Traffic and Parking Enforcement

The Takoma Park Police Department regularly participates in a number of state-wide enforcement campaigns, such as the Chief’s Challenge, Respect Red, as well as various Back-to-School campaigns.  Below you can find information about some of the parking/traffic laws of the City of Takoma Park, as well as Frequently Asked Questions about Parking Violation tickets and fines.

Unsafe Driving Report Line

The Takoma Park Police Department's Traffic Complaint Hotline allows an individual to report another motorist's dangerous or reckless actions when a police officer is not in the vicinity to take action.

For most traffic offenses, the police cannot issue a citation unless the violation is observed by the officer.  The Traffic Complaint Hotline allows individuals to report the tag number and the activity of the motorist. After this information is received, a warning letter will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle by the police department.

What good does this do, you might ask?

Many times motorists who are driving inappropriately are not the registered owners of the vehicle they are operating. The vehicle may be owned by a parent, friend or rental company who may be able to have an impact on the dangerous driving behavior through sanctions other than the courts. In addition, merely knowing that someone observed the dangerous driving incident and was able to report it to the authorities is occasionally an effective deterrent to future similar behavior.

To report such a motorist, please contact the Traffic Complaint Hotline at 301-891-7101 ext. 5655, with the following information:

  • Tag Number 
  • Date and Time 
  • Location of Incident 
  • Brief description of the behavior observed

For more information: Contact the Takoma Park Police Department, at 301-891-7102, or visit/write the Police Department at:

Takoma Park Police Department
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD. 20912

The Traffic Stop and You

Understanding what is expected from both citizens and law enforcement improves communication, helps to reduce anxieties, and improves the public's understanding about the need for traffic law enforcement.

Some things to remember:

  • An average of three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. 
  • The driving behaviors associated with aggressive driving -- speeding, red light running, following too closely, and others -- cause hundreds of crash-related deaths and thousands of injuries each year. 
  • Lap/shoulder safety belts, when used correctly, significantly reduce the risk of crash-related fatalities and injuries. 

Traffic stops often result in the identification of criminals who are suspected in other crimes. To effectively address these public health and safety issues, law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Takoma Park Police Department, enforce traffic laws. Traffic law enforcement is a time proven method of: 

  • Increasing pedestrian safety, seat belt, child safety seat, and helmet use 
  • Reducing the incidence of impaired and aggressive driving 
  • Increasing the apprehension of dangerous criminals.  

If you are a motorist, here are some ways to improve your traffic stop experience:

  • Invoke the "Golden Rule" and treat the officer the way you would like to be treated. 
  • Remember that you are required to cooperate with all reasonable requests that law enforcement personnel make. 
  • If an officer signals for you to stop, remain calm and pull over safely. 
  • Be prepared to produce your driver's license, as well as your vehicle registration card.
  • Remain in the vehicle unless the officer tells you otherwise. 
  • Keep your hands visible. 
  • If you are stopped by a non-uniformed officer in an unmarked vehicle, you can ask the officer for identification.  

City of Takoma Park Speed Limits

County and state data show the top six traffic violations leading to collisions are:  failure to give full attention, to yield right of way, or to obey traffic signals; vehicles speeding too fast for driving conditions; following other vehicles too closely; and driving under the influence.

It is important to remember that the highest legal speed limit in the City is 35 miles per hour (mph). This is allowed only on New Hampshire Avenue and University Blvd. Most residential streets in Takoma Park are posted for 25 mph, with lower speeds required when posted or if driving conditions warrant. Sections of Highway 410 and Piney Branch Road allow a maximum of 30 mph.

Permit-Area Parking

The Takoma Park Police Department is responsible for issuing parking permits for the City of Takoma Park. Permits are required for designated permit parking areas of the City of Takoma Park.

Please view our Permit-Area Parking page.


If you anticipate that an event may involve parking problems, you may contact the Police Department and request "courtesy" or temporary suspension of enforcement in a specific area. Examples of situations which would warrant providing courtesy: tradesman working at your home on a given day, or week; an event for which heavy parking is anticipated.  

Rules will still be enforced for infractions such as blocking driveways or fire hydrants.  

Long-term Parking

When a complaint is received saying a car has been parked for longer than three days in one place on a public street, the police department will check the vehicle.  If it is properly registered, a warning will be written.  Three days later, the police officer will check the vehicle again and write a citation.  If it has not been moved within the next 10 days, it can be towed.

At times, the police will exercise discretion for the “72-hour” rule, if the vehicle is parked near the residence to which it is registered. Residents are encouraged to request “courtesy” if they plan to leave a vehicle on the street for extended periods of time due to business or vacation.

A warning can be written immediately for an improperly registered vehicle.  If not moved, it can be towed. Only one unregistered vehicle can be kept on private property. Contact Code Enforcement for private property violations, 301-891-7119.

Parking Left Wheels to Curb

On a two-way street, any time a vehicle crosses the center line of the roadway to park against the flow of traffic, therefore placing the “left” wheels to the curb,” the vehicles can be ticketed. The Takoma Park Police Department enforces this State rule, except during snow emergencies. The rule does not apply on one-way streets. Some new residents are surprised that this State law is enforced in the City, but we honor it because of safety concerns.

Parking Violations and Fines

Illegally parking in a space designated for vehicles with handicapped permits and fire-lane violations are aggressively enforced in response to citizen concerns.





Parking Outside Designated space for meters



Overtime Parking



Impede Traffic



Within an Intersection



On a Crosswalk



On a bridge / underpass



Within 40 ft. of an Intersection



Within 25 ft. of a Stop Sign



Blocking/Obstructing View of Slow or Speed Sign



Other than Emergency Repairs



Within 3 ft. of vehicle



Residential Parking Permit



Violation of Official Sign



Overtime Parking



Parked on sidewalk / building / curb



Within 15 ft. Fire Hydrant / Bus Stop



Fire Lane



72 hour violation



Within 5 ft. of Driveway



Handicapped Zone



Left Wheels to Curb



In excess of 12 in. from curb



Double Parked



Commercial vehicle in residential zone



Vehicles – unregistered, repairing



Snow emergency


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Tickets/Fines for Parking Violations:

"I shouldn't have gotten this ticket; can't the police void it?"

Once written, a citation cannot be voided. The citation may be disputed in court, following instructions on the citation.

"How do I pay a ticket?"

The parking ticket can be paid Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the police department. Payment can also be made by mail with a check or money order payable to: 

City of Takoma Park, MD
7500 Maple Avenue 
Takoma Park, MD. 20912

Please indicate the ticket number on the check or money order and penalties if the payment is late. Collateral doubles after 15 days of the violation.  

Administrative fees of $15.00 are added after 30 days of the violation.

 Non-payment of tickets will result in a "flag" on the registration of your vehicle. Until payment is made, it will not be possible to renew your vehicle registration.

Payment can also be made online.

"How do I request a court date?"

If the vehicle owner wishes to contest the ticket or explain the circumstances, they may request a court day by filling out the appropriate area and returning the ticket by mail to the Takoma Park Police Department. The time of trial at the court, 8665 Georgia Avenue, will be sent by mail, this notification can take from one to two months to be sent.  

"I've paid my ticket. Why have I received a delinquency notice?"

Occasionally errors are made and you might receive a delinquency notice for a ticket you have paid. If that happens, please send or bring a copy of the notice and proof of payment (receipt or cancelled check) to the Police Administration office. The correction will be made as quickly as possible.  

Questions and complaints regarding parking are among the most common calls to the Takoma Park Police Department.  Police and Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) respond to these when they relate to on-street parking. In addition to parking enforcement, traffic law enforcement is a top priority for the department.  This page is an excellent resource for citizens interested in the topics of parking and traffic enforcement in the City of Takoma Park.

A time and vehicle specific complaint regarding possible parking violations can be made to the PEO or to an on-duty police officer by calling the communications office at 301-270-1100.  Complaints about reoccurring problems or general concerns can be addressed to the PEO by calling directly at 301-891-7102. Concerns about parking violations on private property should be directed to Code Enforcement at 301-891-7119.