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Seattle resuming full enforcement of 72-hour parking rule: Here's what you need to know

Seattle Municipal Code prohibits a person from parking their car on the same block of a city street for more than 72 consecutive hours.

SEATTLE — The City of Seattle is once again enforcing the 72-hour parking rule that was partially put on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Seattle Municipal Code prohibits a person from parking their vehicle on the same block of a city street for more than 72 consecutive hours.

Enforcement of the 72-hour rule was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic due to public health guidelines beginning in March of 2020. In October of 2021, the city began clearing unoccupied, abandoned or hazardous vehicles. 

Car owners should get back into the habit of regularly moving their cars to avoid a warning or a citation, according to a release from the City of Seattle. People should also regularly check for temporary parking restriction signs, which can be placed for things like emergency utility work, cleaning or special events with a minimum of 24-hours notice. 

Car owners found to be in violation of the rule will get an official warning notice on their vehicle, giving them time to move their cars voluntarily and avoid enforcement action, according to the city. If a car is towed from a public street, instructions to find the vehicle and the documents required to release the vehicle are available online. 

Up until now, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) was not impounding vehicles that people were living in. If it appears people may be living in a vehicle that's in violation of the 72-hour rule, the owners will receive information about assistance, support services and resources, according to the city. 

SDOT said they will make multiple attempts to notify or contact people living in their car to encourage them to move. Impoundment would be a last resort if a person ignores warnings or refuses to move their vehicle.

Car owners looking to reclaim their vehicles should call Lincoln Towing at 206-364-2000 or search for their car on Lincoln Towing's website

The parking enforcement team is expecting an influx of requests now that the city has begun fully enforcing the 72-hour parking rule. This means the enforcement process will take longer than usual at the beginning. 

Seattle Public Utilities is continuing to lead the RV Remediation program, which focuses on cleaning up and disposing of debris and waste around RVs.