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Parking Enforcement

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What is the Law?
Parking control officers are tasked with enforcing Costa Mesa Municipal Code and California Vehicle Code laws.  Parking control officers drive white pick-up trucks typically equipped with amber-colored overhead rotor lights.  They wear uniforms issued by the Costa Mesa Police Department.  When a parking violation is seen, a parking control officer issues a citation, which is typically placed on the windshield of the vehicle.  Some common Costa Mesa Municipal Code and California Vehicle Code parking violations are:

Click here for ordinance handout.

 Costa Mesa Municipal Code (CMMC) Sections


Posted "No Parking Anytime"
10-184(d) Posted "No Parking," "Street Sweeping," or "Restricted Parking"
10-185(d) Using street for storage: No parking RV, over-sized vehicle, campers or unattached trailers
10-185(b) Parking in excess of 72 hours
10-185(e) Commercial vehicle parked off truck route
10-185(f) Commercial vehicle parked overnight
10-185(g) Commercial vehicle parked over 3 hours
10-186 Advertising sale or event
10-208(a) One-hour parking
10-209(a) Two-hour parking
10-212(b) Vehicle not within single parking space
10-215 Posted "No Parking"
10-221 Special permit parking
10-226(d) Red/yellow/white curb
10-230 Parking in alley

 California Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections
4000(a) Expired registration
5200 No front or rear license plate
5204(a) No current registration tabs
22500(a) Parking in intersection
22500(b) Parked blocking crosswalk
22500(e) Parked blocking driveway
22500(f) Parked blocking sidewalk
22500(g) Parked blocking traffic
22500(h) Double parked
22500(i) Parked blocking wheelchair access
22500.1 Parked in a designated fire lane
22502(a) Parked in excess of 18 inches from curb
22507.8(a) Parked in a handicapped parking stall
22507.8(b) Blocking a handicapped parking stall
22507.8(c) Blocking handicapped access
22514 Parked within 15 feet or adjacent to a fire hydrant

Information on Your Parking Citation
There is now an 800 number available 24 hours a days, seven days a week, where parking citation information can be obtained.  Please have your license plate number available and call 800-989-2058

Paying a Parking Citation: All parking citations must be paid through Citation Processing Center.  The Costa Mesa Police Department will accept no payments at the front desk. 

Parking Citation Hearings
Parking citations must be contested within 21 calendar days of the issuance of the parking violation or 14 calendar days from the mailing of a "Notice of Delinquent Parking Violation."  No exceptions or requests may be made after this time.  All will be automatically denied pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 40215(a).

Step 1: Administrative Review
To contest a parking citation please utilize the Data Ticket website at Using this website you can provide a written statement and attach photographs if you wish. If you do not have computer access or would prefer to provide a hand written statement, you can obtain an Administrative Review Form at the front desk of the Costa Mesa Police Department. After the review is complete, a notice will be sent through the mail informing you of that decision. If you are dissatisfied with the findings of the administrative review, please proceed to STEP 2.

Step 2: Administrative Hearing
A request for an administrative hearing must made be no later than 21 calendar days after the results of the administrative review are mailed to you.  The total amount due on the citation must be submitted with the written “Administrative Hearing Request” unless an indigent form is filed and accepted proving inability to pay.  Prepayment of these fines can only be waived if the citizen provides verifiable and substantial written proof of inability to deposit the full amount due.  All requests must be approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau sergeant or the bureau commander.  You may send your request by mail or it can be submitted and paid online through Citation Processing Center.

You may select one of the following procedures for the administrative hearing:

  • An in-person hearing with the hearing officer
  • A hearing appointment with the hearing officer on a toll-free telephone line
  • A written hearing by the hearing officer

The hearing will be scheduled and you will be notified if you requested an in-person or phone appointment hearing by mail.  Following the hearing, you will be notified in writing of the results and the decision, either “Citation Upheld” or “Citation Dismissed.”  If the citation is upheld, information for further appeal will be attached with the decision and you can proceed to Step 3.  If the citation is dismissed, a refund request will be generated for a city refund of the total amount paid for the dismissed citation.

Step 3: Judicial Review
The hearing examiner's decision is final for the administrative adjudication process.  You do, however, have the right to judicial review at the municipal court.  To exercise this right, a request for review must be filed at the Harbor Justice Center, Civil Division, 4601 Campus Drive, Newport Beach within 30 calendar days after the final decision from Step 2 is mailed or personally delivered to you.  If the court rules in favor of the contestant, the city must refund the filing fee in addition to any and all fines collected for the dismissed violations.  If you are found liable for the violation, all deposited fees will be retained by the court.