Where Can I Park in the Los Angeles area?
Update February 2022: The city of Los Angeles is suspending the practice of towing and impounding vehicles due to unpaid parking tickets (citations). Vehicles can still be towed for other reasons, which you can find below.
Here you will find key laws and rules about parking in the Los Angeles area, including the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Glendale, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Malibu1Note: In general, the city of Malibu uses the Los Angeles County Municipal Code for its parking rules, unless otherwise specified. MMC 10.04.010, Inglewood, and unincorporated LA County (which includes Marina del Rey, Altadena, and other areas) (make sure you know which city you are parking in).
Most of these rules apply to public streets, not private property, unless otherwise specified. On private property, the owner of the property can make almost any rules they want about parking.
These general rules apply unless there are more specific restrictions, as would generally be indicated by (official) signs placed properly by the government. So be sure to READ ALL SIGNS!
Also, we would bet there are some important driving laws you don’t know about so be sure to check out our Guide to Laws for Drivers in California.
If there are no signs about a particular parking restriction, does that mean it doesn’t apply?
In California, you are generally subject to all parking laws (as well as all general laws), whether there is a sign or not. One exception is parking restrictions related to street sweeping or street cleaning, which must be posted on signs at least at the entrance of each block, otherwise the restrictions are not effective.2Vehicle Code Sec 22507.6
But before towing you, you must be given notice, which is usually done by signs or by leaving a citation & warning on your car.3Vehicle Code 22651(n): “Whenever a vehicle is parked or left standing where local authorities, by resolution or ordinance, have prohibited parking and have authorized the removal of vehicles. Except as provided in subdivisions (v) and (w), a vehicle shall not be removed unless signs are posted giving notice of the removal.”
What are the general restrictions on parking?
- within 20 feet of a crosswalk5AB 413
- within 15 feet of a fire station driveway or fire hydrant
- on the street, blocking a public or private driveway
- on a sidewalk6Vehicle Code 22500(f)
- on a bridge (unless specifically allowed)
- in a tunnel
- more than 18 inches (1 and a half feet) from the curb when parallel parking7Vehicle Code Sec 22502
- on a lowered section of curb for wheelchair accessibility
- on private property without the owner’s permission8general California property law; also see LAMC 80.71.4 (whether the owner put up a No Parking sign or not)
- on the wrong side of the street, meaning, the opposite way of the flow of traffic
In addition to the above, the following applies:
- In the city of Los Angeles, you can’t park in one spot for more than 3 days (72 hrs) at a time (this is not strictly enforced, but people can report when a vehicle has been parked for more than 3 days and have your car towed); same applies to Unincorporated LA County9LACMC 15.64.200 & city of Malibu10Note: In general, the city of Malibu uses the Los Angeles County Municipal Code for its parking rules, unless otherwise specified. MMC 10.04.010; in Malibu it’s also considered “abandoned” after 10 days11MMC 10.16.060
- In the city of Los Angeles, and unincorporated LA County, and city of Malibu, you can’t park in an alley (except to load/unload)12LAMC 80.61; LACMC15.64.130
- In the city of Los Angeles, you can’t park in your front yard or lawn, or even any part of the “area in the front of the property between the adjacent street and any building or structure,” but the driveway is OK;13City of LA: LAMC 80.71.3: “No person shall park any vehicle in the front yard of any residential property… The front yard shall consist of that area in the front of the property between the adjacent street and any building or structure thereon, exclusive of any area used as a driveway to access a garage or other parking structure.” same applies to Unincorp L.A. County14LACMC 15.64.271 & city of Malibu15Note: In general, the city of Malibu uses the Los Angeles County Municipal Code for its parking rules, unless otherwise specified. MMC 10.04.010; see more on driveway parking below
- Any other restrictions pursuant to properly placed official government parking signs
Can I park on the street after the street sweeper has passed through and cleaned it?
In most cities, parking restrictions related to street cleaning do not depend on whether the street sweeper has come through already or not, even if it never comes! Yes, this is a bit absurd, but that’s how it goes. Example: If the sign says you can’t park from say 9-12, and the sweeper comes by at 10, you cannot park there until after 12. The city of LA was considering changing this so that you could park once the sweeper does its thing. But they didn’t.
Can I park a trailer, RV, or oversize vehicle in the Los Angeles area?
See our page on Parking Oversized Vehicles.
Is it illegal to live or dwell in a car in Los Angeles?
You can dwell in a car in certain non-residential areas. See our Guide to Laws on Homelessness in Los Angeles.
Where is it legal to park a food truck in Los Angeles?
- longer than 30 minutes in any residential area
- within 500 feet of a school
- within 100 feet of an intersection
- within 200 feet of various parks17Balboa Park, Banning Park, Robert Burns Park, MacArthur Park, the following portions of Griffith Park: Riverside Drive between the Glendale Boulevard off-ramp and Los Feliz Boulevard, between the Los Angeles River and the City limits (Betty Davis Picnic Area); and Ferndell Drive between Los Feliz Boulevard and Red Oak Drive.
Can I park on part or all of a driveway?
City of LA: you can park on a driveway as long as you are not blocking the sidewalk or the street. EastsiderLA has a helpful post and diagram about driveway apron parking, which is where the sloped part of the driveway meets the public street. But of course you must either own the driveway or have permission from the owner.
Unincorporated LA County & city of Malibu18Note: In general, the city of Malibu uses the Los Angeles County Municipal Code for its parking rules, unless otherwise specified. MMC 10.04.010: you can park on a driveway if you are fully on the driveway, and have permission from the owner. But you can’t block the sidewalk.
How far (how many feet) from a driveway do I need to park?
The width of a driveway technically spans from the “curb cuts,” which is at the top of where the concrete slopes up and there is usually a cut or gap between the slope and the rest of the curb. If there is no curb cut, the driveway would span from where these curb cuts would be, that is, the top of the slopes on either side. If you are in this “curb cut” area, then you would be technically be blocking the driveway, even if you are not directly blocking the driveway. So you must not be in this curb cut area at all.
Can I park on the sidewalk? Or the strip of grass/concrete between the sidewalk and the street (“parkway”)?
City of LA: You cannot park on any sidewalk19Vehicle Code 22500(f) or on a “parkway” (irony?), which is the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street, usually covered in grass or plants.20LAMC 80.53; definition of “parkway” at LAMC 80.00(h)
Can I park on the street overnight?
City of LA: YES, as long as there are no signs that say otherwise.
Unincorporated LA County & city of Malibu:21Note: In general, the city of Malibu uses the Los Angeles County Municipal Code for its parking rules, unless otherwise specified. MMC 10.04.010 Only if you have a permit. Without a permit, you can’t park for more than 30 minutes between 2-4AM.22LACMC 15.64.060
Pasadena: Only if you have a permit. Without a permit, you can’t park between 2 AM – 6 AM. But this rule is NOT enforced between Dec 23 – Jan 3.
Culver City: Only if you have a permit. Without a permit, you can’t park between 2-4AM.24Culver City Municipal Code 7.03.030
What do all the color curbs mean?
- commercial loading up to 30 min25must have commercial license plate, general passenger loading up to 5 min.26LAMC 80.56
- city of LA: In effect only Mon – Sat 7am – 6p; outside these times, anyone can park for any length of time (unless signs say otherwise).27LAMC 80.56; LADOT on Colored Curb Zones
- other cities: Most other cities follow this enforcement schedule (unless signs say otherwise), including West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Inglewood, Long Beach, Malibu, and unincorporated areas (see What are unincorporated areas). Pasadena enforces Mon-Sat 6am-6p; Glendale Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Burbank every day 8a-6p; Culver City Mon – Sat 7:30am – 6pm;
- short term parking for either 15 or 30 min, as noted by signs.
- city of LA: In effect only Mon – Sat 8a to 6p; outside the above times, anyone can park for any length of time (unless other signs).28LAMC 80.56; LADOT on Colored Curb Zones
- other cities (unless signs say otherwise): Beverly Hills Mon-Sat 7a-6p; Pasadena Mon-Sat 6a-6p; Glendale Mon-Sat 9a-6p; Burbank every day 8a-6p. Culver City: every day 7:30a-6p; Long Beach: Mon-Sat 9am-6p; Inglewood: Mon-Sat 7am-6pm; Santa Monica & Hermosa Beach enforce 24/7.
Blue curb: ONLY if you are the valid holder of a disabled placard, or are driving the holder29Vehicle Code 22511.7
White curb: ONLY for 5 min passenger loading, 24/7.30LAMC 80.56; LADOT on Colored Curb Zones Most other cities follow this, but Pasadena enforces only Mon-Sat 6am-6pm (except for parking in front of hotels, theaters, mailboxes, or valet); Burbank every day 8am-6pm (except in front of airport, theater, or taxi zone).
Red curb: No stopping or parking at any time (unless sign indicates otherwise)31Vehicle Code Sec 22500
Pages Related to Parking
Are parking restrictions enforced on holidays?
Many parking restrictions are NOT enforced on holidays in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. See our page on Parking Holidays in Los Angeles area.
Am I allowed to park at a broken meter?
If the parking meter is not accepting any form of payment (coin payments or credit card payments), you can park up to the posted time limit for free. You must still follow and and all time restrictions.
But if the meter is properly accepting at least one payment method, you must use that method and pay the fee.
My neighborhood has a permit requirement. How do I get a permit?
For the city of Los Angeles, see the LADOT website on permit parking.
If I have a disabled placard, am I exempt from parking restrictions?
- Parking district permit requirements
- time limits
- meters – you don’t have to pay
You are NOT exempt from:
- parking rules for red, white, and yellow curbs
- “No stopping” zones
- “No parking” zones
- Street sweeping
See more on disabled placard parking at our Person with Disability page.
What are the fines for parking violations?
For the city of LA, see full schedule of fines here (at the very bottom of page).
When would the city tow (impound) or attach a “boot” to a car?
You have five or more unpaid parking tickets(as of Feb 2022, impounding based on unpaid parking tickets (“scofflaws”) is suspended)
- Your vehicle was illegally parked, and is a hazard
- Your vehicle registration is expired
- Your vehicle has no evidence of registration
FULL PARKING RULES FOR L.A. AND NEARBY CITIES
City of Los Angeles, Unincorporated L.A. County34Chapter 15.64 (which also applies to the city of Malibu), Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Culver City, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach
Exercise Your Rights
See options for Getting Legal Help in the Los Angeles area.
How do I get a disabled placard? See DMV website.