DOWNTOWN RPP DISTRICT PARKING [Frequently Asked Questions]

The Downtown Palo Alto Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) Program requires all employers and employees to have a permit to park on the street for more than 2 hours between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

Through the Downtown RPP Program:

  • Employees may purchase one vehicle-specific permit ($375 per six months
  • Employees may purchase a reduced-price permit ($50 per six months, see qualifications below*)
  • Employers may purchase transferable hangtag permits to be shared by shift workers ($375 per six months)

Employers must be registered with the Palo Alto Business Registry prior to their employees purchasing permits.

For Employers:  Employers creating a new account will be required to provide their business registration number, and proof of business (i.e. utility bill, EIN, etc.). Once the application has been approved, employers will be eligible to purchase annual transferable hangtags for employees to share.

For Employees: Employees creating new accounts will be required to upload a copy of their current photo ID (i.e. driver’s license/government photo ID card) and proof of employment location (i.e. paystub/W2, letter from employer). Employees intending to qualify for the reduced-price permits must submit paystubs or a W2 to prove qualification under hourly or annual wage thresholds. Once the application has been approved, employees will be eligible for the following permits: adhesive long-term permit (including reduced-price permit based on income qualification) or daily visitor scratcher.

*Employees may qualify for a reduced-price permit if they meet either of the income requirements listed below:

  • Employees who earn an annual income which is exactly or less than $50,000, OR
  • Employees who make a pre-tax hourly wage which is exactly or less than twice the governing city or state minimum wage (whichever is greater)

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Palo Alto Business Registry

Employers must complete the mandatory registration with the Palo Alto Business Registry to be eligible for RPP permits.



Employees of businesses in the downtown parking assessment district may purchase annual permits for long-term parking in any of the off-street parking lots and garages. Parking permits are available for $750.00/year.

Transferable Permits are also available for select garages. Transferable permits are sold to one individual and can be used on multiple vehicles. Transferable permits are sold at a two-quarter maximum. Visit Revenue Collections on the Ground Floor of the Palo Alto Civic Center or call (650) 329-2252 for more information.



Employees will purchase zone specific permits to park in certain parking zones. Employees may select a permit in any zone that is available. Employees are not limited to selecting the zone nearest to their workplace.

Employees may park in the zone for which their permit is valid. If a Zone 2 permit is purchased, the employee is limited to parking within the bounds of Zone 2. The zones are detailed on this map and table, and zone numbers are posted on the parking restriction signs on the streets: [ZONE MAP] and [ZONE BOUNDARIES].

No person shall park in the same employee parking zone within the RPP District for more than two continuous hours without a valid permit. Re-parking on the same day in the same zone by any person without a valid parking permit shall be prohibited.
There are a limited number of employee permits available for sale in each zone. If the permits have been sold out, select a different zone.
Employees may purchase employee permits for $375 per six months. Employees may qualify for a reduced-price permit for $50/six months if they meet either of the income requirements listed below:
  • Employees who earn an annual income which is exactly or less than $50,000, OR
  • Employees who make a pre-tax hourly wage which is exactly or less than twice the governing city or state minimum wage (whichever is greater)

Proof of income must be provided at the time of purchase.

Employees may also purchase up to four (4) daily parking scratchers per month for $25 each.

Permits are sold online only via the City’s parking website: Log into an existing account or set up a new account there.

For assistance with obtaining a permit, the City has customer service staff available on-site at the City Hall Revenue Collections counter, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Ground Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94301. Revenue Collections hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, except holidays.

The parking restrictions are enforced Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (City holidays are exempt).
Rather than purchasing an annual permit, employees may purchase up to four (4) daily parking scratchers per month for $25 each Daily permits are not purchased for a specific zone. Rather, the employee will purchase a daily permit and a zone-specific permit will be selected at random and mailed. The employee may only use that permit within the zone designated on the permit.
Serco, Inc. has been contracted by the City to provide enforcement services for the Downtown RPP program. Serco employees wear uniforms with identification, and you may see them walking, biking or driving throughout the Downtown RPP district.
Although the City limits the number of permits sold within the Downtown RPP District, the purchase of an RPP permit does not guarantee an on-street parking space.
RPP permits are only valid in areas designated by RPP parking restrictions (green 2-hour parking signs noting ‘Permits Exempt’ and specifying an RPP zone). RPP permits are not valid in the Downtown color zone, Downtown lots or garages, or in other time-restricted spaces: [MAP]
All Phase 2 RPP permits are physical permits, and are either a decal or a hangtag. For your use until the permit arrives by mail, a temporary parking permit is available to be printed at the time of sale. Contact customer service if you have difficulty printing your permit: or 650-440-8074.
No, parking restrictions are not enforced on regular City holidays or on weekends.
Follow the instructions on the RPP citation to pay or appeal the citation. If you do not have the instructions available, call 650-814-4501 for assistance.
Refunds are issued for annual permits only. A refund of the unused portion will be given only through the third quarter prorated at the quarterly rate. Remove permit from vehicle (pieces are accepted) and turn in with the information of the party to receive the refund to Revenue Collections located at Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., 1st Floor. Refunds are calculated from the date the permit is surrendered to Revenue Collections.



To help ease parking congestion, employers and employees in the designated Downtown RPP district must purchase permits to park on-street for more than 2 hours.