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Parking Enforcement

According to California Vehicle Code Section 22651(k), and City of Carlsbad Municipal Code 10.40.010(a), it is unlawful to park a vehicle on any street or public place in excess of 72 or more consecutive hours. Vehicles not driven more than one-tenth of a mile from its original position every 72 hours are subject to citation or towing at owner's expense. Recreational vehicles may park on public streets subject to the previously mentioned sections; trailers must remain attached to a vehicle. You can report a vehicle parked for more than 72 hours via an online reporting system.

Parking tickets

A person must pay or contest a parking ticket, within 21 days of the issue date. Two of the most common types of correctable citations dismissed are failing to display valid handicapped placard at the time of the citation, or getting a vehicle registration current.

Recreational Vehicles

The City of Carlsbad implemented an RV ordinance in March 2013. The city restricts overnight parking of recreational and oversized vehicles on city streets between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Every citation will be assessed a $50 penalty. The goal of the ordinance is to effectively manage the parking of RVs and oversized vehicles in the City of Carlsbad, and address the many complaints by residents, visitors and business owners associated with overnight parking of RVs on city streets.

The ordinance includes exceptions to accommodate the needs of city residents, their guests, and hotel or motel guests with RVs.

Residents and their guests can apply for an oversized vehicle permit, which must be displayed in the window when the vehicle is parked on a city street between hours of 2 to 5 a.m. The vehicle must be parked within 400 feet of the residence that was granted the permit. Following are the types of permits that will be granted:

  • Yearly Residential Permit: City of Carlsbad residents who own an RV can apply for a yearly free permit to park their vehicle on a public street at their residence for up to 72 hours, four times within each month.
  • Temporary 72 Hour Guest Permit: Carlsbad residents can apply for a temporary permit for their guest. This free permit would allow residents to have guests with an RV park at their residence for up to 72 hours, six times per year.
  • Commercial Property Permit: Hotels or motels can allow guests to park RVs next to these inns on public streets if the RVs cannot be accommodated in the property’s parking lot. The city would issue each hotel and motel reusable permits that they can give to their guest.
  • Oversized vehicle: The dimensions of an oversized vehicle are defined as either: 22 feet in length, or seven feet in height and seven feet in width.

The Police Department lobby remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The permit can be obtained via email or regular mail. The email address is police.records@carlsbadca.gov and the mailing address is 2560 Orion Way, Carlsbad, CA, 92010. View the application here. For more information, please call 760-931-2119.

Ocean Street Parking Lot Enforcement Change

The city has received concerns from nearby residents/property owners regarding vehicles parking overnight in the Ocean Street public parking lot. As a result, the city will be adjusting the parking parameters to no longer allow overnight parking between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., all days of the week, in the Ocean Street public parking lot. Enforcement of the new parking restrictions will begin on Feb. 1, 2020.

The same parking parameters are currently in place for other public parking lots owned or controlled by the City of Carlsbad. Signs notifying users of the pending change are posted at the Ocean Street public parking lot and a letter was mailed to nearby residents and property owners.

To file a specific request for parking regulation enforcement, please contact the Police Department's non-emergency dispatch at 760-931-2197.