Street parking in San Francisco is in notoriously short supply. If you're like many other residents, you may not have a garage or private parking space and must endure the daily frustration of finding a spot on the street. Of course, this scenario can be especially challenging if you live near businesses or restaurants. What recourse do you have if "outsiders" seem to be monopolizing all the available spaces?
The answer is the City's Residential Permit Parking Program. According to the Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, this program "was established in 1976 to preserve neighborhood-living within a major urban center... [The] main goal is to provide more parking spaces for residents by discouraging long-term parking by people who do not live in the area." A preferential-parking designation for a street limits parking for non-residents from one to two hours maximum. However, residents may purchase special permit stickers for their cars that exempt them from these time limits.
See the Residential Permit Map to find out which areas of the City currently fall into permit parking zones. You can also call the SF Municipal Transportation Agency at (415) 701-4500 to see if your address is eligible for a permit. Note that even if your neighborhood does not display permit-parking signs, it may still be part of a preferential-parking zone. In fact, if your address is eligible, you can download a permit application directly from the DPT. Qualified residents are allowed to purchase up to only four permits per address but may request a waiver to obtain additional ones.