New Visitor Parking Passes, New Rules

What You Need to Know About the New Visitor Parking Pass Regulations

The 2014 Visitor Parking Passes (VPP) that would have expired on Sept. 30, 2014 will remain valid until Dec. 31, 2014, and residents can apply for 2015 passes starting Oct. 1, 2014, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced Thursday. The extension gives DC residents time to adjust to the new system and gives DDOT time to review public comment to determine if any changes need to be made.

Councilmember Mary Cheh of Ward 3 praised DDOT’s extension of the 2014 passes saying, “I think the plan they put in place makes sense and am glad that DDOT is using a slow roll-out so that people can be ready for the following year.”

The VPP is a free pass that allows a resident’s visitor to park for more than two hours on Resident Permit blocks, and the pass is only valid in the designated ANC. Each household in Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and ANC 2F is eligible for one pass, which is transferable to each visitor.

New VPPs will be valid for one calendar year rather than one fiscal year. But the major change with the new system is that VPP are no longer automatically mailed to eligible residences – residents will need to apply for them online or by phone.

“Each application will be checked carefully by DDOT to ensure eligibility and all will be mailed to the home address provided within 7 to 10 business days,” DDOT spokeswoman Michelle Phipps-Evans said.

The goal is to limit VPP usage to those residents who have a need for it, thus “minimizing the potential impact on neighborhood parking supply," said DDOT Director Matthew Brown.

This will also discourage the selling of passes to commuters for fraudulent usage, one of the major concerns about the VPPs, by tying each VPP to the resident’s name rather than “current resident.”

QR codes and holographic fields will also be assigned to each pass, allowing enforcement to easily scan for validity, and further discouraging fraudulent use. Selling or purchasing a VPP for fraudulent usage will result in a $300 fine for each party, and passes that are reported lost or stolen will be voided.

Some people still think there need to be more measures added to the new regulations to make fraud even harder. ANC 6B wrote a letter to Samuel Zimbabwe, Associate Director of DDOT, on Sept. 11, 2014 urging DDOT to change the VPP to be valid for use “only in the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Single Member District area designated on the pass.” Visitors should not need to park farther away than from the SMD area of the resident they are visiting, and by restricting the VPPs to a smaller area there would be a decrease in fraudulent usage of VPPs, ANC 6B said.

DDOT has received many comments on the new VPP regulations, and regarding the SMD-level enforcement of passes, “DDOT will have to evaluate the feasibility of enforcement, the clarity of the program for residents, and the program-management requirements of smaller zones to determine what kind of response is necessary,” Zimbabwe said.