You’ve probably seen those signs that say “virtual permit” or a similar message. If so, you’re not the only one who wonders what that means and whether it is worth getting one of these permits. What are virtual parking permits? They are stickers that can be purchased online and uploaded to your car. They last between three and 12 months, depending on where you live. Why would you want to get these permits? For one thing, they allow you to park in spaces reserved for residents without fear of getting towed away. Is this worth the trouble? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at virtual parking permits, who can get them, and how they work.
What is a virtual permit?
A virtual parking permit is a sticker, like a parking pass, that you can display on your car window to avoid getting ticketed or towed. Unlike the permits issued by your city, these permits are not official and do not give you the right to park in certain areas. They are for-profit services that let you park in certain areas for a fee. The upside of getting one of these permits is that it’s much cheaper than paying for a residential parking permit from your city.
How to get a virtual parking permit?
To get a virtual parking permit, you’ll need to sign up for an account with a company that offers this service. You can then select the type of permit and the length of time for which you want your permit to last. Virtual permit fees vary from city to city, so check with the company where you sign up. Once you’ve signed up, getting your permit should take about 10 minutes. Log on to your account and follow the instructions to upload the permit to your car. It’s important to note that you can only get a virtual permit if you’re a visitor to the city. If you live in the area, you’ll need to get a parking permit from your city.
When you shouldn’t get a virtual permit
The only scenario in which you shouldn’t get a virtual permit is if you need to park in a residential area or a city-owned parking lot. If you need to park in these areas, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a virtual permit. You’ll most likely get a ticket or have your car towed if you park without a valid permit. However, virtual parking permits are worth getting if you’re visiting a city and want to park in a residential area to avoid the high parking rates in the city.
Are virtual permits worth the cost?
They can be worth the cost, but only if you’ll need to park in a residential area. You can sign up for a virtual permit online, and send it to you within 10 minutes. That makes it much faster than applying for a residential parking permit, which can take up to a month. If you’re visiting a city and parking in a residential area regularly, getting a virtual permit is a much more efficient way to do it.
The bottom line
Virtual parking permits are for-profit services that let you park in certain areas for a fee. The upside to getting one of these permits is that it’s much cheaper than a residential parking permit. You can also get a virtual permit in many cities, whereas residential permits are only offered in a handful of them. Don’t get a virtual permit, however, if you need to park in a residential or city-owned parking lot.