Frequently Asked Questions



If you don’t see your question here call the police department (831) 624-6403 (non-emergency). 

How do I pay a parking ticket?

  • Parking fines must be paid within 21 days of issuance.
  • Failure to pay may result in additional fines and a registration hold on your vehicle.
  • If the fine is not noted on your citation, the vehicle’s registered owner should receive a notice in the mail with the bail amount.

You can pay online at or by check or money order, payable to: The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Write the citation number on your check. 

Carmel-by-the-Sea Police Department

Attn: Parking Citation

P.O. Box 611655, San Jose, CA 95161


Pay by phone: (831) 273-8889

In accordance with Assembly Bill 503, we offer the option for an installment payment plan to address unpaid parking citation balances. This program is offered to individuals that qualify as “indigent”, based on established criteria . 

To apply, you must:

  • Request review for a payment plan within 21 days of the issuance of the citation
  • To request classification as “indigent”, an application and supporting documentation must be submit and reviewed prior to determination, which usually takes less than 7 days. 
  • If eligible, a payment plan takes effect until the balance of the citations are paid, in installments of $25/month.
  • Not meeting eligibility criteria, failing to enroll in the payment plan, or comply with the program requirements results in the citation balance being due immediately, and if not paid, reporting to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which could delay registration of your vehicle. 

Pursuant to GC 68632 (a)/(b), an applicant receiving public benefits under SSI/SSP, CalWORKs, SNAP, CAPI, IHSS, Medi-Cal, or County relief programs or whose monthly income is 125% or less of the current federal poverty guidelines will be deemed eligible. When applying, please have documentation (proof of enrollment/paystubs/etc.) available to submit for review.     

If you are interested in applying for this program, please email to request an information packet.

How do I contest a parking ticket?

Contesting a Parking Ticket

What happens if I get a ticket for something else?

If you are cited for a violation of the California Vehicle Code, court information will be printed on your ticket. Please direct any questions regarding the fine amounts, court date, traffic school eligibility or other questions regarding the resolution of your citation to the court listed on the citation.

Where do I park?

Check out parking information for parking areas, time limits, and electric vehicle charging.

How do I get my towed vehicle back?

Vehicles on public property may be towed if: (not inclusive)

  • They are in a no-parking area (temporary or permanent)
  • They are blocking a driveway or roadway
  • Five or more parking tickets have been issued and remain unpaid
  • Vehicle registration is expired over six months

If your vehicle is not where you parked it, call (831) 624-6403 to find out if your car has been towed.

Vehicle Releases

  • All vehicles towed must have a release form issued by the police department before the tow company can release them.
  • Eligible vehicles are only released in person to the registered owner.
  • Owner must supply current valid registration, proof of insurance, a valid licensed driver and pay the $140 release fee to the Carmel Police Department.
  • Owner must take the release form to the tow company, where all towing and storage fees must be paid prior to release.
  • If the vehicle was towed for excessive citations, those must be paid at the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to the release of the vehicle. You must bring proof of payment to the Carmel Police Department.
  • If the vehicle has a 5/10/15/30 day hold, the owner may pick it up after the hold period is up. The owner will be responsible for all storage fees accrued during the hold.

CPD is not responsible for setting, collecting or managing any tow and storage fees.

If the vehicle owner would like to request a hearing regarding the tow, the owner must contact the Police Department at (831) 624-6403.

How do I get a copy of a police report?

  • Police reports may only be released to authorized parties and according to State law; you must be a named involved party to the case (not merely a witness).
  • Reports involving certain types of crime (i.e.; juvenile cases and some sex-related crimes) cannot be released to anyone except district attorneys or law enforcement agencies.

To determine if a report can be released to you, or for information about the status of your report, please contact the Records Division at 831-624-6403.

  • Any persons named as a suspect or arrested/cited party may not get copies of reports from the police department.

Anyone named as a suspect, arrested/cited party should call the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office at 831-755-5070 for procedures to obtain a copy of their report.

How do I get fingerprinting done?

Fingerprinting is done on an appointment only basis. A fee is charged (begins at $38, and varies depending on the Live Scan request).

To set up an appointment for Live Scan Fingerprinting, please contact Dawn Almario at 831-624-6403 or

Do you have a lost and found?

If you believe that you have lost something while in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, please call the Records Division at 831-624-6403 to file a lost property report.

If you find property that you believe to be lost, please turn it in at the Police Department, at the SE corner of 4th & Junipero.

What are the beach fire rules?

Check out the City’s beach fires and beach rules or call (831) 624-6403.

How do I request traffic enforcement?

To initiate a request for traffic enforcement, please email with an explanation of the issue and location, including any additional information that you have  (times of day, photos, specific vehicles etc.)

What are the rules for animals?

Check out Animal Services for the do’s and dont’s with furry friends while in the City.

How do I get a residential or commercial alarm permit?

To apply for or renew an alarm permit, please contact the Records Division at 831-624-6403. There is a small fee for maintaining an alarm account.