Seattle to resume enforcement of its 72-hour parking rule

Abandoned car

SEATTLE — As the number of abandoned vehicles increases across Seattle, the city will resume enforcing its 72-hour parking rule starting Oct. 15.

The revival of the 72-hour parking enforcement comes with increased requests to remove abandoned junk vehicles from city streets, as well as changing travel patterns and parking demand.

While any vehicle parked in one place for more than 72 hours may get a ticket or warning notice, the city’s initial focus will be on towing away unoccupied, hazardous vehicles that may have been abandoned over the last 19 months.

However, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) parking enforcement will not impound an RV or other vehicle with someone living in it unless it causes a specific public health risk. Examples are:

  • Inadequate sanitation causing a direct risk of illness or injury.
  • Inadequate protection leaving the occupants exposed to the weather.
  • Other environmental, fire, health and safety hazards.

SDOT said people will soon be able to report abandoned vehicles that have been parked on the street for more than 72 hours using the ”Find It, Fix It” app. City officials said because the 72-hour rule was paused for so long, it expects it will take longer than usual to respond to the requests.

Enforcement of the rule was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic and statewide stay-at-home order. During that time, other parking rules were enforced and Seattle continued its RV Remediation program with Seattle Public Utilities to clean up litter in RV hot spots, SDOT said.