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Parking Meters

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


  • 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. 
  • More information about San Francisco's award-winning parking pilot project, SFpark, visit the 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 of $7/hour. 
  • 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).
  • The SFMTA cannot provide refunds for credit or debit card meter charges. Please contact your bank or credit card company to request a refund.
  • Meters do not provide receipts or tickets.
  • 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).
  • If you park at a broken or inoperable meter, parking is limited to the posted time limit or 4 hours, whichever is shorter.
  • A flashing yellow light on a meter does not necessarily mean the meter is broken, just that it may need some sort of service. You should 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.
  • 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

How to Pay by Mobile or Web Browser (www.m2.paybyphone.com

How to Pay by Mobile   

 image of where are you parking screen

1.  Log in, register for an account, park as guest, or Facebook. Select PARK.



2. Enter location and duration.  Confirm purchase. Enter CVV.

Time remaining 

 You've paid! 


3. Payment confirmation screen. Text reminders received on phone.
To extend parking session before the time runs out, go to https://paybyphone.com/park-now
Click EXTEND, enter new duration and confirm.
For parking receipts or transaction history, go to https://www.paybyphone.com/receipts. Available only with a registered account.               

How to Pay by App

Download app from Google Play or Apple App Store

How to Pay by App 

 Apple App Store

How to Pay by Android

Welcome to Pay by Phone  


Enter a location number

1.  Sign in or register. Select PARK for guest user. Enter location - meter, space, or license. 

Select vehicle and enter duration

2. Enter duration. Select card. Confirm parking details.

3. Review parking history or cards on file.

How to Pay by iPhone

How to Pay by iPhone

Choose location to Pay by iPhone

iPhone confirm parking

1. Sign in, sign on as guest,  or register for an account. Enter location, length of stay, and confirm details.

2. Select PAY & PARK.

select pay and park

3. Note time remaining to extend parking if needed. Add new card or use Apple Pay.

Edits: Tap location, vehicle or cost information to jump back to edit at any time.

  • Return to Choose Duration - Tap back button
  • Return to Choose Location - Tap location tab
  • For vehicle overlay - Tap vehicle selected
  • Return to Choose Duration - Tap duration and cost field

When parking transaction is complete, the app displays remaining time in real time so you know when your parking expires.

How to Pay by Apple Watch

Apple Watch image

Pay with credit card or Apple Pay

Apple watch total cost

1. Enter location and payment type - credit card or Apple Pay. Enter location and duration.

Pay by Phone Session Expires

Parking session expires

2. Check reminders for parking session expiration to extend.

How to Pay by Phone - call 866-490-7275

How to Pay by Phone

1. Enter 10-digit phone number or press * for new user.
2. Enter PIN or last 4 of credit card number.

Pay by Phone directions

3. Enter location number and number of minutes. Enter credit card CVV.

4. Wait to hear "Payment successful" confirmation.

5. Meter may still show as Expired. Parking details are sent to parking officers' handheld units.

6. Extend parking session or start a new one by calling 866-490-7275.

7. Once parking is confirmed, no changes to transaction details may be made (location, duration or vehicle). 

If you are unable to extend parking session, the maximum time limits for the location may have been reached. There is no repeat parking after staying the maximum time allowed until a 30 minute wait time has passed.

How to Pay by Phone - NFC

What is NFC?

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a Bluetooth-like technology that creates a secure two-way connection between devices. Use Apple Pay or payment card.
Available only on iPhone 7/iOS11 or higher and select other phones and operating systems.

How to Pay by NFC (Pay by Phone)

1. Press the green OK button on meter
2. On phone tap NFC logo

Pay by NFC

3. Tap phone to meter's NFC tag or location and payment entry.

payment image of machine

Ready to Scan

4. Choose duration. Cost is shown on screen.

NFC Choose Duration

5. You have 60 seconds to scan the phone and enter duration or screen will time out.

6. If NFC scan does not work, just enter location code and duration.

7. Meter will show as Expired. Parking citation officers' handheld devices can read the details.

For further info or to report a problem, visit the Pay by Phone website.



Meters accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex, debit cards, and SFMTA Parking Cards.  
Purchase SFMTA Parking Cards in person  

Purchase SFMTA Parking Cards online 

image of single space parking meter
              Single Space Meter

1. Insert parking card in slot, stripe side down
2. Press blue + and - buttons to adjust the time on screen
3. Press green OK button when time is correct
4. Insert card for more time before it expires, up to the time limit at this location
5. No ticket or receipt issued

image of multi-space meter
                Multi-space meter

1. Enter space number*
2. Press Green a button
3. Insert parking card in slot, stripe side down
4. Press red + and - buttons to adjust to time desired
5. Press green OK button when time is correct
6. Insert card for more time before it expires, up to the time limit at this location
7. No ticket or receipt issued, except in parking lots where indicated.

* Meters in certain parking lots require the vehicle license plate number.

No refunds.


How to pay parking meter by coin

             Single space meter

  • Insert coins until screen displays the time you need
  • Insert more coins to increase the time, up to the time limit at this location
  • No receipt issued

     Image of multi-space meter

                    Multi-space meter

  • Enter your space number*
  • Insert coins until screen shows time desired 
  • Insert more coins to increase the time, up to the time limit at this location
  • No receipt issued, except in parking lots where indicated

*Meters in certain lots require the vehicle license plate number.

No refunds


For receipts, register for an account at PayByPhone at https://www.paybyphone.com or call 866-490-7275.


Wrong Location, Duration or Vehicle Plate Entered

Start a new parking session to avoid a citation.

Unable To Extend Parking Session

Some locations prevent users 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 to: https://support.paybyphone.com.hc/en-us/requests/new

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.

Paybyphone Frequently Asked Questions


  • Can't log in
  • Paid, but received parking ticket
  • Need parking receipts or account update

Pay By Phone Support:

24/7 SUPPORT HELPLINE  -  1-877-610-2054

ONLINE SUPPORT REQUEST FORM: https://support.paybyphone.com/hc/en-us/requests/new