Parking Rules and Regulations

Information about some of the services offered by the Parking Programs Office and some of the common parking regulations effective in the City of Champaign is listed below. Go to Chapter 33 of the City Code for a complete list of parking regulations in the City of Champaign. Vehicles not adhering to these regulations may be ticketed and/or towed.

Abandoned/Inoperable Vehicles:

Under City Municipal Code, vehicles may not park on City streets or public property in excess of 72 hours; have broken windows or flat tires; or lack current registration. Vehicles are not allowed to park in City parking lots or at metered spaces in excess of 24 hours of the parking limit for those locations. In these instances, vehicles are considered to be abandoned/inoperable.

Accessible Parking:

Accessible parking is permitted only when the authorized placard/license plate is displayed.  Individuals with a grey/yellow striped permit are exempt from paying parking meters. Individuals with a blue permit must pay the parking meter. The individual assigned to the permit must enter or exit the vehicle at the time the parking privileges are being used.  A “Person with Temporary Disabilities Parking Placard” valid for up to 90 days may be obtained from the City of Urbana Finance Department, 400 S. Vine St., Urbana; 217.384.2345.  Visit the Secretary of State’s Office website for information about the State of Illinois Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities and instructions for obtaining a permanent placard.


Booting is a process in which a vehicle is immobilized at the location in which it is found. A vehicle is subject to booting if the registered owner has 5 or more unpaid citations that have remained unpaid for 30 days. Vehicles may be booted or towed, depending on the circumstances of each situation, when it is on the public way or any City-owned property. To release the boot, all past due fines must be paid plus a $35 administrative fee. Payment methods accepted once a vehicle has been booted are: cash, cashier’s check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or AMEX (credit or debit). After hours payments, by cashier’s check or money order only, may be made at the Champaign Police Department, 82 E. University Ave.


The CashKey is a programmable key that provides a cashless way to pay at parking meters. Go to the CashKey page for more information.

Driver’s License Suspension:

The City may petition the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office to suspend the driver’s license of the registered owner of a vehicle (or vehicles) who has accumulated 10 or more unpaid citations that have remained unpaid for 30 days. To have the license reinstated, all past due fines must be paid. Personal checks are not accepted once the “Notice of Impending Suspension” letter has been sent from the Parking Programs Office. Payment methods accepted are cash, cashier’s check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or AMEX (credit or debit).

Expired License Plate Sticker:

Vehicles parked on City of Champaign streets and in City-owned lots must display current license plates and registration sticker at all times. Vehicles failing to display current registration may be ticketed and/or towed.

Failed Meter:

Call the Parking Programs Office at 217.403.4700 to report a problem with a parking meter. Be prepared to provide the meter location and number.

Flashers (Hazard Lights):

Flashers (or Hazard Lights) are a universal sign that a vehicle is disabled. Vehicles using flashers must comply with parking regulations and payment requirements.

Front Yard Parking:

Vehicles may not park in the front yard, the area between the structure and curb, of any residence. Parking is only permitted on the driveway. A residence may be either a house or an apartment building and the restriction applies to vehicles parked on gravel or paved front yards. Go to the Front Yard Parking Enforcement page or contact Neighborhood Services at 217.403.7070 for more information.

Meter Bags:

Upon application approval, the City will place bags on parking meters for the purpose of temporarily reserving metered spaces as a convenience during periods of unusual loading/unloading activities, repairs, remodeling, and other similar activities. The fee is $10 per bag per day per meter head. Advance notice and fee payment is needed in order to guarantee an order. Applications are available at the Parking Programs Office.

Parking Your Motorcycle or Scooter:

Motorcycles and scooters are required to be parked perpendicularly, or at a 90 degree angle to the curb. Larger motorcycles may park at an angle as close as possible to 90 degrees so they do not extend into the roadway.

Motorcycles and scooters will be ticketed and possibly towed if parked on a City sidewalk, parkway (the area between the curb and sidewalk), or if chained to a bicycle ring, rack, or loop.

Parking Your Bicycle:

Bicycles cannot be parked on a street other than: upon the roadway against the curb, or on the sidewalk in a rack, ring, or loop to support the bicycle, or against a building, or at the curb in such a manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

Bicycles may be tagged and impounded if they pose an obstruction to pedestrian traffic, have been abandoned, or are not parked at a bike rack, ring, or loop and are obstructing a construction/maintenance project.


Parking citation fines may be paid:

  • In Yellow Courtesy Boxes located at:
    • University District: Sixth & Green Streets; Sixth & John Streets; Sixth & Daniel Streets
    • Downtown: Main Street Lot; Neil & Washington Lot; North First Street Lot; 82 E. University (Champaign Police Department); Neil & University Streets (City Building); and 200 N. Randolph Street.

In person at the Parking Programs Office, 702 Edgebrook Dr., between 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Payment methods accepted: cash, cashier’s check, money order, personal check, credit or debit (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or AMEX).

  • Online at the Online Parking Services page using VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or AMEX after 10 pm.
  • By mail to the Parking Programs Office at 702 Edgebrook Dr., Champaign, IL 61820

Note: We do not recommend mailing or depositing cash in a courtesy box. Please include the citation number or the license plate number with the payment.

Parking Rates:

Each parking meter has a card located in the dome that states the hours that payment is required and the rate for the meter.


Parking rates in the center of Downtown are priced at a premium of $.75 per hour. Prices decrease from $.50 to $.25 to free the further you move out toward the periphery.

Payment is required Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Beginning at 5 p.m., you can pay the meter or pay station one time only for as long as you want to park.

Parking Downtown is FREE on the following:

  • ALL DAY on Saturdays and Sundays
  • On City Holidays:  New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Weekdays

Use the color coded meter labels to help you determine where to park that’s appropriate for the length of your stay:

  • Red = 30 minutes or less to grab lunch or a cup of coffee to go
  • Blue = 2-hour maximum for lunch or some light shopping
  • Orange = 3 or 4-hour maximum for a movie or museum visit
  • Green = 10-hour maximum for a day-long meeting or outing downtown

University District:

Parking rates are $.75 per hour or $1.00 per hour at meters displaying a blue label affixed to the post in the University District. The maximum time limit for metered parking in the commercial area is two hours. Ten-hour meters are available in the residential area  at a rate of $.75 per hour, and can be identified by the green label affixed to the post.

Payment is required Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Parking is FREE in the University District on the following:

  • ALL DAY on Sundays
  • On City Holidays: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • From 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Monday through Saturday

Permit Parking:

Downtown – go to the Downtown Permit Parking page for more information on Downtown Permit Parking.

University District – go to the University District Permit Parking page for more information on University District Permit Parking.

Prohibited Parking:

Section 33-53 of the Champaign Municipal Code lists specific places where parking is prohibited which include the following:

  1. In any intersection.
  2. In a crosswalk.
  3. Upon any bridge or viaduct, or in any subway or tunnel or the approach thereto.
  4. Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb within 30 feet of a point of the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone.
  5. Within 30 feet of a traffic signal, beacon, or stop or yield sign on the approaching side.
  6. Within 20 feet of any intersection or crosswalk.
  7. At any place where the parking or standing of a vehicle will reduce the usable width of the roadway for moving traffic to less than 10 feet.
  8. Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  9. On the roadway side of any vehicle parked or stopped in a parking lane or adjacent to an unoccupied space in parking lane at the edge of a street.
  10. Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad grade crossing.
  11. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire department station and on the side of the street opposite the entrance to any such station within 75 feet of such entrance.
  12. On any sidewalk or parkway.
  13. In any fire lane, whether on public or private property.
  14. At any place where official signs prohibit parking, and no other specific parking prohibition of this chapter is applicable, including, but not limited to, at any place where parking is prohibited by the display of any curbing painted yellow or upon street or other surfaces otherwise marked with street markings prohibiting parking. This subsection applies only to places designated by the City.
  15. Within five feet of the edge of the sides of a driveway or where the vehicle would block the use of the driveway.

Recreational Vehicles:

The City of Champaign permits parking of camping trailers, commuter vans, home trailers, motor homes, mini homes, recreational vehicles, lean campers, travel trailers, or truck campers on City streets in a residential district under the following circumstances:

  1. Between the hours of 5 p.m. on Thursday and noon on Monday.
  2. By obtaining a special parking permit. Vehicles may be issued up to a maximum of 5 permits within a calendar year.
  3. Between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Time limits:

Vehicles parked at a two-hour meter must move off of the block after two hours. Vehicles may not park on either side of the street for more than two-hours in a three-hour time period. Vehicles parked in excess of the maximum time limit may be ticketed even if the meter is paid. Example: A vehicle that parks at a two-hour meter at 8 a.m. must move off of the block at 10 a.m. The earliest the vehicle may return to park on the original block is 11 a.m.


The City of Champaign may tow vehicles in the following situations:

  1. Vehicle is parked in a prohibited area. (See “Prohibited Parking” above for more information.)
  2. Registered owner of the vehicle has accumulated unpaid parking citations.
  3. Vehicle is abandoned, inoperable, and/or has expired registration.

To release the vehicle, all past due fines must be paid to the Parking Programs Office. Personal checks are not accepted once a vehicle has been booted or towed. The cost of the tow and all storage fees are paid to the relocator.

Visitor Parking:

  • Downtown – go to the Visitor Parking page for more information on Visitor Parking in Downtown.
  • University District – go to the Visitor Parking page for more information on Visitor Parking in the University District.
  • MobileMeter: Customers can use the MobileMeter app to pay at City of Champaign parking meters (not available in the Hill Street Parking Deck or at paystations).
    • Users can download the app for free at  The app is available on iOS and Android phones.
    • Users may also use the website to pay or call 217.207.3033.
    • MobileMeter users can pay for any length of time at the meter, up to the maximum amount of time allowed per the regulation sticker on the meter.
    • There is a $0.25/transaction fee per use.
    • Users who load a MobileMeter Wallet to pay for their session and load $10 will receive $1 free.