Brian Walker

Accuracy Matters When Using Parking Apps

Brian Walker, Communications Manager, 509.625.6765

Friday, January 20, 2023 at 3:43 p.m.

Accuracy Matters When Using Parking Apps

In today’s digital world, every digit and keystroke matters as we evolve with the on-street paid parking system. The City accepts various forms of payment for on-street parking. When using the ParkMobile app, customers need to input their license plate number. That number is the identification for the vehicle being parked. Parking enforcement specialists use that exact data when doing compliance checks.

You may be wondering why we can’t compare the make, model and color of the car with the incorrect license plate number and “call it good” if it’s close and assume they are correct. This exact number is the identification for the vehicle, similar to a phone or credit card number or an email address. Using correct data and information is critical to the use of License Plate Recognition technology because it will be the only information that is collected.

If the license plate number on the vehicle that is parked does not match what was entered for payment, a ticket for non-payment may be issued. (SMC 16A.05.280)

Park Smart Using the App Tips:

  • Make sure your entire rear license plate is visible and the license plate frame does not cover any portion of a letter or number.
  • When using the app, be sure to select the vehicle you are parking if you have more than one vehicle on your account.
  • Know whether your license plate has a zero "0" versus an "O” or a five “5” versus an “S.”
  • The letters and numbers you enter for your vehicle should exactly match your vehicle's registration or temporary plate (alphanumeric only, no special characters).
  • For specialty plates, enter the smaller stacked letters followed by the larger digits to the right.
  • Double check the parking zone and space number indicated on the meter or kiosk, especially dual space meters.

See below for examples of types of license plates.

License Plate Examples

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