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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Public Garage or Lot License

Service overview

You need a license to operate a building, structure, or outdoor area where you store more than three vehicles for a fee. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.

Who

Anyone can apply for this license. If you are not a resident of Philadelphia, you must name a representative within the City.

Requirements

Other licenses, registrations, and permits

Insurance

  • Certificate of Insurance issued by a company licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that includes all of the following:
    • Covers $5,000 for each public parking lot or garage, or $100,000 for all public parking lots and garages operated by one licensee.
    • States: “owners, landlords, and tenants policy or garage liability policy.”
    • Covers bodily injury liability.
    • Includes a garage keeper’s legal liability policy. This policy must cover property damage due to fire, theft, explosion, collision, riot, civil commotion, malicious mischief, and vandalism.
    • Shows the location and the official capacity of Public Parking Lot or Garage.
    • Names the City of Philadelphia as Certificate Holder.
    • The “Insured” and the “Applicant” must be the same name on the certificate.

Additional parking garage requirements

If the site is currently licensed and you haven’t made any alterations to the structure, submit:

  • Statement of business hours.
  • Rate schedule.

If the site is new or if you have altered the structure, submit:

  • Approval from the Department of Street’s Right-of-Way unit and an approved plot plan.
  • Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Statement of business hours.
  • Rate schedule.

Additional parking lot requirements

Parking lots have the same requirements as parking garages. In addition, parking lots also require:

  • Approved barriers and surfacing following Department of Streets regulations.
  • Drainage for paved areas larger than 5000 sq. feet.
  • Lights that allow safe access to the licensed area after dark. (You can turn lighting off after the parking lot closes for the night.)

Required pre-approvals

For all public garages or parking lots

More +

For all public garages or parking lots

More +

Where and when

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

License fee
$341

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied to the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due upon application approval.

Renewal fee
$341

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center. 

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
Once your application has been processed, L&I will perform a site inspection.

This usually takes about 30 days.

3
If the application is approved, you will receive a notice to pay the balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

4
Once approved, you must post a sign on location

Sign must show:

  • Rates.
  • Accepted payment methods,
  • Hours of operation.
  • Capacity.
  • License number.
  • Name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number of the licensee.
  • Hours an attendant is on duty.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

2
Once your application has been processed, L&I will perform a site inspection.

This usually takes about 30 days.

3
After the inspection, L&I may approve your application.

Once your application is approved, pay the license fee.

4
Once approved, you must post a sign on location.

Sign must show:

  • Rates.
  • Accepted payment methods,
  • Hours of operation.
  • Capacity.
  • License number.
  • Name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number of the licensee.
  • Hours an attendant is on duty.

Renewal requirements

Annual renewal:

  • Renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center

Required for renewal:

  • Must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes
  • Valid email address
  • A current Certificate of Insurance

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