I need an annual SF parking permit, but my car is registered in LA.
May 9, 2013 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I have somehow managed to live in SF for several years without a parking permit, but I am going to need one shortly. Can I get an annual parking permit without changing my car's registration information?

SF's annual parking permit eligibility page specifies that the car must be registered to the permit seeker's SF address. My car is and has always been registered to an LA-based relative - it's on something of a very long-term loan and it would be a pain to change it to my name, though not impossible.

Any way around this? Are the permits registered to a specific license plate? Or can I, say, have my partner register a permit for my partner's car, and just give the sticker to me?
posted by ziggly to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
The license plate info is written on the permit so you can't just "get a permit" for someone else and use it on your car.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:00 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Have you ever crossed the SF parking authority? I have. It's not pretty.

The neighborhood parking thing is to insure that only people in that neighborhood, with leases, deeds, and cars registered there, are parking on the streets. Can you imagine? What if I had a boyfriend or a buddy and I wanted to make parking easier when he came over so I registered my car and gave him the permit. Now we have a guy on the street with no real right to be there, and a resident has to drive to Noe Valley just to find a spot.

So call your relative and discuss changing the registration.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:01 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

This simply isn't going to happen without changing the car registration address.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: OK, I've done this with mild success. Options I deployed:

A) Guest Permits. This sucks, because you have to go back every 8 weeks to get a new permit, and it's more expensive than an annual permit. However, if you'll only be parking on the street for less than a year, it might be worth it.

B) Use someone else's annual permit. I had my roommate register her car for a permit, then I placed the permit on my car. Yes, the permit displayed her car's license plate. During the one year I used her permit, I received two tickets for "incorrect permit." I just paid the tickets and prayed that I wouldn't get another one... It seems like they could have taken further action, but, they didn't. YMMV.

C) Change your car registration address and get your own permit. This is what I recommend, but it was a pain in the ass, so start the process NOW. One thing that we did was change it so that the car was in both of our names (ex: "$OwnerName and $BorrowerName") when changing the address. That way the owner's name wasn't taken off the official documents.
posted by samthemander at 12:40 PM on May 9, 2013

Oh yeah, and if you're feeling frustrated, it can help to remember Ruthless Bunny's point: The permit rules are actually designed to HELP by making it easier for you to find a spot. Your particular situation happens to fall outside of the norm, which sucks, but you can work through your situation to make the permit system work for you.
posted by samthemander at 12:47 PM on May 9, 2013

Nope, you have to have your car registered at the address where you're living - the permits are done by residential zone. The permit stickers have your license plate written on them. You have to go to the MTA and show them the registration papers with the local address.
posted by radioamy at 1:36 PM on May 9, 2013

I've tried to game this in various places, and i've had issues with getting one because i was a block off the street i wanted a permit for.

You're not going to find a way out of this that doesn't have a high probability of you being boned over and losing the money you spent without just changing the registration. I wouldn't try and game this at all.

I ended up just renting off street parking when i couldn't get a permit because it was less of a hassle than trying something like this, for what it's worth.
posted by emptythought at 3:41 PM on May 9, 2013

You don't have to change the registered owner of the car to change the address the car is registered at. You can change the registered address in about five minutes on the CA DMV website here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/online/coa/welcome.htm
posted by yellowlightman at 11:41 PM on May 9, 2013

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