Overnight Residential Parking

Parking any vehicle is prohibited between 2:00 - 5:00 am on all residential streets, or within 300 feet of a residential area, within Menlo Park city limits. The parking ordinance is in effect 7 days a week, 365 days a year. All vehicles parked on any Menlo Park residential street overnight must have a permit or are subject to citation. 
Scratch Off Permit Date
All parked vehicles will receive one courtesy warning (whether a permit is displayed or not). The purpose of the courtesy notice is to inform those who are unaware of the ordinance, since no signs are posted.

History & Purpose of the Ordinance
The ordinance was enacted in 1963 and has been upheld by the courts, several different majority votes of city residents and has been actively enforced ever since. The benefits of the ordinance to city residents and businesses are many:
  • A cleaner and better-looking city.
  • Better distribution of cars parked overnight in higher density areas.
  • Easier access to residences during nighttime emergencies.
  • Issuing permits assures that vehicles belong to our residents and their guests.
  • Less overnight crime by reducing suspect and possible victim vehicles.
  • Officers patrolling many residential streets deter some crimes.
  • Our streets are free of the congestion of over-parking from too many cars.
  • Street cleaning and maintenance is assured.
  • Suspicious, stolen, abandoned and disabled vehicles are easily checked, identified and removed.
Vehicles displaying valid handicapped license plates or placards are exempt from this ordinance.

Temporary Overnight Parking Permits
All Menlo Park residents are allowed to purchase up to 100 temporary one-night permits per year, per household (50 January through June and 50 July through December). Permits are generally good for a 1 year time period, though some may have a shorter or longer expiration, depending on when during the year the permits are purchased and what our supply is. Please only purchase what you intend to use in the immediate future or call us before purchase if you need further details.

Temporary permits can be used for guests, or other reasons that you would need to park your car on the street (such as vehicle breakdown, driveway repair etc). Temporary permits are available for purchase by residents only at the Police Department during police business hours. Permits that are purchased online are mailed out the next city business day. The permits can be purchased in advance, and the date scratched off when you need to use them. The cost is set according to the city's fee schedule, and is currently $2 per permit.

A limited number of permits can be purchased at the Police Department through the dispatch window after hours or on weekends / holidays for an additional fee. Your driver's license is needed to establish residency and for cashing checks. Payments acceptable are cash, check, credit card (Visa / MasterCard), or ATM debit card.

Annual Overnight Parking Permits
Per City ordinance, Annual permits are available for only certain apartment buildings within the city limits that lack adequate resident parking spaces and are zoned R3.

To see if your apartment building address qualifies and has permits available, please contact the records department during regular business hours. We can generally give you an answer over the phone. If you send in a request by e-mail, please allow 2 business days to check your address and reply. If your address is eligible, you can purchase an annual overnight parking permit. The annual permits run from September 1 through August 31 and costs $150, however the cost is prorated if purchased throughout the year. This permit is entered into the computer and is assigned to one license plate.

To purchase an annual overnight parking permit, you can come to our station during Menlo Park Police business hours along with the following documents:
  • Current California vehicle registration for the vehicle you will park on the street. Vehicle must be registered to the permit holder listed on the lease agreement, or if owned by a relative, must list permit holder as insured on the vehicle. No out-of-state or foreign vehicle registrations allowed for annual permits.
  • Your apartment rental / lease contract showing the same name as the vehicle's registered owner.
  • Your Driver's License is needed to establish ID, residency and to accept any checks.
You can read the entire text of Menlo Park's Municipal Code, including Section 11.24.050 Overnight Parking, online.