Enforcement of Parking violations is handled by the Rochester Police Department. Parking meters are enforced Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the exception of six holidays. The days and times of enforcement are listed on each meter.
No parking is allowed any time at any hooded parking meter. Other parking violations are also enforced at all times, including evenings and weekends, such as loading zone restrictions, handicapped parking violations, no parking zones, and other parking prohibitions. Rochester Municipal Parking provides more information about parking options and enforcement.
Paying a Parking Ticket
The City Clerk's Office processes payment on parking violations, also referred to as parking tickets or citations. Parking violations may be paid with a credit card online or by phone at (888) 266-1408, or can be mailed in or dropped off at the City Clerk's Office in City Hall. There is also a secured after-hours drop box located just before the circle drive of the City Hall/Government Center parking lot.
Contesting a Ticket
The City Clerk's Office does not waive parking tickets. If you wish to contest a parking ticket you have received, follow the instructions on the ticket to plead not guilty by bringing the ticket to District Court on the 5th floor of the Government Center at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.
If a parking meter is not operating correctly, you must notify the City Clerk's Office at the time you first park and discover the malfunction. If you already loaded money into the meter, you may remain parked for the duration of the meter allowance. Please call (507) 328-2900 and be prepared to provide the specific meter number (NOT the zone number), a description of the issue, and your license plate number. This information is noted on every parking meter. The Clerk's Office will send a parking technician to check on the meter, and if a malfunction is noted, any ticket issued to you will be voided. Tickets issued as a result of an unreported meter malfunction cannot be voided by the City Clerk's Office.
Citations for a Vehicle you no Longer Own
If you receive a citation after you have sold your vehicle, you can complete an Affidavit of Sale form and submit the completed and notarized form to the City Clerk's Office by mail or in person along with proof you have submitted the required Report of Sale information to the State of Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services Division. You need to provide information about the new owner and proof of the sale. You will continue to receive notices of any additional citations as long as the State still shows the vehicle title in your name.
Tickets issued with a Valid Residential Parking Permit
If you believe you have a valid residential parking permit and still receive a parking ticket when parked in your assigned zone, please contact the City Clerk's Office to confirm your permit is still valid and has been correctly entered into the permit system. You can call the Office at (507) 328-2900.
If you receive a ticket for any other reason you believe is in error, you may follow the instructions on the back of the ticket to contest the citation in person on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., or you may submit a form requesting review of a parking citation. This form can be dropped off or emailed to the City Clerk's Office, along with any documentation you may have.
Administrative citation reviews are completed weekly by parking enforcement representatives of the Rochester Police Department and the City Clerk's Office. If it is determined an error was made in issuing a citation, any late fees will be waived, but if the administrative review is denied, you are obligated to pay the fine noted on the ticket and any late fees that have accrued. Submitting a request for review does not stop late fees from accruing, and those fees are added beginning 10 days after a citation is issued. It is your responsibility to submit a request for review in a timely manner.
Other Requests for Dismissal
If you are contesting a citation for any other reason than those listed above, it is not likely administrative review will result in voiding or dismissing the citation. You may choose to go to Court on Wednesdays at 1 pm or pay the citation.
Below are some commonly listed reasons given for violating parking regulations that will not be considered for administrative dismissal of a citation. While these reasons may seem valid to the violator, they do not address the Rochester Code of Ordinances or Minnesota State Law. These reasons generally will not result in the violations being dismissed, or the violator being successful on appeal.
- Short errands No errand, no matter how short or how important to the driver, is an acceptable excuse for illegal parking. A short errand is a very common excuse. It is not a valid reason for illegal parking.
- "I was late for a business or personal appointment" Being late does not permit the driver the privilege of parking illegally.
- "There was no other place to park" It is a driver’s responsibility to locate legal parking.
- "I didn't see the sign" or "I didn't understand the sign" Drivers are required to look for signs when parking. Saying that you did not see a sign preventing parking is not an acceptable excuse.
- "Only part of my car was illegally parked" A violation is not based on a certain percentage of the vehicle being illegally parked. If part of the vehicle extends into a restricted area, the violation is the same as if the entire vehicle encroached.
- "I left someone in the car" "I left my parking lights on (or blinking)" "I left a note on the car as to my whereabouts" "I left the motor running" The purpose of parking regulations is to restrict vehicles from certain places. The presence of a passenger, a note or blinking lights does not satisfy this purpose and does not constitute a valid reason to dismiss a violation.
- "It was only a few minutes" This explanation is one of the most common claims. Even if true, parking in a prohibited area is still a violation.
- "Nobody else got a ticket" Sometimes this excuse is raised as discriminatory enforcement. The officer may have had to leave the area before checking all the vehicles, however, a parking citation stands on its own.
- "Someone else had my car; I wasn't even driving it" The registered owner has joint responsibility with the person driving his or her car. Unless it can be shown by the registered owner that the car was driven without permission, the registered owner, renter or lessee is responsible for a parking citation.
- "The violation was not enforced in the past" This normally is not the case, however, inadequate staffing or other priorities may give rise to violations not being enforced continually; however, apparent failure to enforce parking laws does not constitute a valid excuse for illegal parking.
- "I've done it for years" or "Everybody else does it" This is never a valid excuse for illegally parking. Nobody should be rewarded for getting away with prior violations.