Pay by Plate FAQ

Pay by Plate FAQ

Enter all letters and numbers that make up your plate number, from left to right, with no spaces. Most current Washington State plates, including specialty plates, use up to 7 characters to make up a plate number (some specialty plates have up to 3 letters for a school, for example, and then 1-5 characters). See example below for current standard passenger vehicle plate and the old standard. Specialty plates for groups or organizations include both the stacked or vertical characters and large horizontal numbers. See example below. For additional information on specialty plates, please visit SDOT's specialty plates page. For out of state plates, enter the letters and numbers, from left to right.

Standard Plate

Standard license plate  


Old Standard Plate

Old standard plate


Specialty PlateSpecialty plate


Yes, you can still pay for parking using coins. You will be asked to enter your license plate number at the pay station.  

With an account on you just swipe your card, pick your vehicle (e.g., Bob's blue truck), select the time you want, and you're done. You can access your parking history for up to two years, and print a receipt from your computer anytime you need.

Visit to set up an account. Watch a video tutorial here. 

You will have the option to print a receipt at the time you pay at the pay station, for your records. You can also print a receipt from our vendor's online account system if you paid by credit card, know your card number, and the date you parked (no account set up required). Or, you can set up an account online and view your parking history for up to two years, and print a receipt at any time.

International and national Payment Card Industry (PCI) credit card security protocols and requirements demand our vendors maintain the highest levels of data security, encryption, penetration testing, and server security. The systems that protect credit card data also protect license plate data.  Since installing pay stations in 2004 that accept debit/credit cards, and processing about 11 million transactions per year, we've never experienced a data breach.

Only authorized and approved SDOT and Seattle Police Department Parking Enforcement staff and our vendors.  

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) does not retain any personally identifiable data - that includes credit card data and license plate data. Our vendors retain license plate data that customers can access for up to two years.  


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.