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Seattle parking trick will expire under new pay-by-plate system

(KIRO 7)

The Seattle City Council voted to do away with window parking stickers printed at street-side meters throughout the city. Meters will be replaced with a new license plate-based system, and Seattle parking rules will change with them.

The council moved to nix the window receipts at its Monday meeting, in favor of “pay-by-plate” or “pay-by-phone” options. Customers will simply enter their license plate number at the meter. Paying by smartphone is already an option for drivers.

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“Whether you use a smartphone app or a cash or credit card at the station, what this does is it streamlines the ability of parking enforcement officers to check one specific place to see if a vehicle has paid or not, as opposed to checking both on their database and the sticker,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien said.

O’Brien also said that the new meters will still allow for receipts to be printed, for drivers who want a paper record.

“It will also allow people to create accounts so they can go online and see all the payments they have made,” he said.

The city has already been using the “pay-by-phone” option and about a third of drivers have been using it. The pay-by-plate option could start as soon as August. There are about 1,700 parking meters in Seattle that will have to be replaced with the new system.

New Seattle parking rules

The new Seattle parking method may not be greeted by many drivers who like to take their unused time with them to another spot. As The Seattle Times reports, drivers currently have the ability to drive to a new parking spot and continue to use their window receipt for time spent there. Under the new system, however, that won’t be an option. The sticker that drivers initially pay for will only be good for the block they start in.

People who pay using their smartphone already have experienced this limitation.

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