Parking Rules & Regulations

Curb Parking and Surface Lots

METERS - Parking meters are used by the city to create turnover (short-term) parking for downtown businesses. Continuously feeding a meter is prohibited - time limits are strictly enforced. The electronic meters are designed to accept nickels, dimes and quarters. Defective meters can be reported to the Parking and Transportation Division at (603) 766-7000

METER RATES - The rate at metered parking spaces in Zone A (red stickers) is $2.00 per hour, in Zones B (blue sticker), C (Green sticker), and D meters with black stickers is $1.50 per hour, and D meters with red stickers is $2.00 per hour.

METER TIME ZONES - Parking meters are in effect Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., holidays excepted (see below list). There are 15-minute, 3-hour and 4-hour metered time zones downtown. Please refer to the signage in the area to determine your zone.  Upon expiration of the posted time limit, a vehicle must be moved at least 500 feet from the original parking space. Drivers should not park within 500 feet of the original space for the length of time designated for the space.


  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

UNMETERED FREE TIME ZONES - Unmetered zones are posted throughout the city on green and white signs. These zones allow you to park for free of charge for up to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 2 hours as posted. After the posted time the vehicle must leave the parking space or be subject to ticketing. Parking in free municipal lots and all streets not otherwise posted is limited to 72 hours, after which time the vehicle is subject to ticketing. Upon expiration of the posted time limit, a vehicle must be moved at least 500 feet from the original parking space. Drivers should not park within 500 feet of the original space for the length of time designated for the space.  

LOADING ZONES - Loading Zones are reserved for commercial or permitted vehicles that are actively loading or unloading product, merchandise or equipment.  All vehicles in a loading zone must be actively engaged in loading or unloading - loading zones are not parking spaces - and may only occupy the zone for a period not to exceed 30 minutes.  Commercial vehicles are either licensed commercial vehicles or vehicles marked for commercial purposes.  All other vehicles desiring to utilize a loading zone must be permitted by the Parking Clerk's Office.  Annual loading zone permits may be obtained at the Parking Clerk's office in City Hall for $50.

ACCESSIBLE (ADA) PARKING -Only vehicles with authorized license plates, hangtags or placards issued to the driver or passenger may park in a designated accessible parking space.  Unauthorized parking in an accessible parking space carries a $250.00 fine in accordance with NH RSA.  Authorized vehicles may park free of charge for up to 24-hours in the High-Hanover Parking Facility or in accessible designated on-street parking spaces.  Additionally, if no designated accessible spaces are available outside of the High Occupancy Meter Zone, authorized vehicles may park in any metered parking space outside of the High Occupancy Meter Zone free of charge without regard for posted time limits. Within the High Occupancy Meter Zone, time limits apply to all parking spaces, whether or not they are accessible spaces.  Accessible plates, hangtags or placards do not allow a vehicle to access restricted parking areas such as commercial loading or no parking zones.

NO PARKING ZONES - Parking in a "No Parking Zone" is strictly prohibited. Your vehicle must be completely parked in a legal zone.

  • Please do not take more than one parking space.
  • Do not park on sidewalks or esplanades (the space between the curb and the sidewalk).
  • Never park against the flow of traffic.

PARKING/NO PARKING SIGNS- Parking and No Parking signs are placed on the street so that they may be viewed from your vehicle while parking. To report a missing or damaged sign, please call the Parking and Transportation Division at (603) 427-1530.

PARKING CLEAR ZONES - Unless otherwise posted, always park at least:

  • 15 feet from a fire hydrant
  • 20 feet from an intersection

High-Hanover Parking Facility (HHPF)

Parking in the HHPF is $1.50 per hour.  For more information please click here


  • Effective July 1, 2018: $175.00 for Residents, all others $200.00
  • The minimum lease period is one month and there is no maximum.
  • All leases are based on the calendar month and begin the first day of the month.
  • Leases are initiated by appearing in person at the Parking Clerk’s Office located at City Hall, 1 Junkins Avenue and completing a Lease Agreement Form and remitting the 1st month’s payment plus a $100.00 pass card deposit. Please note that there is currently a waiting list so garage passes may not be immediately available at the Parking Clerk’s office.  Those interested in obtaining a pass may call (603) 766-7000 or (603) 610-7229 for more information or to get on the waiting list.
  • The pass card deposit is forfeited if the pass is lost, damaged or used beyond the paid agreement.  The pass card deposit is refundable when the Lease is terminated and the pass card returned.
  • You must contact the Parking Clerk’s Office in writing or personal appearance by the 1st of the month to end a lease.  Cards used after the 1st will be subject to the monthly rate and loss of card deposit.


You are responsible for renewing your lease by the first of the calendar month.  If the Parking Clerk’s Office does not receive your payment by the 1st day of each month your card number may be deactivated and rendered invalid for use.  If your pass has been deactivated for non-payment and you have to take a ticket to park in the garage, you will be expected to pay for the ticket.  To re-activate your pass, you must pay a $15.00 re-activation fee before the pass is re-activated. Please make your checks out to: The City of Portsmouth, and mail to: Parking Clerk’s Office/Garage Pass, 1 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH  03801

You may also remit payment in person at the Parking Clerk’s Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Friday, or place your payment (checks only) in the gray municipal payment box found in the parking lot at the Municipal Complex.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the Parking Clerk’s Office at (603) 610-7229.


  • The City does not mark specific parking spaces for private use by individuals.  There are no reserved spaces, but there will always be space available for our tenants.
  • Posted Speed Limits and Stop Signs must be obeyed. Failure to do so may mean loss of parking privileges.
  • The City is not responsible for articles stolen from cars or damaged to cars within the Parking Facility.
  • When the “LOT FULL” sign is illuminated, cash paying customers will be denied access to the facility but lease holders will be allowed to enter.
  • You may use the Hanover, High, or Fleet Street entrances with your pass card. You may only exit at the Hanover and Fleet Street exits.
  • The pass card is issued to a tenant, not a particular vehicle.  It is your responsibility to use the pass in accordance with the terms of its issuance.
  • The pass card is not transferable to other users.
  • Only one vehicle may be parked in the garage per pass.
  • To avoid damage, do not place your pass card in the sun or leave it in the car on extremely hot and humid days.
  • In the event that a pass card is damage or defective, please return it to the Parking Clerk’s Office to receive a new one.




Parking fines must be paid within 30 calendar days by mail, dropbox at city hall, online (click here) or personal appearance at City Hall.

City Hall, Parking Clerk, 1 Junkins Avenue, P.O. Box 6746, Portsmouth, NH 03802-6746.

Any person receiving more than ten (10) parking violations in any one year (July 1 to June 30) shall forfeit an additional sum of $25.00 for each subsequent violation. The city holds the registered owner accountable for accumulation of violations.


If you have accumulated $125.00 or more in unpaid parking violations per registered owner, your vehicles will be subject to towing or immobilization until all unpaid citations are paid in full.  If your vehicle is immobilized, a "Boot Removal" fee of $150.00 will be assessed.

VIOLATION >FINE >After 30 Calendar Days
15-minute parking violation $15.00 $30.00
30-minute parking violation $15.00 $30.00
1-hour parking violation $15.00 $30.00
2-hour parking violation $15.00 $30.00
4-hour parking violation $15.00 $30.00
72 hour parking violation $50.00 $100.00
Expired Meter $15.00 $30.00
Parked within 15 ft. of a Fire Station $15.00 $30.00
Parked on Sidewalk $25.00 $50.00
Obstructing Traffic During Construction $15.00 $30.00
Double Parking $15.00 $30.00
Parked Wrong Direction $15.00 $30.00
Back to Curb $15.00 $30.00
Distance from Curb $15.00 $30.00
Parked in No Parking Area $20.00 $40.00
Parked Too Close to Intersection $20.00 $40.00
Emergency Snow Ban Violation $25.00 $35.00
Parking within an Intersection $25.00 $50.00
Parked in Crosswalk $25.00 $50.00
Blocking Fire Hydrant $25.00 $50.00
Parked Blocking Driveway $25.00 $50.00
Obstructing Street $25.00 $50.00
Parked in a Fire Lane $25.00 $50.00
10 or More Parking Violations in One Year (July 1 to June 30) $25.00 $50.00
Parked in a Handicapped Parking Space $250.00 $300.00
Resident Parking Only $25.00 $50.00




Appeals may be made to the Parking Clerk at Portsmouth City Hall within 20 calendar days of issuance. Click here to download the Parking Appeal Form


If you live out of state you may appeal by mail. The appeal must be sent within 20 calendar days of the parking ticket date of issue. Please address your appeal to: City of Portsmouth, Attn. Parking Clerk, 1 Junkins Ave. Portsmouth, NH 03801.


Construction Permits/Meter Bags

Permits may be issued to the public for the parking of a vehicle or other equipment that is engaged in construction, repair work or the moving of household goods.  Permits may be purchased at the Parking Clerk’s office for the following fees:

  • $35 per day per parking space and $50 high-occupancy

Meter bags will be issued to the permittee for use on traditional meters.  Dashboard permits will be issued for Pay & Display metered spaces.

In the event that the permittee secures the use of a permit/meter bag through misrepresentation, the permittee shall be subject to a fine of fifty dollars ($50).  Additionally, any person using a permit/meter bag other than at the times or in the manner specifically authorized by the Department of Public Works shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, per permit/bag of such unauthorized use.