ParkHouston

Frequently Asked Questions

Parking Citations

Parking Meters

Permits

Disabled Parking

Towing and Booting

 

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about parking.

 

Parking Citations

Question: How do I pay my citation?
Answer: It's easy! Have your citation number and credit card handy, and go to: Pay Your Citation via the Online Service Center. For additional payment methods, go to the Resolve a Citation page.

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Question: How can I contest my citation?
Answer: You have 30 days from the date the citation was issued to contest your citation. You may contest your citation online if it is within seven (7) days from citation issuance. If the citation prefix is P or V, you have 7 days after the citation is entered in the system to contest online or 30 days total to contest in person. You can contest your citation online at: https://houstonparking.t2hosted.com/app/index.aspx. You may contest in person at the Parking Adjudication Office, 1400 Lubbock , Mon. – Fri., between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturday, 8:00 am to 5 p.m. Appointments aren't necessary, all hearings are held on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Question: What if I am dissatisfied with the hearing officer's decision?
Answer: You can appeal to the Municipal Court by filing a petition no later than the 30th day after the filing of the hearing officer's order..

The petition must be filed with the Parking Management Cashier at the Municipal Court, 1400 Lubbock. You must post a cash bond for each parking citation(s), and an administrative fee for each parking citation appealed. If the appeal is successful, these fees are refunded.

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Question: What is a boot?
Answer: The boot is a device designed to immobilize a vehicle. Boots do not damage a vehicle as long as no attempt is made to move a booted vehicle.

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Question: How does a vehicle get "booted"?
Answer: Vehicles that have three or more delinquent citations or one delinquent citation for parking in a handicapped zone (APK-21) are boot-eligible. A citation becomes delinquent if it is not paid within 30 days after it is issued.

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Question: What are the boot fees?
Answer: Besides the outstanding parking citations, booted vehicles accumulate the following charges:

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Question: I received a notice that my vehicle is "boot-eligible." What do I do?
Answer: You received the notice because you are the registered owner of the vehicle when the citations were issued or the registered owner has identified you to us as being the actual owner of the vehicle at the time the citations were issued. You have until the date on the notice to take action on the parking citations.

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Question: My car was booted. What do I do now?
Answer: You have two options:

  • Pay all the outstanding parking citations and applicable fees by credit card or cash only. Go to: Municipal Courts – Parking Adjudication Office (Basement) / 1400 Lubbock / Houston, TX 77002 OR Parking Management / 2020 McKinney / Houston, TX 77003
  • Request a boot hearing by visiting the Parking Adjudication Office
  • For additional information or assistance, please call 311 or 713.837.0311

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Question: What is a boot hearing?
Answer: At the boot hearing, the hearing officer will determine if you were properly booted according to City Ordinance. If the hearing officer finds you liable, you are responsible for the outstanding citations and fees. If the hearing officer finds you not liable, those fees will be waived.

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Question: I received a parking violation notice in the mail for a vehicle I no longer own. How do I update the ownership?

To view, please complete and fax this PDF form below to 713.853.8278 or mail to Parking Management at P.O. Box 4997, Houston, TX, 77210-4997.

This form below cannot be saved to your computer.
Answer: Please fill out the Declaration of Non Ownership Form in the Forms and Applications page snd mail it to: Parking Management, P.O. Box 4997, Houston, TX, 77210-4997. Please also fill out this form: Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification form in the Forms and Applications page to ensure files are updated with the Texas Department of Transportation.

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Question: Why can't I park anywhere in my own community?
Answer: At Parking Management, we enforce parking ordinances to ensure the safety of our citizens. Yes, citations do generate revenue, but the restrictions are enforced for the benefit of safety. For instance, vehicles parked on both sides of "skinny" streets make it extremely difficult for large emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances to pass through. Parking Management must enforce restrictions, such as 'No Parking Zones,' in some communities to make way for these vehicles.

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Question: Where can I find a list of all parking violations?
Answer: Access City of Houston parking ordinances, Chapter 26, at: www.houstontx.gov/codes.

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Parking Meters

Question: When are parking meters enforced?
Answer: Parking meters are  enforced Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except where pay station or posted signs indicate otherwise. Parking meters are not enforced on Official City Holidays.

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Question: Why can't I feed the meter to continue parking in a space beyond the posted time limits (overtime parking)?
Answer: Curbside parking is the most convenient parking available for visitors and patrons in a business district. Time limits are enforced to encourage turnover of these parking spaces and leave them open for drivers requiring short-term parking.

Parkers requiring long-term parking are encouraged to park off-street in a surface lot or garage.

When time limits are not enforced, spaces tend to be taken by employees who keep the spaces busy for eight to 10 hours per day. This creates a lack of parking for short-term visitors and they are forced to use parking spaces that may not be located close to their final destination. The lack of convenient parking also encourages some drivers to circle locations diminishing the air quality as they search for an available curbside space.

Moving long-term parkers into off-street parking allows patrons to enjoy convenient parking while visiting area attractions.

Parking time-limits vary depending on the business type within the vicinity. Downtown Houston has time limits ranging from 30 minutes for loading zones to two to four hours in other areas. Blocks on the outskirts of downtown have time limits which extend to 10 hours.

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Question: Where can I report a nonfunctioning meter?
Answer: Call 3-1-1 (inside City limits) or 713.837.0311 (outside City limits). You may also send an e-mail to parking@houstontx.gov.

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Question: Can I legally park at a nonfunctioning meter?
Answer: According to City Ordinance, parkers may receive a citation while parked at a non-functioning meter. We encourage public parkers to report non-functioning meters to 3-1-1 as soon as possible with the exact location and meter number.

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Permits

Question: How can I obtain a residential permit?
Answer: Simply fill out the Residential Permit Form in the Forms and Applications page and return, along with payment, to:

Parking Management Division / Administration & Regulatory Affairs /

P.O. Box 4997 / Houston, TX, 77210-4997

  • The maximum number of permits per household is equal to the number of vehicles registered to that address.
  • The number of visitor hangtags is limited per address. Please contact customer service at 832.395.9487 or parking@houstontx.gov for assistance.

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Question: What is the fine for parking in a Residential Parking Permit area without a valid permit?
Answer: Vehicles parked in a Residential Permit area without a valid permit are subject to citation. The violation fine is $70. If the vehicle is towed, additional towing and storage fees will apply. For a complete list of parking fines, see www.houstontx.gov/parking/violationcodes.html.

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Question: How do I request a meter bagging permit?
Answer: Meter bagging permits are issued for construction, film/photo productions and special events. Commercial loading/unloading zone meters are not available for rent. In addition, if parking restrictions exist on the meter(s) you have rented, these restrictions still must be followed.

For example, Louisiana Street has mobility restrictions from 7 - 9 a.m. and 4 - 6 p.m., Mon. - Fri. Even though you have rented the meter for the entire day, parking is not allowed at the meter during these hours. If restrictions are not followed, vehicles will be subject to a parking citation.

To view, please complete and fax this PDF form below to 832.393.8690 or mail to Parking Management at 2020 McKinney, Houston, TX, 77003.

This form below cannot be saved to your computer.

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Question: I parked my vehicle in a non-City owned parking lot and it’s been booted? What do I do?
Answer: If you paid to park in the lot and can provide a copy of your receipt, the lot owner must release your vehicle, but an administrative fee may be charged. If you cannot provide proof of payment for the parking, you may be charged up to $100 plus the parking fees to remove the boot. If you feel you were unfairly booted, you may request a boot hearing in the Harris County Justice of the Peace Court (http://www.jp.hctx.net/tow/TowHearings.pdf).

If you would like to report unfair business practices of a booting operator, please contact the Police Department’s Auto Dealers Detail at 713.308..1440.

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Question: What is a commercial vehicle loading / unloading zone (CVLZ)?
Answer: City Ordinance requires only commercial vehicles can park in a CVLZ. The vehicle must display a valid or pay the designated parking meter for a fee.

To view, please complete and fax this PDF form below to 832.393.8690 or mail to Parking Management at 2020 McKinney, Houston, TX, 77003.

This form below cannot be saved to your computer.

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Disabled Parking

Question: I forgot to hang my disabled parking placard and I received a citation. What do I do?
Answer: Within 30 days of the citation issue date, you can email, mail or fax a copy of your placard (front and back), identification of the placard owner and a statement explaining why the placard was not displayed. A hearing officer will review the citation for dismissal. You can expect the hearing results within two weeks.

Parking Management Division / Administration & Regulatory Affairs /
P.O. Box 4997 / Houston, TX, 77210-4997
Email: parking@houstontx.gov
Fax: 832.395.9487

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Question: I have a disabled parking placard or license plate; can I park free at a meter?
Answer: Yes, you can park free for the time limit posted at the meter. After the time limit, you must move your car.

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Towing and Booting

Question: My car was towed. How do I locate it?
Answer: Visit www.findmytowedcar.com or call 311 (713-837-0311)

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Question: I do not think my car was properly towed – is there anything I can do?
Answer: You may contest a tow by visiting the Harris County JP Central Case Processing Unit, 1201 Franklin 7th floor, Houston, 77002 or calling 713.755.2861. Additional information available at www.jp.hctx.net/tow/TowHearings.pdf.

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