. The parking rules do not change because of a holiday in Philadelphia. Sometimes during Christmas shopping season the PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) might announce free street parking, but don’t count on it. Here's the web site for the PPA-

    Do I need to pay the parking meters if all parking rules are suspended?


    What does it mean when a sign says “No Parking School Days”?

    This refers to days that school is in session (including summer school). Very often there are hours associated with the rules, e.g., 7am–4pm. In this case you may not park during those hours on days that school is in session.

    What does “feeding the meter” mean?

    Many people think it is OK to continually go back to a parking meter and put in more money so that they can stay as long as they like. Lots of people get away with this, but it is not legal. If the sign says “2-hour metered parking 8am–7pm,” then during those hours you may only stay for 2 hours at a time. If you come back during a 2-hour maximum period and put in more money so that you can stay longer, this is termed “feeding the meter” and can get you an expensive parking ticket.

    How much will it cost me if I get a parking ticket in Philadelphia?

    Most Philadelphia parking tickets cost $76, although the range is from $26–$301.

    How much will it cost me if my vehicle gets towed in Philadelphia?

    The cost of the tow is $150 if you get your vehicle out of the tow pound on the same day it is towed; add $18 (plus 20% tax) per each additional day it is in the pound. On top of that, you will have to pay the parking ticket you got for whatever infraction you committed, which is usually another $76.

    What is “The Boot” in Philadelphia?

    Vehicles with three (3) or more unpaid parking or red light tickets are eligible to be booted after their owners receive a series of notices. If your vehicle is booted, you must pay the total amount due, including all fees, fines and penalties, before the boot can be removed. The cost to have the boot removed is $150.

    The parking signs indicate that it is legal to park in front of an apartment building, but the doorman told me I couldn’t park there. Was he right?

    No, he was just trying to intimidate you. Whatever it says on the official parking signs is correct.

    The official parking sign indicates that it is legal to park in front of a hotel, but there was a sign made by the hotel saying that I couldn’t park there. Which was right?

    The official parking signs are always correct. Any signs that aren’t official are meaningless and unenforceable.

    Does the color of the parking sign matter?

    Not really. In most cities, certain regulations are associated with signs or lettering of a certain color, but what is important is what is on those signs. Don’t worry too much about the color—worry about whether or not a sign indicates that parking is legal where you hope to park.

    How close to a crosswalk can I park?

    You can park right up to a crosswalk, as long as no signs prohibit it.

    Are there best days of the week to find parking on the street?

    It is generally easier to find street parking on weekends than weekdays. Specifically, Sundays are the easiest of all, as there are a fair number of parking regulations that cover either Mondays through Fridays or Mondays through Saturdays.


    ©2012 Tired of Parking TIckets, Inc.