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Frequently Asked Questions: Ocean City’s New Parking Meters and the Median Fence

The median fence on Coastal Highway is slated for completion by May 23, and the new pay-by-plate meters in the municipal parking lot downtown have been in effect since April 1. Both of these new features are the talk of the town, and we’ve been receiving lots of questions about both of them.

Here’s a handy FAQ about the new pay-by-plate parking systems near the Inlet and the new midtown median fence. 

If you have questions that aren’t included below, ask them in the comments section and we’ll do our best to answer them and add them to the list!

Pay-by-plate parking

How do I use the new pay-by-plate parking meters?


If you don’t have your plate number memorized and can’t read it from the meter, take a picture of it with your cell phone. Simply enter the numbers into the console, then toss in your coins for how much time you want or swipe your card and enter the amount of money you wish to put in. You can go paperless or ask the machine to print a receipt for you. Later, you can extend your time at the meters or with the Parkmobile app. 

Do I need to download an app in order to park? 

No, but you do have that option. The Parkmobile app can be used to pay for parking and extend your time (which comes in handy when you’re all the way on the other side of the Boardwalk and realize your time is almost up). 

How much does parking cost now?

It’s still $3 an hour to park at the Inlet during peak season.

Can vehicles with handicap tags still park for free? 

There is a 30-minute grace period for all vehicles, including those with handicap tags, in the Inlet lot. If a vehicle is parked in the Inlet lot for 31 minutes or more, the entire amount of time spent parked will have to be paid for. 

As for street parking with the new meters and other municipal lots, there is a 60-minute grace period for vehicles with handicap tags. 

Should I still place my receipt on my dashboard? 

No, there is no need to place your ticket on your dashboard since you will have entered in your license plate number. 

Coastal Highway median fence


Why was this fence built? 

The median fence is five to seven feet tall, so it can’t easily be hopped over, and was constructed in order to prevent jaywalkers from unsafely crossing the street. 

Will it obstruct my view of Coastal Highway? 

While the fence is tall, and does obstruct your view of the other side of the highway when you’re looking at it head-on, the fence posts are angled so that you can see in between them while driving. It does not in any way obstruct your view from cars turning at intersections. 

When will the project be finished?

Construction is currently on schedule to be completed by the Wednesday before Memorial Day (May 23). 

How long does the fence run? 

It runs from Convention Center Drive to 62nd street, and extends 2.7 miles. 

I hate these new parking meters and/or this new median fence!

There has been a huge influx of messages like these popping into our Facebook messages, our community posts and the comments sections of our articles. We hear your concerns, and we understand them. However, we do not represent the Town of Ocean City or any town government officials who voted to put these new systems in place. As always, we love to hear your thoughts and opinions on everything that happens in Ocean City, but when it comes to matters like these ones, we can’t do much but send you to the Town’s inbox. 

Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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  1. We are staying at 18th street. Only one car is permitted at our condo. We have 2 cars. Is there extra free parking in the area?

  2. if I pay for parking on say 6th street meter at the boardwalk for say 3 hours stay 1 hour can I park on 12 street at the boardwalk for the remaining time or do I have to pay again at the 12th street meter?

  3. I am a senior citizen and do not care to have “apps” for parking on my phone. I find the new parking cumbersome and annoying. The lady at the booth showed me how to use the contraption that takes your money. She told me that it was $3.00 per hour. I put in for 1 hour of time and it charged me $3.25 and I left before using my total hour. Explain that. I think I will visit some other resort that is more customer friendly.

  4. Not all vehicles with handicap have it on there license plate a lot of people use the handicap plaque so do handicap have to pay do handicap have to put there information in the new parking meters since they don’t have to pay this is so confusing I was always told by the town even meter readers that handicap park free there was never a limit on how long handicap can park on the side streets or in the municipal parking lot I asked everytime we go so my vehicle doesn’t get towed anywhere else you go handicap is free

    • From the town government’s website (https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/city-hall/americans-with-disabilities/): “In order to accommodate our physically challenged patrons, a 30-minute grace period is in place. This allows those person(s) to view the ocean or pick-up an item from the boardwalk. In addition, there are handicap parking spaces located near the beach as well as the boardwalk just for these purposes. However, if the length of time spent in the parking lot is 31-minutes or more, the person will have to pay for the entire time spent in the parking lot, in accordance with the parking fees.”

      https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/public-works/additional-parking/: “Additional Street Parking & other Municipal Lot parking is $2.00 per hour with *one hour free for handicapped parking (*if leaving within 1hr).”

    • You enter your plate number in electronically, they still check if each car in the lot has paid, just through electronic means rather than looking for a physical ticket.

    • On October 13 , I was parked for dinner at Harrison’s when I left I forgot to pay so I came back and payed. Are they going to realize that by my license number that I payed?

  5. “There is a 30-minute grace period for all vehicles, including those with handicap tags, in the Inlet lot. If a vehicle is parked in the Inlet lot for 31 minutes or more, the entire amount of time spent parked will have to be paid for. ” Ok, so how do I get my money back? Parked twice, problems with the machine meant I ended up with more time than I needed (hubby only wanted to fries), and now I read that I didn’t even have to pay anything. How do I get my money back?

  6. meters at the inlet too? it was so much more convenient to get a ticket and pay the person at the end for how much time you were there…how do you judge how much time to pay for upfront? and then have to run all the way back to the meter or get an app which I read has issues and charges you a processing fee every time.?

  7. I am still confused about handicap parking. In the inlet lot it was never free for handicap. How about the other lots and on the street. Do handicap now have to pay at all other metered areas. I guess what i am asking do handicap now have to pay to park with the new system everywhere that there is metered parking.

    • So while there was once a 90-minute grace period for vehicles with handicap tags in the Inlet lot, the grace period is now 30 minutes for ALL vehicles. As for street parking, with the new meters there is a 60-minute grace period for vehicles with handicap tags. Hope that answers your question

    • I will change the wording to make it more clear, but no, parking is not free. Every vehicle, handicap tags or not, has 30 minutes to be parked for free in the Inlet lot. If they are parked for 31 minutes or more, they will have to pay for the entire time spent in the lot. There used to be a 90-minute “grace period” for vehicles with handicap tags, but now it is 30 minutes for everyone.


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