FAQ

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Since 2009, CPM has invested $38 million to modernize Chicago’s on‐street parking, replacing 36,000 outdated single‐space, coin‐operated ‘meters’ with 4,700 state‐of‐the‐art pay stations that accept credit and debit cards.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.