FAQ

You’ll no longer need to return to your vehicle to display a paper receipt on your dashboard, making it more convenient, especially in the winter months or if you have kids in tow. It’s also better for the environment as it will reduce the reliance of paper and waste with a text receipt option.
The current pay boxes are reaching their useful life and the new system employs the latest technology, representing a major investment and upgrade to the parking infrastructure in Chicago. During the past decade, the industry has shifted from a pay-and-display meter to a pay-by-plate system in the U.S. and around the world.
Chicago Parking Meters, LLC is switching to a pay-by-plate system that uses license plate numbers to determine payment. That means after purchasing a parking session at a kiosk, you’ll no longer have to return to your vehicle to place a paper receipt on the dashboard of your vehicle. . Not having to display a receipt as proof of purchase makes on-street parking more convenient and efficient.
You can visit www.ChicagoMeters.com or call our customer service hotline at 877-242-7901 if you have any questions or experience a problem.
Try the ParkChicago app, which lets you pay for parking using your smartphone and add time to your parking session from remote locations at more than 36,000 metered spaces in the city’s downtown and neighborhood areas. iPhone and Android users can download the free ParkChicago mobile app at the App Store or at Google Play. To learn more, visit www.ParkChicago.com.
The new system remains the same for disabled drivers and does not impact enforcement when it comes to motorists with disabled license plates.
No. Just like the current system, you can purchase a new parking session if you want to remain in the same parking spot. You will need to go back to the pay box and purchase additional time. The only way to extend your parking session remotely is by using the ParkChicago app, which enables you to pay for parking using your smartphone.
Yes. You can park in another metered spot anywhere in the City as long as you park in a space with the same or lower hourly rate. For example, you can move your vehicle from a $4 zone to another $4 zone or $2 zone. But if the rate at the new location is higher, you must create a new parking session. Make sure to check for rates, parking restrictions on the pay box and permanent or temporary signage in order to avoid a ticket.
Chicago Parking Meters does not retain credit card information. . Transaction and license plate data is held in a secure system so enforcement personnel can ensure you’ve paid for your parking.
You can cancel your parking session and start over as long as you do it before you confirm your transaction. A parking session cannot be adjusted once confirmed so it’s very important to review all of the details before you purchase your parking time.
Yes. If enforcement personnel can’t match your license plate with the information you entered for the transaction, you’ll receive a ticket. Before each transaction is complete, you’ll be asked to confirm the license plate information you’ve entered.
Sure. Although the new pay boxes don’t require you to display your receipt to verify payment, you can still receive proof of payment. After you confirm your purchase, you can request a printed paper receipt or have a receipt sent to you via text on your phone.
When you purchase your time, the pay box will indicate when your metered time expires. You are able to receive either a text or printed receipt, both stating the end time of your parking session.
Type of License Plate Vehicle License Plate Number License Plate Number to Enter
Passenger  0000000
BTruck  000000B
Vanity  HAWKSBH
Dealer  DL000X
Temporary 7652234
No. The meter rates remain the same. The Chicago City Council is the only authority with the ability to increase parking rates.
Although the new pay boxes look similar, they have a touch screen for transactions, which look like a tablet. You can also click here to see a list of where the new pay boxes have been installed. We estimate that all 36,000 metered spots throughout the City will have new kiosks by mid-2019.
When you use the new pay box, your license plate number identifies that you’ve paid for your parking session. Enforcement personnel will have access to a database that shows if you’ve paid and how much time you have remaining.
For general rates and times, visit our Cost & Hours page. For specific rates, times and restrictions, always refer to the signage near your parking space and at the pay station.
Since 2009, CPM has invested $38 million to modernize Chicago’s on‐street parking, replacing 36,000 outdated single‐space, coin‐operated ‘meters’ with 4,700 state‐of‐the‐art pay stations that accept credit and debit cards. This modernization has opened up more parking space and offers greater flexibility to motorists. In 2014, CPM introduced a cutting‐edge pay‐by‐cell phone option that allows motorists to purchase and extend parking sessions using the ParkChicago© app. The benefits of this modernization are:
  • Porting time: The parking time you purchase is good until expiration at any location with the same or lower hourly rate. Given that the vast majority of pay stations within a neighborhood share the same hourly rate, motorists can transfer their payment as they park in another location.
  • Extended periods of stay: Metered street parking near theaters, concert halls, schools, hospitals, and other places where parkers require more than a two‐hour stay now offer extended periods of stay. Businesses that would like to request changes to the period of stay or hours of operation should contact their local Alderman here.
  • Pre‐payment: Pay stations are programmed to offer pre‐payment whenever possible. Motorists parking at 24‐hour pay stations can generally pre‐pay until 10:00 a.m. (unless rush hour restrictions are in place). At most other pay stations, motorists can pre‐pay as early as 5:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. or later.
  • More parking spots: A single pay station replaces many single ‘meters’, creating more parking spots and sidewalk space per block. Pay stations also promote parking turnover, resulting in more availability in front of your favorite destinations.
  • Donated bicycle poles: Since 2009, CPM has donated thousands of single space pay station poles and housings to the City, retrofitting them so that bicycle parking is protected.
Pay stations are electronic and allow motorists to pay for parking. Once payment is received, the pay station issues a paper receipt that you place on your vehicle's dashboard closest to the curb. Pay stations accept coins and credit, debit and branded pre‐paid cards (such as Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover) as payment. Motorists may park in any legally available curb space between the posted “Pay at Pay Box” signs except in “No Parking” zones (such as fire hydrants, crosswalks and bus stops) or during street cleaning, rush hour and other restricted parking areas and times. Motorcyclists show proof of payment by writing their license plate number on the receipt and adhering it to the headlamp of the motorcycle. Pouches (which hold the receipt) are available by contacting Abate of Illinois Chicago Chapter (www.chicagoabate.com).
No. Pay stations accept quarters as well as credit, debit and branded pre‐paid cards. You can also download the ParkChicago© app to pay for street parking using your smartphone.
Yes. Pay stations are PCI compliant. PCI is the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standard for protecting data, which is designed to ensure the companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain the information securely. When using a credit card at a pay station, credit card information is transmitted directly to the financial institution. Except for the last four digits of your credit card, we do not retain or store any credit card information, which is similar practice for other credit card transactions.
For general rates and times, please visit the Cost & Hours page. For specific rates, times and restrictions please refer to signage near or around the parking area. Also, review information located on the pay station.
If you received a valid citation, please pay it by following the directions on the ticket or envelope. If you believe a citation was issued in error, you may contest the ticket. Instructions for challenging a ticket can be found on the ticket or by calling the City of Chicago’s Ticket Help Line: 312‐744‐PARK (7275).
If the pay station where you parked is inoperative, please call 877‐242‐7901 and report it within 24 hours. In such cases, you don’t have to pay for parking. However, please be aware that you may park only for the maximum period of stay allowed in that zone. Exceeding the time limit, even if the meter is broken, may result in a citation. Please remember that by reporting a broken or malfunctioning pay station, you are helping us keep the system operational, helping your fellow motorists and protecting yourself should you inadvertently receive a parking ticket. You may also consider using ParkChicago© (www.parkchicago.com), a Pay‐By‐Cell service for Chicago’s on‐street parking system.
If your credit card was charged an incorrect amount or if you feel that you are entitled to a refund for any reason, please follow the instructions here or call (877) 242‐7901.
Yes. An Illinois law aimed at cracking down on abled‐bodied motorists who abuse disabled parking permits took effect on January 1, 2014. The law provides free parking to motorists who meet the requirements of State law and are physically unable to access a pay station because they have a severe disability. Eligible motorists must display a yellow‐and‐gray colored placard to park for free at metered spaces in Chicago and throughout the state. To apply for a disability placard, visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.