Park Pass

The new parking meter system allows state-of-the-art equipment to monitor parking areas by scanning your license plate. The scanners installed on a police cruiser will read your plate number and alert the officer whether your vehicle has a valid parking pass (whether hourly, daily, or a season pass). If not, you will receive a citation.  It is not necessary to display anything on your vehicle, the parking system works entirely off your license plate; once you have paid, you can head straight to the beach/park and do not have to return to your vehicle.

For city residents, you will need to register your license plate number(s) to have them entered into the system. 

How do you, a city resident or property owner, receive your annual parking pass(es)?

For many, the most convenient way to request parking passes is to click on the red "Online Parking Pass" box at the right hand side of the City web page and follow the instructions. You will need a copy of your driver's license.  If you are registering only one or two vehicles, you will need their license plate numbers.  If you are a resident who wishes to register more than two vehicles, you will need the registration of each vehicle, showing that each one is registered at this address.  

You may also download the following form, complete it, and submit it via e-mail, mail, fax, in one of the drop boxes at City Hall, or in person at the City Clerk's office.  We enter passes every business day; please keep in mind that if you submit the form and head straight to the park, the pass may not be entered yet.  If you receive a citation, contact the Public Safety Department at 269-985-0300 or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if you are entitled to a pass we will work with you.

         Park Pass Request Form

Or you can stop by the Clerk's counter in the lobby of City Hall.  You will need the same information described above and listed on the form.  You must show your registration for each vehicle you wish registered as verification that it is registered to your home address.

Non-residents are required to utilize the Park and Pay System onsite at the parks, by cash (paper bills only) or credit card. For recurring visitors, it may be beneficial for them to download the Passport App (, which allows them to pay for a parking space using their phones in advance, even before arriving in St. Joseph. This App lists zone numbers for each of the city’s daily pay-to-park lots, which users enter along with their license plate number. This system has the capacity to alert those using hourly parking that their time is almost up, which they can extend by simply using their cell phone. Visitors will receive a text message when they pay for their parking through the Passport application.

At the parking meter machine, visitors will be given an option to pay for the entire season, at a cost of $40.00, or may prefer paying a daily fee. Daily parking fees, between May 20 and September 10, will be $7 weekdays and $10 on weekends. In the offseason, the fee will be $5 weekdays and $7 on weekends. Additionally, for the first time, the lots will offer hourly parking, at $3 per hour during the summer season and $2 in the offseason.

Annual permits exempt you from daily parking fees at Lions Park, Tiscornia Park, Kiwanis Park, and the Elm Street lot (located south of the Whirlpool Compass Fountain). 


City Boat Launch Pass

The Park Passes do not apply to the City Boat Launch; this is because the State of Michigan does not allow us to provide free passes to City residents for this facility; everyone must pay the same fee.  Annual permits for the City Boat Launch are available for sale at the West Basin Marina office; day passes may be purchased from the parking machine at the Boat Launch.  Parking passes must be displayed on the vehicle's driver's side dashboard.

 More information



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