- 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. Purchase SFMTA Parking Cards in person here or online here.
- More information about San Francisco's award-winning parking pilot project, SFpark, visit the project page.
- Please visit our Demand-Responsive Parking page for a map showing meter locations and rates.
- Meter locations are available via DataSF/Socrata.
- 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
- Five off-street parking lots and in the
- Special Event Area around Oracle Park during special events
- During events (usually baseball games), meters near Oracle Park charge special event rates of $7/hour. See this page for a map of the Special Event Area and more information on special event pricing and hours.
- 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
- 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.
- How to Pay by Mobile or Web Browser
- How to Pay by App
- How to Pay by Phone - call the number: 866 - 490 - 7275
- How to Pay by NFC
- How to Pay by Credit Card or SFMTA Parking Card
- How to Pay by Coin
- Further Information
How to Pay by Mobile or Web Browser (www.m2.paybyphone.com)
1. Log in, register for an account, park as guest, or Facebook. Select PARK.
2. Enter location and duration. Confirm purchase. Enter CVV.
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.
Download app from Google Play or Apple App Store
How to Pay by Android
1. Sign in or register. Select PARK for guest user. Enter location - meter, space, or license.
2. Enter duration. Select card. Confirm parking details.
3. Review parking history or cards on file.
How to Pay by iPhone
1. Sign in, sign on as guest, or register for an account. Enter location, length of stay, and confirm details.
2. Select PAY & 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
1. Enter location and payment type - credit card or Apple Pay. Enter location and duration.
1. Enter 10-digit phone number or press * for new user.
2. Enter PIN or last 4 of credit card number.
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.
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
3. Tap phone to meter's NFC tag or location and payment entry.
4. Choose duration. Cost is shown on screen.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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 RECEIPTS PROVIDED AT ON-STREET METERS
For receipts, register for an account at PayByPhone at https://www.paybyphone.com or call 866-490-7275.
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 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.
- 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