Parking Your Motorcycle in Chicago – Stickers and More

Motorcycle parked in the street

Figuring out the parking situation in a major city is always a little bit of a hassle. You need to understand which parking areas are free, which require a permit or meter payment, and which do not allow motorcycles at all. 

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago or are moving there soon, you’ll want to know how to park your motorcycle in advance to avoid any stressors. Read on to learn what you need to know about parking your motorcycle in Chicago. 

Are Motorcycles Excused from Parking Restrictions in Chicago? 

Many motorcyclists believe that because their vehicles are smaller than passenger cars, they can park wherever they fit. In reality, you still need to follow all parking restrictions on your motorcycle. 

If you see any signs saying “No Parking” or limiting parking to specific hours, be sure to follow them. Parking in a non-designated area could leave you with a ticket, or in the worst-case scenario, a towed motorcycle.

Do You Need a Sticker to Park Your Motorcycle in Chicago? 

Anyone who lives in Chicago must have a city sticker on their vehicle to operate it on a public road. This requirement includes motorcycles. 

You can purchase a Chicago license sticker online through the Chicago City Clerk. This sticker costs $45 annually. 

While you don’t necessarily need this license sticker to park your motorcycle, your bike must be registered to ride it on the road. 

Can Motorcycles Park In Metered Parking Spots?

You can park your motorcycle in any metered parking spot in Chicago. Just like when you park a car in a metered spot, you must pay at the meter when you park your motorcycle. You will receive a receipt that you must attach to your motorcycle. 

You can apply the adhesive receipt to your motorcycle’s headlamp. Be sure to wipe any dust off the headlamp before applying the sticker to ensure that it adheres properly. 

You also need to make sure that your receipt indicates your motorcycle’s license plate number. If the receipt does not have a license number, another driver could steal it to display on their own vehicle.

Is There a Correct Position to Park Your Motorcycle on a Public Street?

Many motorcyclists mistakenly believe that they need to park parallel to the curb the same way cars do. However, according to the City of Chicago, motorcycles must park perpendicular to the curb at a 90-degree angle. If your motorcycle is too long to fit perpendicular to the curb, you can adjust the angle slightly, keeping it as close to 90 degrees as possible. 

Failing to park your motorcycle correctly can result in a $25 fine. You can review the diagram in the linked document for clarity. 

Can You Get Special Parking Rates With Your Motorcycle?

Most parking garages charge the same rates for every type of vehicle, including motorcycles. However, you may be able to get a discounted rate at certain garages throughout Chicago.

Some parking garages in Chicago have special parking spots for motorcycles that are cheaper than traditional parking spots. We recommend keeping an eye out for parking garages that list their motorcycle rates on signs near the entrance. 

Do Motorcycles Need Permits to Park in Residential Parking Zones?

Typically, drivers must display residential parking permits or visitor’s permits to park in designated residential parking zones. However, motorcyclists do not need to display permits to park in these areas. 

Now that you know about parking your motorcycle in Chicago, you’ll be all set to enjoy the beautiful metropolis on your bike.

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