On-Street Parking

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Meters are intended for short-term parking:

No meter enforcement on the following City Observed Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4th
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day weekend (Thursday-Saturday)
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Meter Malfunctions
If you have experienced a meter that is not functioning properly, please call the number provided on the meter to report the problem so that Park Wilmington can repair it in a  timely manner.

Non-Metered Time Limited Parking
Downtown patrons are required to move their vehicle to another block before the expiration of specified time restrictions, indicated by signs posted in applicable blocks.

Residential Parking Information
Parking information for residents of the downtown area.

Accessible Parking 

Patrons with a valid accessible parking license plates or hanging tags may park for free at any on-street metered space for an unlimited time. 

Patrons with a valid accessible parking license plate or hanging tag may also park in the off-street parking garages and surface lots for an unlimited time when paying the posted hourly rates.

No parking

There are locations on all streets where parking is prohibited and is enforceable without a sign.  Exceptions to the law are when an operator of an emergency vehicle parks during an emergency or a law enforcement officer or other public employee is required to park in the prohibited locations in the performance of his or her duties.

Parking for Downtown Residents

Selected public streets in the Historic Downtown are designated as time-limited for non-permit holders. Properties on those streets and corners adjacent to qualifying streets are eligible to participate in the Residential Parking Permit Program


  • $40 - 1st three (3) Resident Permits; $50 each additional permit
  • $40 - 1st Long-Term Visitor Permit (expires January 31st annually); $100 2nd permit
  • $5 - 48-hour Visitor's pass (may purchase up to ten (10)


  1. Proof of residency (lease agreement, deed, or utility bill)
  2. Resident's vehicle registration and driver's license
  3. Payment of outstanding tickets prior to issuance of permit.

Individuals who park in designated residential permit areas in excess of maximum time limit indicated by signage will be written a ticket. Tickets will be $40.

Fraudulent Use
It is unlawful for any person to display an unauthorized parking permit. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is subject to civil and criminal action and prosecution to the fullest extent as it relates to fraud or forgery per North Carolina General Statute and Wilmington City Code.

Application Forms

Residential District Parking- The following blocks are currently located in the Residential Parking District:

 100 & 200 block of Ann Street
 200 block of Orange Street
 200 & 300 block of South 2nd Street
 200 block of South 3rd Street
 100 block of South 4th Street
 100 & 200 block of Nun Street
 121 S. 2nd Street
 Wimble Square Townhouses: 221, 223, 225,     227  & 229 S. Front St.


Historic District Parking- The following blocks are located in the Historic District:

 300 & 400 South Front Street
 400 South 2nd Street


Towed or Immobilized?

Immobilized Vehicles
Vehicles illegally parked within downtown that have three or more outstanding parking citations 90 days past due are subject to having an immobilization device (commonly referred to as a 'boot') attached to their vehicle.

Removing the Immobilization Device
Come to the Park Wilmington Office at 11 N. Second Street between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to settle outstanding parking citations and pay the $50 booting fee. Vehicles not claimed within 24-hours of the boot are subject to towing.

The City is not responsible for any damage to a booted illegally parked vehicle resulting from unauthorized attempts to free or move that vehicle.

Retrieving Your Vehicle
Immobilized vehicles that have been towed may be reclaimed from the vehicle impoundment lot once all requirements have been met.
In order to have your vehicle released, please go to Kirby's Towing, 1513 Castle Street.

Towed Vehicles
The City will enforce towing when:

  • Vehicles park illegally to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic.
  • Vehicles that have been booted and have not been released within 24-hours after boot.

Notice:  Due to Federal Regulations, vehicles that park next to the Federal Courthouse downtown will be towed. Signs are posted.

Private lots
There are a number of private lots throughout Wilmington who enforce parking through towing. Non-consensual towing of a vehicle is a matter between the lot owner, the vehicle owner, and the tow operator. The city does not manage these lots.

All private lots must clearly post signs warning of towing risks. The city regulates towing fees that can be charged for cars towed without owner permission.


  • $100 - Parking Violations
  • $25 daily - Daily Storage
  • $35 - Vehicle/personal property retrieval outside of business hours
  • $35 - Dolly charge ( if used)

ParkSmart! Park with the City!
The best way to avoid being towed is by parking where you are allowed.

Large Vehicle Parking

Large vehicles park in the 700 block of N. 2nd Street between Hanover and Brunswick Streets and in the 1100 block of N. 4th Street between Swann and Nixon Streets.

The free WAVE Trolley will shuttle you to other destination points downtown. Please visit the WAVE Transit site for route and schedule details.

Important:  Vehicles that are being used for loading and unloading of goods can park free of charge in a designated Commercial Loading Zone, indicated by signage.

Pay by Phone Parking

Wilmington offers Pay-by-Phone parking. 

How Does It Work?
No more coins! No longer will you have to hunt for the right change or run back to your car to top off time left on your parking meter. Instead, simply park your car, make one short phone call, then head for your destination. You will receive a text message reminder before your time expires. You may text or call back to extend your parking session from anywhere. Pay by Phone parking is convenient, easy, and safe.

  1. Download Pay-By-Phone app or  
  2. Call 1-888-380-7275 (PARK)
  3. Enter Location# ( Posted on parking meter)
  4. Enter Number of Minutes

How Do I Sign Up?
First time users simply need to set up a FREE account. You can do this online at Pay-by-Phone, via mobile app (search for Pay By Phone) or by calling our parking line 1-888-380-7275 (PARK).

To set up an account you will need:

  1. Mobile Phone Number
  2. Credit Card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover)
  3. The license plate of your car(s)

"Smart" meters

New "smart" meters have been installed west on 2nd St to Water St, north to Red Cross St and south to Ann St. 

Smart Meters accept credit cards for payment (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)

Parking Tokens

Park Wilmington Lots More tokens are available for $1.50 per token. Parking tokens are accepted at parking meters.

Merchants can purchase parking tokens for their customers to encourage patronage.

Parking token can be purchased at the Park Wilmington office located at 11 N. 2nd Street.

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