Parking in Berkeley: The good, the bad and the tickets

Michael Drummond/File

Getting tired of walking, using your ride share apps and running after public transportation? If only there were some invention with four wheels that personally transported you from place to place! Even more importantly, if only there were an easy way to park that transportation device around Berkeley.

If you are lucky enough to have a car available to you, here is some information to help you park said vehicle around our busy city.

There are a few different options for parking your car. Firstly, you can get a permit. This entails a trip to the lovely Department of Motor Vehicles and then cruising by the City of Berkeley office, across from Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. At the DMV, you’ll have to change your car registration and your home address to be registered in Berkeley. Both of these changes cost some moola — around $35 total. However, if your car is actually your parents’ car, you also have to change the car’s title and registration to be under your name.

Once they give you a temporary registration and license, you can go to the City of Berkeley office with your permit application in hand and pay $55 for a permit in your parking zone (woohoo, more money gone!).

City parking permits are great, once you get through all the bureaucratic nonsense. Parking is relatively easy to find within most zones and you can pretty much leave your car parked in any given spot for extended periods of time. That being said, be very vigilant of the street signs, as they will inform you of days you need to get out. For example, check what your street sign says about monthly street sweeping. A quick read will keep you safe from an unfortunate $50 parking ticket.

If street parking isn’t really your vibe, you can always look into renting a parking spot from any of the fraternities on campus, affiliated and not. Fraternity parking ranges in price and can be in the range of hundreds of dollars. Alternatively, some landlords and home owners rent out parking spots at their buildings and homes.

Any way you go about it, having a car in Berkeley is a blessing and a curse. It is incredibly convenient for weekend adventures and trips to Trader Joe’s, but it is also a big heap of responsibility added to your college life. Basically, pros include less walking, more Fenton’s, and a place to go when your shared room isn’t an option (if you know what I mean), while cons include having to move your car on the fourth Tuesday of every month to ensure tidy streets and being constantly paranoid that your car has been stolen, broken into or dented. Nonetheless, 10/10 would recommend.

Contact Hailey Johnson at [email protected].