Frequently Asked Questions

Menu

 

Parking Office Questions

Where is your office located?

The Parking Programs Office is located at 702 Edgebrook Drive, in Champaign. Head North on Prospect Avenue and turn right (east) at the Bloomington Road intersection. Turn left (north) at the second stoplight onto Hagan Street. Edgebrook Drive is the first road on the right from Hagan. The Parking Programs Office is located in the first building on the left on Edgebrook Drive (Public Works Center).

What are your office hours?

The office is open 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Permit transactions end at 4 p.m.

How do I contact the office?

  1. Phone: 217.403.4700
  2. Fax: 217.403.7055
  3. Email: publicworks@ci.champaign.il.us

General Parking Questions

I never seem to have change for the meters. Do I have any options?

  •  CashKey: All City of Champaign, City of Urbana and University of Illinois meters accept the CashKey. The CashKey is a convenient, cashless way to pay for parking. CashKeys may be purchased and/or time loaded at the Parking Programs Office (702 Edgebrook Drive) or at the Finance Office on the Second Floor of the City Building (102 N Neil Street) as well as at the U of I and City of Urbana Parking Offices. Go to the CashKey page for more information on the CashKey.
  • Pay Stations: Located in the Market & University Lot (Downtownat 43 E University Avenue) and Walnut & Washington Lot after 5 p.m. (at 45 E Washington Street), pay stations accept coins, bills, credit or debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover).
  • Hill Street Parking Deck: Cash, credit, debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover) and merchant validated tickets are accepted in the deck located at 123 W Hill Street.

On what days is parking free?

There is no charge to park in Champaign all day on Sundays or City Holidays (New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). Parking is also free Downtown all day on Saturdays.

How do I report a problem with a parking meter?

Call the Parking Programs Office at 217.403.4700 to report a problem with a parking meter. Be prepared to provide the meter location and number.

Who may use accessible parking?

An accessible parking space may be utilized by persons with disabilities who have been issued a disability placard or license plate by the Secretary of State. In compliance with Illinois State regulation, the authorized placard/license plate holder must be present and must enter or exit the vehicle at the time the parking privileges are being used. Accessible parking spaces may not be used by persons without a disability placard for any length of time.

How do I obtain a disabled parking permit or disability license plates?

A temporary handicapped placard valid for up to 90 days may be obtained from the City of Urbana Finance Department, located at 400 South Vine Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801, 217.384.2345.

Permanent placards may be obtained from the Secretary of State’s Office. Visit the website for information regarding eligibility requirements and the application procedure.  Please note that a physician’s verification of eligibility is required to obtain temporary and permanent disability placards, as well as disability license plates.

Where in the City can I park my RV?

Recreational vehicles may only park on City streets in a residential district under the following circumstances:

  1. Between the hours of 5 p.m. on Thursday and noon on Monday.
  2. By obtaining a special parking permit. No more than 5 permits shall be issued for any one vehicle within a calendar year.
  3. Between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

Why was my vehicle towed?

Vehicles parked in prohibited areas may be towed because of safety issues. The City may also tow vehicles registered to owners who have not paid accumulated parking citations. Vehicles that are abandoned/inoperable and/or have expired registration can also be towed. All citations must be paid to Parking Programs, and the cost of the tow and all storage fees must be paid to the towing company before the vehicle will be released. Payment to the City of Champaign must be in the form of cash, money order, cashier’s check, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover only. No personal checks will be accepted once a vehicle has been towed.

I had my flashers on. Why did I get a citation?

Vehicle flashers (hazard lights) are a universal sign that your vehicle is disabled. They do not allow you to park in metered or prohibited areas for even a short amount of time, nor do they indicate to parking personnel that you will “be right back.”

Why was my vehicle booted?

Booting is a process in which a vehicle is immobilized in the location in which it is found. The “Boot” is a large metal restraint that clamps onto one wheel of a vehicle, rendering it incapable of being moved. A vehicle is subject to booting if it has accumulated five (5) or more unpaid citations that remain unpaid for a period of 30 days. A vehicle may be booted or towed when it is on the public right-of-way or any City-owned property. The decision whether to boot or tow will be made depending on the circumstances of each situation. In order to release the Boot, all past due fines must be paid. Payment must be in the form of cash, money order, cashier’s check, VISA, MasterCard or Discover. Personal checks will not be accepted once a vehicle has been booted. There is a $35 administrative fee to have the Boot released from your vehicle. After hours payment may be made at the Champaign Police Department, 82 E. University Avenue, and must be made by cashier’s check or money order.

CashKey Questions

What is the CashKey?

The CashKey is a programmable key that provides a cashless way to use any parking meter. The CashKey can be carried on your key chain and eliminates the need to carry coins for parking meters.

What meters accept the CashKey?

CashKeys can be used at any City of Champaign, University of Illinois, or City of Urbana meter as long as value has been purchased for that particular meter provider. Cashkeys are not accepted at pay stations.

How do I purchase a CashKey?

CashKeys are available at the City of Champaign Parking Programs Office (702 Edgebrook Drive) from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  and at the Finance Office on the Second Floor of the City Building (102 N. Neil Street) from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, except on official City Holidays. The initial cost of the key is $19.50 and $10 to $100 of value can be purchased for each parking entity. Cash, check, credit & debit (VISA, MasterCard, Discover) are accepted.

Can I use the CashKey in combination with coins?

Yes, CashKeys can be used in combination with American nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins.

How does the CashKey work?

The CashKey functions like an American quarter. Each time the key is inserted into a meter, $0.25 is automatically deducted from the key balance and deposited into the meter.

What happens when my CashKey runs low or runs out?

You can add value to your CashKey at any time by taking it to any of the following:

Can I purchase more than one CashKey?

Yes, but there is an initial purchase cost of $19.50 for each key in addition to the minimum value purchase.

What if I lose my CashKey?

The CashKey is the equivalent of cash. Since the Parking Office where you purchased your key has no way of knowing the value left on the lost key or whether it is being used by someone else, we cannot issue a refund for the key or any unused value on it.

What if I move? Can I get a refund on my CashKey?

You can return your CashKey to any of the four locations listed above and a reimbursement for the value remaining on the key will be issued.

What if my CashKey is damaged?

CashKeys are extremely durable and able to withstand heat, cold and moisture. They’re also unaffected by magnetic or x-ray exposures, such as airport security. Since normal usage should not affect your CashKey, no refunds will be issued unless we can determine the remaining balance on your key.

Citations Questions

How do I pay my parking citation?

Citation payments may be paid on the Online Parking Services page, by mail, in person, or by depositing them in a courtesy box. Fines may be paid by cash, check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to the City of Champaign. Please write the citation number(s) or license plate number on your payment to receive proper credit. Credit and debit payments (VISA, MasterCard & Discover) are accepted in person, over the telephone or online. Customer Service staff are available during regular business hours to answer questions concerning parking citations.

Yellow courtesy boxes are located at the following locations:

Downtown:

Campus:

  • Sixth & Green Streets
  • Sixth & Daniel Streets
  • Sixth & John Streets

It is not recommended that cash be mailed or deposited in a courtesy box.

Citations that have been paid cannot be appealed.

What happens if I don’t pay my citation(s)?

 Failure to pay outstanding parking citations may result in booting and/or towing of the vehicle or driver’s license suspension.

How do I appeal a parking citation?

If you question the validity of a parking citation, you may appeal it within 7 days of issuance by one of the options listed below. Citations that have been paid cannot be appealed.

  1. File the appeal online at the Online Parking Services page.
  2. File the appeal in person at the Parking Programs Office, 702 Edgebrook Drive; at the Finance Department on the Second Floor of the City Building at 102 N Neil Street; or at the Front Desk at the Champaign Police Department at 82 E University Avenue.
  3. Write a short statement that includes: (1) the parking violation notice number; (2) your full name, address, and telephone number(s); (3) the license plate number, make, model, and year of the vehicle; (4) any documentary evidence that rebuts the charge; and (5) a written statement signed by the appealing party setting forth facts relevant to establishing a defense to the charge. Forward the statement and the copy of the citation to the Parking Programs Office by mail or by depositing this information into one of the City of Champaign orange courtesy boxes.
  4. Download the Citation Appeal Form.  Submit the completed for to the Parking Programs Office in person, by postal mail (702 Edgebrook Drive, Champaign, IL 61820), email (publicworks@ci.champaign.il.us), fax (217.403.4755), or by depositing it into the City of Champaign yellow courtesy boxes (see above for locations).
  5. If you are not satisfied with the results of this appeal and wish to pursue the matter, you may request a hearing with the hearing officer by filling out this form and submitting it to our office within seven days of the date of your Notification of Decision. The Legal department will then contact you and schedule the date and time of your hearing.

Once all of the required information has been received, the appeal will be reviewed by a supervisor. If the appeal is determined to be valid, the citation will be voided. If the citation is upheld as valid, you will have seven (7) days to pay the fine at the amount it was when the appeal was submitted. Results of the appeal review will be mailed to the appealing party for either outcome.

I was issued a citation that says “Abandoned/Inoperable.” What does this mean?

A vehicle may be cited as “abandoned/inoperable” in either of the two following circumstances:

  1. City Code prohibits vehicles that have not been moved or used for more than three (3) days, have broken windows or flat tires from parking on City streets or public property. Also prohibited are vehicles parked in a City parking lot or in a metered space 24 hours in excess of the parking limit for that lot or meter. Such vehicles will be considered abandoned/inoperable and subject to ticketing and/or towing.
  2. Vehicles parked on Champaign City streets and in City-owned lots must display current license plates and sticker at all times. Vehicles found in violation may be ticketed and/or towed.

What are the parking fine amounts?

ViolationCity Code Section1st Issued Citation (in 365 day cycle)2nd Issued Citation (in 365 day cycle)3-4 Issued Citations (in 365 day cycle)5 or More Issued Citations (In 365 day cycle)
TIME EXPIRED (ACCUMULATION)
33-81$0.00$15.00$25.00$35.00
If Time Expired Citation is Unpaid after 7 daysAdd $5.00 (late fee = $5 + amount of citation)If Time Expired Citation is Unpaid after 30 days Add $10 (late fee = $15 + amount of citation)
OTHER TYPES OF VIOLATIONS
VIOLATIONCITY CODE SECTIONINITIAL FINEIF UNPAID AFTER 7 DAYSIF UNPAID AFTER 14 DAYSIF UNPAID AFTER 30 DAYS
PERMIT PARKING33-86$30$35X$45
ABANDONED/INOPERABLE & NUISANCE VEHICLES33-152$25$50$100X
PROHIBITED IN SPECIFIC PLACES
33-62$30$35X$45
TIME LIMIT ON PARKING (Time zones)
33-81$20$25X$35
NOT WITHIN THE LINES
33-75$30$35X$45
COMMERCIAL LOADING ZONES
33-125$30$35XX
MANNER OF PARKING/PARKING DISTRICT
33-76$30$35X$45
NO PARKING 3AM-5AM
33-77$30$35X$45
NO PARKING IN ALLEY
33-58$30$35X$45
HANDICAP PARKING (PUBLIC)
33-55$250XXX
LOADING ZONE
33-122$30$35XX
PARKING METER BAGGED/TEMP RESERVED
33-78$30$35X$45
RESTRICTIONS RESIDENTIAL STREETS
33-141$15$20XX
PARKING VEHICLE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
33-60$30$35X$45
PARKING AT CAB OR BUS STAND
33-56$30$35X$45
PARKING IN A CONSTRUCTION AREA
33-61.1$250$300XX
MANNER OF PARKING AT CURB
33-54$30$35X$45
SLUGS PROHIBITED
33-85$30$35X$45
RESTRICTION ON BUSINESS STREET
33-142$15$20XX
PRIVATE PROPERTY/HANDICAPPED PARKING
33-60(B)$250XXX
EMERGENCY SNOW ROUTES
33-102$15$20XX
FOR SALE SIGN ON PARKED VEHICLE
33-57$30$35X$45
PEDDLING MERCH. FROM PARKED VEHICLE
33-59$30$35X$45
PARKING BICYCLES
33-61$30$35X$45

Contractor/Meter Bag Order Questions

How do I order a meter bag cover?

Applications may be obtained from the Parking Programs office or by downloading the Meter Bag Application and the rental fee of $10 per day per meter head must be paid 24 hours in advance. Upon application approval, the City will contact you to schedule your meter bag order and secure payment. After payment, the City will place covers on parking meters for the purpose of temporarily reserving these spaces as a convenience during periods of unusual loading/unloading activities, repairs, remodeling and other like activities.

New! Online rental Application

What other options are there for contractor/service vehicle parking?

Loading zones are located throughout the Downtown and University District for the use of vehicles during the loading and unloading of cargo, merchandise or passengers. Vehicles in loading zones must be actively engaged in loading and unloading activity. Commercial loading zones are reserved specifically for use by properly signed commercial vehicles.
CashKey – a cashless way to pay at a meter. See the CashKey page for more information.
Permit parking may be available depending on the location, time frame and availability. Contact the Parking Programs Office at 217.403.4700 for information.

Visitor Parking Questions

Where can I park when I visit Downtown?

There are four centrally located visitor parking locations where parking is allowed in different time increments up to 10 hours maximum:

View these locations on the getDown brochure map on the Parking Maps page.

When do I have to pay the meters?

Payment is required Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is FREE all day on Saturdays & Sundays, on City Holidays (see below for a list of City Holidays), and from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the week. Parking is prohibited at on-street meters, in City lots from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. for cleaning activities. Overnight parking is allowed in the Hill Street Parking Deck and in space #s 6 and 7 in the University & Market Lot.

What are City Holidays?

City Holidays on which parking is free are:

  • New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

How much does it cost to park at the meters?

Meter rates vary by location – rates and time limits are posted on each meter. Parking costs as little as $.25 per hour on the perimeter of Downtown and never more than $.75 per hour, even in the busiest areas. Rates are posted on colored stickers on each meter pole.

What payment methods are available?

  • Meters: Accept Coins and CashKey (go to the CashKey page for more information on this cashless way to pay at a meter).
  • Pay Stations: Two pay stations are located in the University & Market Lot which accept bills, coins, credit or debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover). To use the Pay Stations:
  1. Note your stall number
  2. Proceed to pay station
  3. Keep your receipt and go to your destination
  •  Hill Street Parking Deck: Cash, credit, debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover), and merchant validated tickets accepted.

What is a pay station?

Pay stations are used in the University & Market Lot in place of individual parking meters. Payment is required to park in the lot and must be submitted into one of either of the two pay stations for the length of time you will be parked. View the Pay Station Guide for instructions.

How long can I park?

Before 5 p.m., see the rate/time limit sticker on the meter. After 5 p.m., at meters with Blue labels, you can pay for up to 4 hours at one time.

Color coded meter labels help you determine where to park depending on your length of stay:

  • Red = 30 minutes or less to grab lunch or a cup of coffee to go
  • Blue = 2 hour maximum for lunch or some light shopping
  • Orange = 3 or 4 hour maximum for a movie or museum visit
  • Green = 10 hour maximum for a day-long meeting or outing downtown

How do time limits work?

You may park in a time limited parking zone only as long as the meter label indicates or as posted on signs. In these zones, vehicles may not park on either side of the street for more than 2 hours in a 3-hour period. You may not simply feed and remain parked at the same meter. Time limits are enforced in Downtown until 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Permit Parking

Go to the Downtown Permit Parking page for more information.

I work Downtown. How do I obtain a permit?

The City offers daytime permit parking at a variety of rates in many different locations. Permit parking is a great option, costing less than paying a meter daily. For employees that work irregular or part-time hours, other options, such as using a CashKey to park at a $.25 or $.50 meter may be less expensive. Customer service staff in the Parking Programs Office can advise you on the best options for your particular situation – call 403.4700 for more information.

Does the City offer one-day parking permits for Downtown?

Although the City does not offer one-day parking permits for Downtown, all-day parking options currently include the Hill Street Parking Deck and the 10-hour meters located in the Neil & Washington Lot and the North First Street Lot. Parking is allowed for up to 9 nine hours in designated spaces in the University & Market Lot.

I live Downtown. What are my parking options?

The City offers a limited number of 24/7 resident only parking permits, and other 24/7 permits are also available. Most of these permits are located in the Hill Street Parking Deck. Contact the Parking Programs Office at 217.403.4700 for more information.

I live Downtown. What are overnight parking options for my guests?

Overnight parking is available in the Hill Street Parking Deck and in space #s 6 & 7 in the University & Market Lot. Parking is not allowed between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. at on-street meters or in City parking lots for cleaning activities.

University District Parking

Go to the University District Visitor Parking page for more information.

Where can I park when I visit the University District?

Visitors may utilize the on-street meters (see the University District Meter Location Map on the Parking Maps page for locations).  There are also 10-hour meters located in the residential area on every block which contains on-street permit parking spaces. These meters are identified by the Green meter label.

Short-term temporary visitor permits for metered spaces in the residential area of the University District are available through the Parking Programs Office. These permits are limited to 30 days and are non-renewable. The cost of a 1 to 4 day permit is $7.50 per day; a 5 to 30 day permit is $35. Customers need to complete the application and provide vehicle information before a permit can be issued. Permit sales are conducted Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. With advance notice, permit sales may also be completed by phone – call 217.403.4700. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. View the Short Term/Temporary Permit brochure for more information and the application form.

When do I have to pay the meters?

Payment is required Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is FREE on Sundays, on City Holidays (see below for a complete list of City Holidays), and from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the week. Parking is prohibited at on-street meters (except for at 10-hour meters in the residential area) from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. for street cleaning activities.

What are City Holidays?

City Holidays on which parking is free are:

  • New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day

How much does it cost to park at the meters?

Meter rates in the University District are $.75 per hour or $1.00 per hour at meters displaying a blue label affixed to the post.

How long can I park?

Meters in the commercial area of the University District are limited to two-hour parking.

How do time limits work?

You may park in a time limited parking zone only as long as the meter label indicates or as posted on signs. In these zones, vehicles may not park on either side of the street for more than two hours in a three-hour period. You may not simply feed and remain parked at the same meter. Time limits are in effect in the Campus area during the hours of enforcement, 8 a.m to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

University District Questions

Go to the University District Permit Parking page for more information.

I live or work in the University District. What are my parking options?

Both academic year and summer 24/7 assigned space permits are offered in the University District. All Summer spaces are open to the public. During the Academic Year, residents, people who can verify they live within the boundaries of the District during the term the permit is effective, qualify for on-street permit parking. Non-residents qualify to park in a limited number of off-street parking lots. The residency requirement is waived after Labor Day. Rates vary by location. Contact Public Works Customer Service staff at 403.4700 for more information on permit parking options.

The University of Illinois also offers permit parking. Call the Parking Department at 217.333.3530 or visit The University of Illinois Parking Department for more information.

MTD provides transportation throughout the University District as well as the entire Champaign-Urbana area. University of Illinois students, faculty and staff ride free with their ID.

Is there an alternative to permit parking?

Yes. In January 2009, Zipcar introduced car-sharing to Champaign-Urbana. Car sharing is a way for people to have access to cars by the hour or by the day without the hassles or cost associated with car ownership. Go to theZipcar web site to learn more about this program. Zipcar is a great option both for people who live or work in the University District.

Members have access to any of the Zipcars in Champaign, Urbana or on the University of Illinois campus. Reservations can be made online for as little as one hour up to three days. The $8 hourly fee includes gas, maintenance and insurance.