Downtown Plaza Parking

The City of Menlo Park offers downtown visitors three free hours of parking within designated downtown parking plazas. Pay-by-space parking is also available in specified parking plazas. When parking on the streets within the downtown area, please check posted signs carefully as time restrictions vary. Please note, in order for Menlo Park to continue offering three free hours of downtown parking, there is no re-parking allowed for nine hours within the same plaza. 


Available in Plazas 1 and 5, you may pay at any of the parking kiosks. The rate is $1/hour. Please note your numbered parking space.

Downtown parking permits

Although there are time restrictions in the downtown plazas, there are several permit options available to accommodate the needs of business owners and employees. The two types of available permits are temporary one-day passes or annual passes.

Temporary permits

  • Full day permits are available for purchase at the police department during regular business hours and cost $10 per permit
  • Temporary permits are valid for ONE DAY ONLY; however, they may be purchased in advance in a limited supply - they are nonrefundable. Please only purchase what you need.
  • The date, month and year of use must be scratched off and the license plate written in the space provided.
  • If more than one date is scratched off or no date is marked, the permit will be considered invalid and the vehicle will be subject to a citation.
  • Temporary permits are only sold to eligible plaza businesses.
  • Permits are NOT valid in Plaza 4 (the lot next to Draeger's Supermarket) and they are not valid for on-street parking.
  • Permits must be completely filled out and hung from the rear view mirror, unobstructed from the front of the vehicle.
  • Failure to display or fill out the permit correctly may result in a citation.

Annual permits

  • Annual permits are sold at the police department during normal business hours. When purchasing an annual permit, please come prepared with the vehicle information (license plate, year, color, make and model) and the business name, address and phone number. Downtown permit applications may be filled out in advance.
  • Annual permits are $592 each.
  • Permits are pro-rated by month.
  • Annual permits are permanently affixed adhesive stickers that are only valid in parking plaza's 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
  • Annual permits must be used within the plaza for which they are assigned.
  • The amount of permits available in each plaza is limited
  • Annual permits must be permanently affixed in the lower left corner of the rear window, on the outside of the vehicle (see below for convertibles). Permits may NOT be taped or otherwise affixed to the vehicle in any other manner. It is advisable to remove any old permits before affixing new decals.
  • Convertibles ONLY: The permit must be permanently affixed in the lower right side of the front windshield (bottom 5" square when viewing the vehicle from the outside).
  • Annual permits are nontransferable between private parties.
  • All permits are the property of Menlo Park Police Department and any misuse or disregard of guidelines, including default of payment, will invalidate the permit with no further notice and may result in the immediate confiscation of the permit.

Transfer and replacement

Applies to company-purchased permits and replacement of lost/damaged decals.
  • Replacement decals for annual permits are available; however, the old or damaged permits MUST BE SURRENDERED - NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Replacement cost when decal is surrendered is $30. *If the old permit is not surrendered, a new permit may be purchased at full cost and is subject to plaza availability.
  • If the decal will not come off the vehicle intact, please bring the pieces.
  • Decals lose their adhesiveness and are not intended to be re-applied after having been removed from a previous vehicle. If you wish to switch vehicles, purchase a replacement decal to ensure that the decal properly adheres to your windshield.
  • Replacement of lost or stolen permits is the full cost and subject to availability.

Renewal of annual permits

In November, current permit holders will receive renewal information by mail. After current permit holders have had an opportunity to renew their permits, any spaces not renewed will be available on a first come, first serve basis. We are unable to sell permits in sold out plazas until after renewals have been processed to ensure availability.

Second vehicle permits

  • Annual permit holders may purchase ONE additional decal for a secondary vehicle as long as it is registered in their name. Second vehicle permits are not intended to allow both vehicles to park in the lot at the same time.
  • Secondary permits are $30.
  • Please be prepared to provide copies of your vehicle registration.
  • There is an inspection process to verify that permits are placed on the correct vehicles. Inspections can be done in person (either by a parking officer in the plaza or at the police department).
  • During renewals for the upcoming 2016 permit year, we will be accepting photos of decals in lieu of in-person inspections. Snap a photo of your decal affixed to you primary vehicle before you head to the police department to purchase a secondary permit. The photo will satisfy the primary inspection requirement.


  • Refunds will be issued on a pro-rated basis for annual permits only, minus an administrative fee of $75.
  • The old decal MUST be surrendered at the time of the refund request. If the decal does not come off intact, bring in the pieces. No refund will be issued without the surrendered permit.
  • No refunds will be issued after Sept. 30.
*All fees listed are subject to change according to the City of Menlo Park Master Fee Schedule.