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San Francisco Parking Tips: Parking Around Driveways

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A driveway with short red curb zones on either side and an "MTA" stencil marking.

Our “San Francisco Parking Tips” blog series explains some of the lesser-known rules listed in the SFMTA’s new Streets of San Francisco Parking Guide (PDF). It’s part of the SFMTA’s effort to make it easier for locals and visitors to understand and follow the rules of on-street parking.


To park legally around a driveway, it’s important to understand where the driveway begins and the sidewalk ends.

It is generally illegal to park in front of a driveway or past a "curb cut," which is the point where the curb starts to slope downward and the driveway begins. Some driveways have red zones marked on either side of the curb cut to provide additional clearance for vehicles to access the driveway. These are each typically two feet wide and marked with red paint and an official “SFMTA” or “MTA” stencil.

If your vehicle extends into the red zone or the curb cut, you may get a ticket and/or towed. Driveway violations are only enforced when someone makes a complaint, and a parking control officer determines that there is a violation.


Tips for Parking Legally Around Driveways

  • Do not park your car so that it extends into a red zone or curb cut. Curb cut includes the portion of the curb sloped towards the driveway.
  • Residents can park in front of their own driveway, provided that such driveway serves a residential building with no more than two family dwelling units, and the vehicle’s license plate is registered to the building’s address.
  • In multiple unit dwellings (three or more), no vehicle – even those registered to the address – may block any part of the driveway.

Red painted curb with SFMTA logo.

Want Red Curbs for Your Driveway? Do it the Legal Way

If you’re interested in having Driveway Red Zones painted adjacent to your driveway, please visit our Color Curb webpage for information on fees and how to apply.

Some residents have painted the curb adjacent to their driveway themselves. These “do it yourself” jobs are illegal, unenforceable and are subject to removal. Official color curbs can be recognized by the stenciled SFMTA logo (pictured above) or the older “MTA” stencil (pictured at top).

If you suspect a color curb has been painted illegally, please call 311 and report the location. You can also email a photograph with the location to ccp@sfmta.com.