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Parking Meters/Pay Stations

Pre-Paid Parking Cards

In 1998, the City of San Diego replaced 5,262 parking meters throughout the City with electronic parking meters. The parking meters accept nickels, dimes, quarters and Pre-Paid Parking Meter Cards. The Port of San Diego parking meters, distinguished by a yellow pole, also accept City of San Diego Pre-Paid Parking Meter Cards. City of San Diego Pre-Paid Parking Meter Cards are available in two increments: $10 and $45.

How does a Pre-Paid Parking Meter work?

The instructions for using a Pre-Paid Parking Meter Card can be found on the card directly.

  1. Insert the card into the card slot on the parking meter. The card slot is near the coin slot.
  2. Insert the card in the direction shown by an arrow on the card. The arrow side will face slightly up.
  3. The dollar balance (credit available) on the card will flash 4 times.
  4. The parking meter will display time increments in 5-minute segments.
  5. When the desired time is displayed on the parking meter, remove the card from the parking meter. The time you have purchased will post on the meter.

Can I get a refund if I purchase too much time on a meter?

Yes. In order to do so, follow these instructions:

  1. Insert the same card you used to purchase the time back into the parking meter.
  2. The current dollar balance (credit available) on the card will flash 4 times.
  3. The parking meter will credit back your card for every full 6-minute increment remaining on the parking meter.
  4. Credit increments of less than 6-minutes will be lost.
  5. The credit display on the parking meter will return to zero. Remove the card from the parking meter.

NOTE: Multi-Space Pay and Display stations do not refund unused time.

Where can I purchase a Pre-Paid Parking Meter Card?

View the document below for a list of locations to purchase Pre-Paid Parking Meter Cards. You are highly encouraged to call ahead to verify business hours and to ensure cards are available.

Parking Administration
Plaza Hall - 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(866) 470-1308

Civic San Diego
401 "B" Street, Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-235-2200 (Please call first)

Ace Hardware (Hillcrest)
1007 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
Tel: 619-291-5988

Suki Day Spa (Downtown)
541 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 338-8088

Suki Day Spa (Kearny Mesa)
4625 Convoy Street Suite B
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 560-3333

Suki Day Spa
4125 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 560-3333