Seattle resumes full enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule
Information from the Seattle Department of Transportation
The City of Seattle is resuming full parking enforcement for any vehicle that has remained in one place unmoved for longer than 72 hours, returning to the normal standards which were temporarily paused in 2020 due to COVID-19 public health guidelines. While full enforcement is resuming now, parking enforcement officers will continue to provide official warning notifications on vehicles allowing owners and occupants to move them before enforcement occurs.
Seattle Municipal Code does not allow a person to park a vehicle on the same block of a city street for longer than 72 consecutive hours. Public streets are not an appropriate place for long-term vehicle storage.
Enforcement of the 72-hour rule was temporarily paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic public health guidelines. Enforcement resumed in October 2021 with a focus on clearing unoccupied, abandoned, or hazardous vehicles. During this time, the City continued to enforce other parking rules, such as vehicles violating posted signs or leaving cars where parking is never allowed (such as blocking fire hydrants or transit lanes).
Vehicle owners should get back in the habit of regularly moving vehicles to avoid a possible warning and citation. People should also check their block regularly for temporary parking restriction signs, which can be placed with a minimum of 24-hours notice for things like emergency utility work, cleaning, or special events.
The parking enforcement team cannot be everywhere at once and expects it to take longer than usual to respond to the many requests predicted to happen in the beginning. The enforcement process takes time, and the parking enforcement team will respond to violations as swiftly as possible given capacity.
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) continues to lead the RV Remediation program, which focuses on cleaning up and disposing of debris and waste around RVs to ensure public health and safety. Days prior to a scheduled remediation event, SPU and parking enforcement staff engage with people staying in RVs to make them aware of the upcoming clean-up activity. SDOT will continue to work with SPU to prioritize the locations of these clean-up efforts over time.
The first step of enforcement will continue to be leaving official warning notices on vehicles, giving the owner time to move them voluntarily and avoid enforcement action. If it appears that people may be living in one of the vehicles, they will receive information about assistance, support services, and resources.
If a car is towed from a public street, instructions to locate the vehicle and documents required to release your vehicle are available online. The first step to find and reclaim your vehicle is to call Lincoln Towing at 206-364-2000 or search for your vehicle on Lincoln Towing’s www.SeattleImpound.com website.
If your car was towed from a private parking lot, look for posted signs with instructions and a phone number for the tow company which operates the lot. If you still cannot locate your vehicle, call the Community Safety and Communications Center at 206-625-5011.