License Plate Recognition (LPR)

Downtown parking enforcement

What's Happening? 

As part of an upgrade to the City's parking management software, Parking Services is now using License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology to enforce parking.

Why is the City going to LPR?

  • LPR enables more convenient ways to pay for parking. As we roll out the new Pay-by-Phone option, LPR will alert the enforcement officer when a meter has been paid, even though the meter is blinking “expired".
  • LPR will make us more efficient. Instead of hand-entering information, LPR will read license plate numbers and automatically check for permits, saving time and improving accuracy.
  • LPR will improve our parking system by automatically collecting (anonymous) parking space occupancy and parking duration data.

What information is collected?

The license plate number, including state, parking permit(s), and Olympia pay-by-phone payments associated with that license plate. No account or credit card information is collected by the LPR.

How is the information used?

The information collected is only used by Parking Management to ensure the vehicle has paid for parking (via permit or pay-by-phone). The data, without license plate information, is available to parking staff to determine occupancy rates. For example, how many cars parked in a given area during a specific time period.

How long is the information stored?

  • If a ticket is NOT issued the data is deleted daily.
  • If a ticket is issued and not paid and/or appealed/contested, the data is kept on file for three years, per state law.
  • If a ticket goes to collections, the data, per state law, is kept for 10 years.

Do you share the information with anyone?

We will only share the information if required by law, including the Public Records Act, order of governmental authority, or a court order.


Contact Parking Services at 360.753.8017 or