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Parking Meters

Parking Meter Locations and Rates
Parking Rules: What You Need to Know
Broken Meters
Ways to Pay
Further Information


  • Parking meters are used to maintain parking availability in high demand areas.
  • All parking meters in San Francisco accept payment by coin, pay-by-phone, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover), and the SFMTA parking card. 
  • For more information about San Francisco's award-winning parking pilot project, SFpark, visit the SFpark project page.

Parking Meter Locations and Rates

Parking Meter Rules

  • Meters operate every day except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
  • Most meters are enforced from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Hours and rates vary.
  • Always check the meter for hours of operation.
  • Sunday meter operation:
    • Fisherman’s Wharf
    • The Embarcadero
    • Nine off-street parking lots
    • Special Event Area around Oracle Park and Chase Center during special events
  • During events, meters near Oracle Park and Chase Center charge special event rates
  • Most meters in San Francisco have a two hour time limit, though approximately 25% of meters have four hour time limit or no time limit at all. Where there are time limits, "feeding the meter" (i.e., adding coins to extend the time beyond the legal limit) is not allowed and may result in a citation.
  • You may prepay meters for the time you need even if you arrive before the meter begins enforcement. Prepayment begins at 4:30 a.m. at all meters every day (except at Port meters near waterfront). Note that if you prepay, the paid time shown on the meter will include any amount of free time between when you prepay and when the meter begins operation. For example, if a meter begins operation at 9 a.m., and you prepay for one hour at 8 a.m., the meter will show that the meter is paid for two hours. This means that you are paid through 10 a.m. (one free hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and one paid hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., for a total of the two hours shown on the meter).
  • Green meters have either a 15 or 30 minute time limit.
  • Red and yellow meters are designated for commercial loading; yellow for all commercial vehicles and red for vehicles with six or more wheels.
  • For more information on how to avoid parking citations, see How to Park Legally

Broken Meters

  • To report a problem with a meter, call 311. For purposes of this policy, a meter is considered broken only if it will accept no physical form of payment (coins or debit/credit card).
  • Always check the meter: if it can accept any physical form of payment (coins or debit/credit card), then it is not broken and must be paid.
  • If you park at a broken meter, parking is limited to the posted time limit.
  • Shopping bags, shirts, or other unofficial items covering a meter that do not have an official SFMTA stamp and logo do not mean a meter is broken. You should remove the covering and check the meter: if it can accept any physical form of payment (coins or debit/credit card), then it is not broken and must be paid.

Ways to Pay

Further Information


  • No receipts are provided at on-street meters. For receipts, register for an account at PayByPhone or call 866.490.7275.
  • Receipts may be printed at pay stations located in off-street metered lots. You are not required to display this receipt.


The SFMTA cannot provide refunds for credit, debit or pay-by-phone meter charges.

Pay By Phone Issues

Wrong Location, Duration or Vehicle Plate Entered

Start a new parking session to avoid a citation.

Unable To Extend Parking Session

Some locations prevent customers from repeat parking after staying the maximum time until a 30-minute wait time has passed.

My Account Is Suspended or Locked

  • Check the Android or iOS version, it may be outdated.
  • Have you entered the correct account number, your 10 digit phone number, or 11-digit if you signed up with a +1?
  • To reset PIN after 3 incorrect attempts, you must wait 15 minutes.
  • Did you recently have a failed transaction because your card expired or was flagged as lost/stolen?

Pay By Phone Support can check on this if you send your 10-digit phone number through their website.

Didn't Receive SMS Reminder Text

Have you enabled in-app notifications on your Android or iOS device? Delayed SMS deliveries or non-delivery may occur when your network is experiencing problems.

Pay By Phone Support

24/7 Support Helpline:  1.877.610.2054