Parking permits


Overnight parking ordinance

The parking of any vehicle is prohibited between the hours of 2-5 a.m. on any residential street, or within 300 feet of any residential area in Menlo Park. The parking ordinance is in effect 7 days a week (City observed holidays exempted).

In order to avoid being issued a citation, parked vehicles must have a valid overnight parking permit displayed, a virtual permit issued to a license plate number, or a valid DMV issued disabled person placard or disabled person license plates. 

Overnight parking permits do not exempt vehicles from any other laws or ordinances. Vehicle must be parked in accordance with California state law and Menlo Park city ordinances. 

Menlo Park offers temporary and annual overnight parking permits. 

Temporary overnight parking permits

Each Menlo Park household has access to 50 temporary permits available for purchase between January and June and another 50 available July through December. Proof of residency is required for purchase both online and in person. Permits are $2 each and can be purchased in advance online or in person and used as needed. We accept cash, check and Visa/MasterCard.

Overnight parking permits purchased online require account set-up and proof of residency. Proof of residency documents accepted are driver's license, utility bill, or lease.

Overnight parking permits can be purchased in person at the Police Department 24 hours a day. Proof of residency is required.

  • You must live within the city limits of Menlo Park; check before you purchase if you are unsure.
  • No refunds can be issued. 

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Annual overnight parking permits

Certain addresses in Menlo Park may qualify for an annual overnight parking permit. Qualifying addresses are limited to those apartment buildings that lack adequate off-street parking spaces (less than two spaces per unit) and are zoned R3.

Contact us to see if your address qualifies and has permits available.

If eligible to purchase an annual permit the cost is $150. The annual permit cycle begins September 1 and expires August 31 of the following year. Permit costs are prorated by month if purchased after the onset of a permit cycle.

All applicants interested in purchasing an annual overnight permit are required to present a lease or utility bill as proof of residency and current California vehicle registration. The same name must be listed on both documents. We are unable to issue permits to vehicles registered outside of California. 

Overnight parking ordinance history and purpose

Since being enacted in 1963 Menlo Park’s overnight parking ordinance has been upheld by the courts, survived several majority votes of city residents and has been actively enforced since its inception. The benefits of the ordinance to city residents and businesses include:

  • Better distribution of cars parked overnight in areas with higher population density. 
  • Easier access to structures and streets during nighttime emergencies.
  • Issuing permits assures that vehicles belong to residents and their guests.
  • Less overnight crime by reducing suspect and possible victim vehicles.
  • Parking enforcement officer’s presence deters potential criminals from committing property crimes.
  • Streets are free of parking congestion.
  • The City’s ability to provide street cleaning and maintenance is unobstructed.
  • Suspicious, stolen, abandoned and disabled vehicles are easily checked, identified and removed.
  • Residents are able to easily identify vehicles that are unfamiliar to the neighborhood.

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Parking and permits