Every state has different parking laws.
This is why it’s important to know the specific ones in YOUR state.
If you’re from California, then we’ve got you covered.
Here, we’re going to take you through all the California parking laws that you should know about this 2023.
This way, you can avoid causing traffic or accidents, while avoiding a ticket, too.
So shall we begin?
Parking Laws in California
In California, there are colored curbs that tell you whether you can park there or not.
Here are the meanings of each color:
- White – vehicles are only allowed to stop to pick up or drop off passengers. Usually, drivers should remain inside the vehicle.
- Green – parking is allowed. However, there is a time limit that is painted on the curb or posted on signs.
- Yellow – loading and unloading of passengers and freight are allowed and should not exceed the time limit posted. If driving a non-commercial vehicle, drivers should stay within the vehicle.
- Red – parking, stopping, or standing is not allowed. Buses can stop on a red curb if there is a zone marked for buses.
- Blue – Designated parking for a disabled person or someone with a disabled person. You can only park here if you display a license plate or placard for disabled veterans or persons.
Additionally, disabled persons with a placard are allowed to use parking for any amount of time, regardless of the time limit posted on the signs.
Misuse of a disabled person’s license plate results in loss of parking privileges and is punishable by up to 6 months of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1000.
Illegal Parking in California
What if there is no color code on a curb you want to park on?
This is when it’s important to know where it is illegal to park in California.
So here are some places that are illegal to park in:
- When there is a “No Parking” sign
- In front of a driveway
- On a sidewalk or when you’re partially blocking a sideway
- On a marked or unmarked crosswalk
- Near the sidewalk ramp for disabled persons
- Double parking or when all the parking spaces are already taken
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or station driveway
- In front of a curb that has a wheelchair access
- In a disabled parking space if you don’t have a disabled license
- In the diagonal lines or the crosshatched area next to the parking space for disabled persons
- In a parking space for fueling zero-emission vehicles if you don’t drive one
- Between the curb and a safety zone
- On a freeway or wrong side of the street, exceptions are emergencies, when permitted to stop, or when a law enforcement officer requires you to stop
Penalties for Parking Laws in California
What happens if you break these California parking laws?
You will face certain penalties in the form of tickets and fines.
Here is a table showing the parking violation and penalty:
|Parking on Bike Lane||$50|
|Parking Posted Fire Lane||$100|
|Parking or Blocking Crosswalk||$50|
|Parking in Special Spaces||$35|
|Parking or Blocking a Driveway||$50|
|Parking within 15 feet of a Fire Station Driveway||$35|
|Parking or Stopping in Tunnel||$35|
|Parking or Blocking Sidewalk for Wheelchair Access||$445|
|Vehicle Parked or Stopped in Opposite Direction of Traffic||$35|
|Parallel Parking on Left on One-Way Street||$35|
|Block Access to Disabled Space||$445|
|Blue Zone Disabled Parking Only||$445|
|Parking within 15 feet of Fire Hydrants||$100|
|Parking Near Railroad Track||$50|
|Private Property Posting||$52|
|Exceeding Posted Time Limit||$57|
|Leaving Person Locked Inside Vehicle||$53|
You may have to pay more if:
- Any surcharges mandated by the law shall be added to the fine imposed for parking violations
- If no request or payment has been filed within the time frame given by the law, an additional delinquency penalty shall be imposed
- If a cost of collection incurs, the cost shall be added and the violator shall be liable
Safe Parking Tips
Okay, now that we’ve told you the California parking laws and their penalties, let’s give you some helpful safe parking tips.
When parking parallel to the road, here are some reminders:
- Find a parking space that is at least 3ft longer than your vehicle.
- Don’t forget to turn on your signal when doing the maneuver.
- Pull up alongside the vehicle in front of your chosen parking space. Have a distance of about 2ft between your vehicle and the vehicle beside you. Stop once the rear bumper is aligned in front of your parking space.
- Check the rearview mirror and put your vehicle in reverse.
- Back up into the parking space by turning your wheels at about 45 degrees.
- Straighten out your parking by turning the steering wheel away from the curb and pulling forward or backward to straighten out. By now, your vehicle will be parallel to the curb and about 18 inches from it.
Parking on a Hill
Parking on a hill is not as easy as you might think. If your brakes fail, your vehicle could roll down. To avoid this, here are some tips:
- When parking on a sloping driveway, turn the wheels to prevent your vehicle from rolling into the street in case the brakes fail.
- If heading downhill, turn the front wheels toward the side of the road or the curb and set the parking brake.
- If heading uphill, turn the front wheels away from the curb. Roll back a few inches and then let the wheels gently touch the curb. Set the parking brake.
- If there is no curb, and you’re heading either downhill or uphill, turn the wheels toward the road to prevent the vehicle from rolling away from the center of the road in case the brake fails.
Being aware of the parking laws in California is more than just avoiding the tickets and fines.
It’s also there to prevent traffic and/or accidents.
So now that you know the California parking laws, make sure you do your best to obey them.
This way, you’ll be able to keep everyone safe on the road…
As well as avoid annoying tickets and fines.
Want to learn about the distracted driving laws in California? Then check out our article on it here.