Common Parking Violations

Information about common parking violations and how to avoid them.

Page updated on Jul 13, 2021 at 10:41 AM

COVID-19 Information

As part of the City’s response to the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 coronavirus disease, requests for adjudication of parking citations cannot be submitted in person at this time. You may submit an electronic request using our online portal. 

Please also be advised that although our office will continue to provide a response to requests for parking adjudication as quickly and comprehensively as possible, we may require additional time in light of the City's resources being expended on the COVID-19 response.

Contesting a Parking Citation

If you feel a citation was issued due to an administrative error, the registered vehicle owner or another authorized person may request an administrative review by the City’s Parking Adjudication Office within 10 calendar days of the issue date by using the City's Online Citation Adjudication system. There is a $10 fee to dispute a citation with the Parking Adjudication Office, which is waived if the citation is waived. To submit your contest to the Parking Adjudication Office, please follow the link below:


If your citation does not qualify for an administrative review, or is upheld after an administrative review, the registered vehicle owner or other authorized person may contest the citation in the Alexandria General District Court, Traffic Division. Continue reading for additional information on the review process and common violations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does the Parking Adjudication Office do?
    A: The Parking Adjudication Office conducts administrative reviews of parking citations to correct for errors or oversights of law made by City at the time of issuance. Outside of these parameters, this office does not have the authority to void citations.
  • Who may contest a citation?
    A: The registered owner, or other authorized person having possession of the vehicle when the violation occurred, may contest a parking citation through either the Parking Adjudication Office or the General District Court.
  • What happens once I contest a citation through the Parking Adjudication Office?
    A: Once a contest has been received, all submitted information and documents will be entered into a single source database to be reviewed by the Parking Adjudication Office. All parking fees, including late fees, will be suspended during the appeals process. Once a final determination has been made, you will receive notification at the provided email address.
  • What information should be included with the contest?
    A: Please include the parking citation number, along with relevant supporting documentation and a brief narrative describing why you are contesting the citation. Depending on the violation you have received, helpful documentation may include, but is not limited to:
    • Contemporaneous Photographs of the Vehicle or Sign
    • Death Certificates
    • Deployment Orders
    • Doctor’s Notes
    • ParkMobile Session Reports (showing both the license plate number and session times)
    • Pay Station Receipts
    • Personal Property Tax Payments
    • Police Reports
    • Vehicle Bill of Sales
    • Vehicle Registrations
    • Other Evidence Confirming Vehicle Location or Valid Mitigating Circumstances
    Once a contest is submitted, you may be asked to provide additional information.
  • How much time do I have to contest the parking citation?
    A: The registered vehicle owner, or other authorized person, may request an administrative review by the City’s Parking Adjudication Office within 10 calendar days of the citation’s issue date. Contests to the General District Court must occur within 3 years of the citation’s issue date.
  • Can I contest a citation by mail?
    A: Yes. Please submit your contest to City of Alexandria, 301 King Street, Box 43, Alexandria, VA  22314.
    Note: To request a special accommodation, please call 703.746.3974.
  • Is there a fee to contest a parking citation?
    A: Yes. If the violation is upheld, a $10 adjudication fee will be added to the fine.  If the citation is dismissed, the adjudication fee will be waived.
  • What if I contest a citation and I disagree with a violation that is upheld?
    A: Those who contest a violation, but disagree with the adjudicator's decision, may appeal to the Alexandria General District Court, Traffic Division.
  • How do I contest a citation with the General District Court?
    A: To schedule a hearing, fill out the General District Court form. A new form must be completed for each citation contested. Once your request has been processed, you will receive information concerning your court date through the mail. You may request a form to schedule a hearing:

    The completed form must be emailed to or mailed to City of Alexandria Revenue Division, 301 King St., Box 22, Alexandria, VA 22314, along with copies of the parking citation and the registered owner’s driver's license. Once you schedule a court hearing, you forfeit your ability to prepay the citation and your request cannot be removed or adjusted by the City’s Finance Department.

    Hearings must be scheduled in advance and cannot be scheduled by physically appearing at the General District Court.

  • When does the General District Court hear parking citation cases?
    A: Hearing dates and times are subject to the availability of the issuing officer and court. Hearings are scheduled Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. If you schedule a hearing in the General District Court, you will be required to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. and wait until your case is called. Please note that this does not mean that you case will be heard at 9:30 a.m., only that you must be present in court at that time. If your case is not called on the appointed date, immediately notify the Clerk of Court.
  • What if I cannot attend the hearing date?
    A: If you cannot appear on your assigned court date, contact the General District Court at 703.746.4041 as soon as possible. The Court will decide what course of action you must take.
  • What happens if the parking citation I contested with the court is upheld?
    A: If the citation is upheld, you will be assessed the original fine plus any court costs. Court costs are typically $63 but are at the discretion of the judge.
  • How can I pay for the parking citation?
    A: Please visit for information on how to pay a parking citation.
  • What will happen if I fail to pay my parking citation in a timely manner?
    A: Failure to pay or contest the citation may result in the issuance of a notice to the registered owner to appear in court and answer to the violation for which the citation was issued. In addition, a delinquent citation may result in withholding of the vehicle registration renewal by the Virginia DMV. The City will also authorize a collection agency to use all possible legal means to satisfy the outstanding citations(s), and you will be subject to additional collection fees.
  • Is there a late fee for unpaid citations?
    A: If the fine is not paid, or the citation is not contested within 30 days after the citation is issued, a late payment fee of $25 will be assessed. Additional collection fees may also apply.
  • What happens if I have more than one parking citation outstanding?
    A: Three (3) delinquent citations may result in the immobilization of your vehicle.
  • What denomination are payments processed in?
    A: All payments are processed in U.S. dollars.
  • What is the Privacy Policy for the information I provide for my parking citation?
    A: We are committed to protecting your privacy. Security measures for this site have been taken to protect against loss, misuse or alteration of the information you provide; and industry standard encryption methods are used to assure security. Your information is collected for processing purposes only and will not be sold. Nevertheless, it is crucial that, as a user, you protect against unauthorized access to your password and to your computer and that you always sign off when finished using a shared computer. Further, you should be aware that no system is impenetrable. Thus, it is your responsibility to diligently monitor your credit card statements, bank statements and similar personal information so as to discover and address as quickly as possible any misuse of your personal information.
  • What is the Refund Policy once the payment has been processed for my citation?
    A: No refunds are issued via the City's payment site. If you believe you have submitted a payment in error, please contact us at the number that is listed on your statement. If you believe a charge has appeared on your credit card statement by an act of fraud, please contact your issuing bank. Your issuing bank will then contact us on your behalf. Do not contact the merchant directly in this instance. If you believe there was a duplicated charge to your credit card, please contact us at the number that is listed on your statement.
  • Who should we contact to ask additional questions?
    A: You may contact  703.746.4800 with questions. When leaving a message, please provide the parking citation number and/or license plate number.
  • What should I do if my vehicle has been impounded?
    If your vehicle has been impounded but you paid the City’s Collection Agent, Nationwide Credit Corporation (NCC) for delinquent parking tickets, you must do all three of the following before going to the Impound Lot to pick up your vehicle:
    1. Pay in full all tickets that are referred to NCC;
    2. Obtain a copy of an official receipt directly from NCC, and;
    3. Confirm that all other tickets not yet referred to NCC are paid in full. You can confirm this either at City Hall, Room 1510 (Treasury Division), or online at
    Please be sure to save yourself time and unnecessary problems at the Impound Lot by carefully following each of these steps before trying to reclaim your vehicle.

Common Parking Violations

  • Expired meter/misuse of meter.
    • There is no grace period allowed after the expiration of a parking meter. Parking Enforcement Officers must cite a vehicle if the meter has expired, regardless of how much or how little time has passed since expiration.
    • Vehicles parked in spaces covered by the City's multi-space meters must have a meter receipt displayed on the dashboard, where required, in such a way that the date and time information is clearly visible from outside the vehicle. If a meter is broken or fails to print a receipt, the user must obtain a receipt from another meter or use ParkMobile. Additionally, for meters that require recording a license plate number, the license plate number must be entered correctly.
    • When using ParkMobile, the City's mobile parking app, the vehicle operator is responsible for entering all information correctly, as well as starting and stopping the parking session at the appropriate times. If a citation is issued as the result of a ParkMobile user error, the citation is valid.
    • If you have proof that the vehicle properly displayed a valid pay station receipt when the citation was issued, please provide any photographs or other evidence to support your contest.
    • If you made a ParkMobile payment with the accurate license plate and zone numbers, please submit the relevant detailed ParkMobile session report showing the license plate number, parking zone number, start time, end time, and date.
    • If you made payment at a pay to park meter when the citation was issued, please provide a copy of the receipt, if available.
  • Illegally parking in a permit parking district.
    • The residential permit parking ordinance prohibits on-street parking for more than two or three hours during varying time periods except for vehicles displaying a corresponding residential parking permit. The City's Transportation Division posts signs in each block of the parking districts describing the time limits, hours of enforcement, and any applicable residential parking -permit holder exemptions. Only vehicles displaying a valid residential, visitor, guest, or health care provider parking permit are exempt from these restrictions. Additionally, all other posted restrictions remain effective unless specifically noted. The residential parking permit must be replaced and displayed on or before the expiration date each year.
    • Note: Proof of purchase does not constitute proof of display.
    • If you have proof that the vehicle displayed a valid parking permit or the vehicle was not parked on the noted block when the citation was issued, please provide any photographs or other evidence to support your contest.
  • Failure to display a current state license plate.
    • Upon moving into Virginia or purchasing a new vehicle, vehicle owners have 30 days to register with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and purchase a license plate. Vehicle registrations must be renewed by the expiration date noted on the motor vehicle registration. Vehicles are prohibited for being operated or parked upon a highway unless it is registered and displays the license plate and decal for the current registration period.
    • If the vehicle registration was renewed prior to the issuance of the citation, please submit a copy of the motor vehicle registration from the relevant department of motor vehicles.
  • Failure to display a current state inspection sticker.
    • Every vehicle operating in Virginia must pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker. Generally, all new car dealerships perform inspections. Many garages that repair vehicles are also licensed to perform inspections and will display a large white sign with blue lettering designating them as official inspection stations. Many businesses advertise inspection services in the local phone directory. To find safety inspection stations near you, you can also contact the Safety Division Area Office for Northern Virginia by email or by phone at 703.803.2622. The cost for a safety inspection is $16 for motor vehicles and recreation vehicles, and $12for motorcycles.
    • Note: Proof of purchase does not constitute proof of display.
    • If the vehicle was validly inspected prior to the issuance of the citation, or covered by an active rejection sticker, please submit a copy of the inspection certification from the relevant agency.
  • Parking in a handicap parking space.
    • Only vehicles that properly display a valid disabled parking license plate or placard are permitted to park in designated disabled parking spaces. Vehicles that do not display a disabled parking plate or an active placard are not permitted to park, stand, or stop in designated disabled parking spaces. Disabled parking spaces need only be marked by signs; no marking on the pavement or curb is required.
    • If you have proof that the vehicle displayed a valid handicap placard when the citation was issued, please provide any photographs or other evidence to support your contest.

Other Common Parking Issues

  • No vehicle may be parked less than 15 feet from any corner.
  • No vehicle may be parked less than 15 feet from a fire hydrant.
  • Generally, it is illegal to park a vehicle on the City streets for more than 72 consecutive hours.
  • In time restricted parking areas, a vehicle may not remain parked within the same block beyond the posted time limit. Citations can be avoided by not parking on a block beyond the permitted time.
  • Commercial vehicles cannot be parked overnight in residential areas.
  • It is illegal to perform repair or maintenance on a vehicle parked on the street or in a public parking lot.
  • Parking any vehicle in any alley or court is prohibited unless expressly permitted by an official sign.
  • Vehicles must be parked with the right side of the vehicle parallel to the curb unless the street is designated as "one way."
  • In Virginia, it is illegal to transfer ownership of a vehicle without removing the license plates.
  • If a vehicle is booted, the responsibility is on the owner to resolve the issue.
  • Vehicles displaying a disabled license plate and/or disabled parking placard are permitted to park up to 4 hours for free at single/multi-space meters and twice the posted times in time restricted parking zones.
  • No portion of a vehicle is permitted to park contrary to a posted parking sign.