Baltimore is replacing its EZ Park meters, which produce paper slips, to a new version that records license plate numbers.

Time has expired for the last of Baltimore’s old parking meters, which required drivers to display their receipts on their dashboard, city officials announced on Thursday.

Motorists will now enter their license plate number when paying to park on city streets.

In 2019, the city began the process of installing 830 new pay-by-plate parking meters, where motorists enter their vehicle’s license plate number into the parking meter and pay for the amount of time they want to park there.

The new system replaces older EZ Park Meters, installed starting in 2004, that printed a receipt, which parkers then had to display on their dashboard to verify they had paid to park.

Now, motorists will no longer have to return to their vehicle to display a receipt.

Instead of checking dashboards for receipts, Department of Transportation parking enforcement agents are using handheld devices to download real-time data from the meters and check which vehicles have paid for parking.

City officials said the enforcement officers have been pleased with the handheld devices – made by G-Techna – because they no longer have to search dashboards for receipts.

“We are excited to be using this new technology which brings parking enforcement up to date with modern equipment,” Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey said in a statement.

Motorists should be sure to enter the correct license plate number for their vehicle into the parking meter.

“The first thing you do at the meter is enter your license plate number, so we recommend writing it down or taking a photo of your license plate number before you go to the parking meter,” Parking Authority Executive Director Pete Little said in a statement, “After you’ve used the meter, you can walk directly to your destination.”

Drivers can pay for parking at the meters using coins, credit and debit cards. The city has not changed limits on how long motorists can park or hours of operation.

If a motorist moves their vehicle to another block, they must pay for another session at that block’s parking meter and follow parking restrictions.

For more information about using the new parking meters, parkers can visit the Parking Authority of Baltimore City’s website.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...

3 replies on “Baltimore replaces pay-and-display street parking meters with license plate system”

  1. It would be even better to have an app on your phone like Park Mobile to pay and monitor your parking session like they have in Washington DC.

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