Paying for Parking

Why We Charge for Parking on Commercial Streets

  • Charging for parking is a well-established and effective public management tool where demand exceeds supply.
  • Parking charges encourage users to use parking efficiently; with parking spaces turning over more frequently, more users are accommodated.
  • Low- or no-cost street parking encourages more vehicle use and generates traffic.

Types of Meters and Parking Payment Devices

  • It’s illegal to pay for additional time at the meter after the time limit has been reached. Feeding the meter beyond its original maximum time could result in a parking ticket.
  • People with disabilities may park at any parking meter including those that are specially designated meters and with longer allowable times.

Parkmobile: Parking Made Simple.

Parkmobile Pay-by-Cell

We’ve partnered with Parkmobile to bring residents and visitors a mobile payment solution for parking at metered spaces throughout the County.

Pay-by-cell is a mobile application administered by Parkmobile and is available for iPhone, Android, Windows 7 and Blackberry smartphones. The District of Columbia uses the same service, so residents and visitors don’t need to download a separate application to park when traveling between Arlington and the District.

How to Register and Use  

Sign up online or download the mobile app.

Parking is as easy as 1, 2, 3 using Parkmobile:

  1. Park: Look for the green Parkmobile sign.
  2. Pay: Use the Parkmobile mobile app, mobile website or call 1-877-727-5730 and enter the zone number listed on the sign. Pay using credit card or PayPal.
  3. Go: Head to your office, the store, lunch or that job interview. You can even opt-in to receive a text notification 15 minutes before your parking session is set to expire.

How-to video for iPhone | How-to video for Android

Note: License plate numbers must be entered correctly. Include all numbers and letters when registering your vehicle. Parkmobile zone numbers must also be accurately entered when initiating parking sessions. Failure to enter complete and accurate license plate and/or zone numbers may result in the issuance of a parking citation. Arlington County will not void citations issued when a parking session was created using incorrect information.

Resident paying with a credit card at a multispace meter.

A multispace meter.

Multispace Pay Stations

There are two ways to pay for multispace parking: by coin — nickels, dimes, quarters or dollar coins — or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).

  1. Insert coins or your credit card into the pay station and indicate the time.
  2. Push the print button for your receipt.
  3. Place the receipt face-up on the dashboard of your car.
Single-Space Meters

More than 2,400 single-space parking meters are located throughout the County for widely varying increments of time. They’re easily spotted from your driver’s seat by a color code.

  • Yellow – 30 minutes
  • Silver – 1 hour
  • Blue – 2 hours
  • Red – 4 hours
  • Green – 10 hours
Flexible Pay Single-Space Parking Meters

This is a new type of single-space parking meter that accepts nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins and credit cards.


The iPark is a prepaid in-car meter device. To use it, select the type of meter you’re parking at, start the iPark* and hang it from your rearview mirror. When you return to your car, turn it off and you will have paid for the minutes you parked.

*Note: Due to a manufacturer shortage, we’re not currently selling new iParks.