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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. If you have a disabled hang tag or license plate, you don’t have to pay the parking meters. Private parking lots and garages may have different rules and regulations.

The answer is yes, however there is a 12 hour time limit. Motorcycles and scooters do not have to pay for parking for the first 12 consecutive hours. After 12 hours, it is possible a driver could receive a citation.

For all questions regarding parking citations, please visit the City’s Municipal Court website. If you get a parking ticket but made the responsible decision of taking a taxi or bus home, we’ll waive the ticket! Bring your ticket and taxi or bus receipt to 1111 Rio Grande Street

To report a malfunctioning parking paystation or single space meter, call 3-1-1 for assistance.

Parking costs $2 per hour for all City of Austin-owned, on-street, metered parking spaces. The University of Texas Campus and meters near the State Capital Complex and State-owned facilities may be managed by the State of Texas or the University of Texas. Read all parking signs carefully.

For every $1 spent, $0.40 goes toward downtown improvement projects including sidewalk improvements, street reconstruction, and other transportation initiatives. To help ensure safety of citizens in the evening, a portion of remaining funds will pay for parking enforcement officers who will provide enhanced security in coordination with the Austin Police Department.

On-street parking is intended for visitors seeking short-term convenient parking. Time limits are set to encourage turnover of these parking spaces in order to allow other visitors an opportunity to find convenient parking.

Drivers are restricted from “feeding” the meters and are encouraged to park off-street if a longer visit is anticipated. Moving long-term parkers into off-street parking allows patrons to enjoy convenient parking for shorter-term trips.  

Public Parking Locations (pdf)

Drivers can buy additional time into the next day the night before by pressing the yellow "next day purchase" button on paystations. Place the pay station receipt on your windshield showing pre-payment.

If you parked at a City of Austin parking meter and left your vehicle overnight to seek a responsible ride home, subsequently receiving a parking ticket for an expired meter, the Austin Transportation Department will waive the ticket. To participate in this program, please read the instructions found on the Ticket Waiver Form, complete the form and bring or send it to the Parking Enterprise Division. Please keep a copy of your Proof of Responsible Ride (ex: time and datestamped taxi or bus receipt) for your records. 

The City has more than 3,000 parking spaces on the street in Downtown Austin (IH-35 to Lamar Boulevard, and Lady Bird Lake to 10th Street) where people can leave their cars parked overnight.  The parking meters in Downtown Austin have yellow “Next Day” buttons that allow people to buy meter time for the next day. What happens if you forget to buy time for the next day and leave your car overnight?  The Austin Transportation Department does not tow vehicles. If you get a parking ticket but made the responsible decision of taking a taxi or bus home, we’ll waive the ticket! Bring your ticket and taxi or bus receipt to 1111 Rio Grande Street.  Remember, meters are not enforced on Sundays.

Always check posted signs and pay stations for enforcement information as enforcement times vary from area to area. City of Austin parking meters are not enforced or turned on the following days: New Year’s Day, Labor Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

Parking meters in the downtown area (IH-35 to Lamar Boulevard, and Lady Bird Lake to 10th Street) operate during the following times:

  • Monday and Tuesday - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday through Friday - 8 a.m. to 12 midnight
  • Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 midnight.

On-street parking meters in the area near Barton Springs Road and South Lamar, including Toomey Road, Lee Barton Drive and others, are enforced Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight.

IH-35 to Chicon from East 4th Street to East 7th Street is enforced Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight with the exception of East 5th Street from IH-35 to Waller, Brushy Street, San Marcos Street, and Waller Street which are enforced during the following times:

  • Monday - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday through Friday – 8 a.m. to midnight
  • Saturday – 11 a.m. to midnight

While there are about 3,000 on-street parking spaces downtown, there are over 14,000 off-street parking spaces in surface lots and garages, as indicated in this map. On-street parking spaces north of 10th Street will remain free to the public after 6 p.m. Or view the map for those with colorblindness.

Over the last ten years, drivers have expressed a lack of available on-street parking, especially in the downtown area. On-street parking is meant for convenience of drivers making shorter visits. When parking hours are not limited, on-street parking becomes crowded with long-term parkers, spaces are harder to find, and traffic congestion occurs as drivers circle to find parking.