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Misuse of City Issued Parking Permits

In New York City, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of Education (DOE) are the three agencies primarily responsible for dispensing City-issued parking permits, commonly known as placards.

Each of these agencies separately issues placards to their employees. DOT also issues placards to several dozen other agencies, to non-government individuals and to entities such as non-profit organizations, people with disabilities, and members of the clergy.

While the extent of placard misuse by city employees is uncertain, it is an issue that has been widely documented on social media and in complaints to 311 during the last several years.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members Margaret S. Chin, Robert Holden, Keith Powers, and Ritchie Torres announced a package of bills introduced on February 13, intended to crack down on placard abuse, as well as unofficial and counterfeit permits and placards also used by perpetrators to skirt the law.

This package also addresses dangerous parking practices often associated with placards, including blocking passageways such as bike and bus lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks, and fire hydrants.

This new slate of Council bills is designed to supplement a legislative package introduced in 2018 that similarly attempted to rein in placard abuse, which included bills sponsored by Council Members Chin, Peter Koo, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Jumaane Williams.

City Issued Parking Permit Abuse

311 Placard Complaints
3,165 Complaints

353 Ticket/Summons

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311 Placard Complaints Map

May 2017 – Present

Click on filters for Complaint Reslutions, Borough, and Created Date to see specific types or results of complaints.

Parking Placard Complaint

File a complaint for improper use of a City-issued parking permit
File Complaint on 311

Response to Parking Placards Complaints

311 resolution descriptions to the service request “Parking Permit Improper Use” can be broken down into the following categories:

  • No Action: the police did not take action, usually either because the vehicle in question could not be found at the time of search or because the investigating officers deemed no action was necessary
  • Fixed: police addressed the issue, but no tickets or summons were issued
  • Ticket/Summons: complaints result in either a ticket or summons issued
  • Report/Arrest: while rare, certain complaints result in a report filed or an arrest

Complaints regarding abuse of parking placards rarely result in punitive measures.

311 Resolutions: Parking Permit Improper Use (2018)


This new legislative package includes five separate bills that together represent the strongest and most comprehensive attempt to rein in placard abuse in City history.

The legislative package includes bills that:

  • Create a standardized application process for City-issued parking permits and collect information on why placards are requested and how their use supports a City agency. Read the Bill: Int 1422
  • Require enforcement officers to call for towing of any vehicle blocking a sidewalk, crosswalk, fire hydrant, bike lane, or bus lane. Read the Bill: Int 1412
  • Prohibit official City vehicles from blocking a bike lane, bus lane, crosswalk, sidewalk, or fire hydrant unless it is an emergency. Read the Bill: Int 1394
  • Require 311 to accept complaints and photographs related to illegal parking and placard abuse. The City would be required to respond to complaints about a City vehicle blocking a bike lane, bus lane, crosswalk, sidewalk, or fire hydrant and explain why an emergency existed, making such parking permissible. Read the Bill: Int 1395

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Created by the NYC City Council Data Team.