Parking Frequently Asked Questions

You've got parking questions? We've got parking answers!

Here's the low-down on all things parking!


Why did Red Deer launch a new parking system?

Our previous parking system and equipment was old and no longer functioning properly. Due to the age and type of equipment, it was difficult to obtain parts needed for maintenance and repairs. A new system was needed.

A competitive bid process occurred to find the best option for our community. We sought a solution that reduced the amount of physical equipment that would need to be maintained and repaired, and would provide a better experience for customers. We wanted a system that would accommodate all of the different users, including those who enjoy the convenience of a mobile app as well as folks who prefer to use coins to pay for parking. 

We are evaluating the new system and making small improvements as we can. If you have issues with the app or QR code, or have feedback regarding pay station locations, let us know. 

City of Red Deer Parking Administration

Why was HotSpot selected as the new parking system?

HotSpot operates successfully in other Canadian cities and was selected through a competitive process held by The City in 2022. The mobile app is easy to use, offers a suite of convenient options and we’re confident it will improve the experience for our customers.

HotSpot provides both equipment and software, which lowers costs and improves efficiency.

Hotspot mobile app features:

  • Pay for and extend parking from a mobile device.
  • Avoid tickets with auto alerts.
  • Save money by refunding unfinished sessions.
  • Pay for parking tickets from a mobile device.
  • Find available parking using a real-time map (coming soon!).

HotSpot utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) for data storage which has industry leading security.

Payment Options

Can I park downtown if I don't have a cellphone?

Yes. The new pay stations provide multiple payment options, including coins. You can see the locations of all pay stations by viewing the Downtown Parking map.

What are the payment options?

There are three ways to pay for parking with HotSpot:

  1. HotSpot mobile appA free download for iPhone and Android users, the HotSpot app is the easiest way to manage daily parking sessions and monthly permits. You can pay with a credit card or add funds to the digital wallet in your account using credit card, Visa Debit or prepaid Visa/MasterCard gift cards. See below for more details.

  2. "Fast tap" signs – Scan the QR code to use the HotSpot website and pay with your credit card. No account needed! Note: We recommend using the camera on your mobile device instead of a third party app.

  3. Pay stations – 21 pay stations are located throughout downtown and accept multiple payment forms, including coins, Visa, MasterCard, contactless tap (Visa, MasterCard, Interac), Visa Debit, prepaid Visa and MasterCard gift cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. SmartCard parking cards are accepted at the pay stations, but cannot be reloaded and are no longer being sold.

HotSpot - Three Ways to pay graphic

HotSpot app features

By using the HotSpot mobile app to manage your parking, you can:

  • Pay for parking with your phone
  • Extend parking sessions
  • Avoid tickets with auto-alerts (notifications in the app and on your device must be enabled)
  • End your parking session early and refund unused time back into your account
  • Manage your monthly parking permit
Are there minimum requirements for transaction amounts?

Yes, parking sessions are offered with a minimum 5-minute requirement. Credit card transactions must be a minimum of $1.00. There is no minimum fee for coin transactions.

If using the app, you can choose to pay using your account wallet instead of a credit card to avoid the minimum $1.00 transaction requirement.

When is payment required?

Payment for City parking stalls and lots is required on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Free parking is available during evenings, weekends and statutory holidays.

Is prepayment available with the new system?

Yes, prepayment options begin at 5 a.m. daily, and payment is required starting at 8 a.m. Prepayment can be initiated in the app, at a pay station, or using a quick scan code.

Which parking services can customers access in person at City Hall?

Customers can still appeal a parking ticket, pay for a parking ticket, and get help using HotSpot from staff on the main floor at City Hall.

HotSpot Parking App

How can I access the new HotSpot mobile app?

HotSpot is a mobile app available as a free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Once the app is downloaded, an account needs to be created.

When starting a parking session with the app, be sure to enter in the correct zone number. Zone numbers are 4-digits and displayed on the fast tap signs and pay stations.

Once you have started a parking session, make sure that you see a countdown timer in the app and check for a confirmation email if you're unsure if you completed the process. The email includes the time your session expires and receipt confirming the total cost.

App users are advised to enable notifications from HotSpot (from the app and via email) to receive important messages about your account and parking sessions.

How can I verify that I have an active parking session?

To verify that you have an active parking session:

1. Look for a countdown timer in the app, with the numbers in light blue.

2. Check your email for a confirmation message. The email will indicate the expiry time of the parking session along with a receipt of payment.

Add time to your parking session using the HotSpot mobile app

What is the HotSpot wallet used for?

All HotSpot users have access to a wallet feature in their account. The wallet is used primarily for hourly parking but can also be used to pay for parking permits. To use the wallet, toggle on the ‘Use Wallet’ feature in the App Settings section (found in the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner).

When a parking session cost is less than $1.00, our payment processor cannot charge a credit card directly so it will need to be paid for using wallet funds.

Funds can be added to the wallet at any time using a credit card, Visa Debit or prepaid Visa/MasterCard gift cards.

Funds stored in the digital wallet can be withdrawn from customer accounts upon request.

Add funds to your HotSpot digital wallet

How does the app help customers find available parking?

The map feature indicates where available stalls are located, both on-street or in City-owned lots where daily parking is available. The City can also use the HotSpot alert system to notify customers of parking stall and lot closures and road closures or other impacts to parking. Customers must allow notifications from HotSpot to receive these alerts.

A real-time map will soon be accessible on The City’s website to indicate parking options.

Where is HotSpot customer data stored, and is it secure?

HotSpot utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) for data storage which has industry leading security. Credit card data is encrypted, and data centers are located in Canada.

Why can’t I add more time to my parking session?

If you have already purchased a session for the maximum amount of time in that zone, you cannot extend your session. You will need to move to a different zone and start a new session. For longer visits, we recommend parking in a lot.

Fast Tap Signs

How do the fast tap signs work?

HotSpot Fast Tap SignScan the QR code on any fast tap sign to start a parking session via the HotSpot website. You do not need to create an account and can pay with a credit card. 

It is recommended to use the camera on your mobile device to scan QR codes on fast tap signs instead of a third-party app. After scanning the QR code, ensure that the website you see is the official HotSpot site ( before interacting or providing payment information.

1. Be sure to enter verify the zone number is correct when starting your parking session. All zone numbers are 4-digits and are displayed in the top section of fast tap signs, just below the "P".
2. Parking sessions that are started using a QR code cannot be extended or cancelled. These features are only available in the app.
3. If you have downloaded the app, you do not need to use the fast tap signs to manage your parking sessions.

Pay Stations

What do the new pay stations look like?

The City has selected the Mackay Tango model for our new pay stations.

HotSpot pay station

What payment options are available at the pay stations?

Coins, credit card (Visa, MasterCard), contactless tap (Visa, MasterCard, Interac), Visa Debit, Apple Pay and Google Pay payment options are available at the new pay stations.

SmartCard parking cards are compatible with the new pay stations but cannot be refilled and are no longer available to purchase.

Where are the new pay stations located?

There are 19 pay stations downtown and two near the hospital.

Pay Station and Parking Zone Map (pdf)


  • 50 Avenue near 54 Street, near St. Luke's church
  • 53 Street near 48 Avenue
  • 52 Street at 49 Avenue
  • 48 Avenue, between 50 Street and 51 Street
  • Gaetz (50) Avenue at Ross (50) Street, near RBC
  • Ross (50) Street, between 48 Avenue and 49 Avenue, near courthouse
  • 49 Street, between 47 Avenue and 48 Avenue, near 49 St Community Health Centre
  • 50 Avenue, between 48 Street and 49 Street, near Scott Block Theatre
  • 47 Street near 52 Avenue, near Primary Care Network
  • 47 Street at 51 Avenue, near H&R Block
  • 50 ("Little Gaetz") Avenue near 47 Street, near Baker Chiropractic
  • 47 Street at 48 Avenue, near MPE Centre
  • 46 Street at 49 Avenue, near Service Canada
  • Parking lots P1, P2, P4, P6, P7, P8

Hospital area:

  • 43 Street, between Gaetz (50) Avenue and 52 Avenue
  • 52 Avenue, between 39 Street and 43 Street
Do I need to display my parking receipt in my vehicle?

No, if you have used a pay station to pay for a parking session you're all set. There's no need to return to your vehicle to display your receipt.

What happens if a pay station is broken/not working?

If the nearest pay station is not functioning, customers can use a different pay station, a fast tap sign or the mobile app to pay for their parking session. Please report problems using pay stations to 403-342-8185 or

Managing Multiple Vehicles with HotSpot

Can I manage multiple vehicles in HotSpot?

Using a rental vehicle? Borrowed your spouse’s car for the day? You can add multiple cars to your HotSpot account but can only park one car at a time per account. If you have more than one car on your account, ensure that the Parking screen on the mobile app shows the license plate for the car you are trying to park. If it is not correct, please change it to avoid getting a ticket. Parking enforcement is based on license plates.

Can I pay for two parking sessions at the same time using the app?

No, only one active session is permitted using the app. But, you can use the app to manage one session and pay for the second session using a pay station or fast tap sign.

Monthly Parking Permits

How can I apply for a monthly parking permit?

If you are purchasing a permit for the first time, you need a HotSpot account with a vehicle and a payment method. Please visit the Monthly Parking page for more information on monthly permits for individuals and businesses.

What happens if there are no spaces available in my preferred lot?

If you are seeking a permit for a lot that does not have capacity, you can add yourself to a waitlist within the app. You’ll be notified (by email to the address linked to your HotSpot account) when a spot becomes available.

Parking Zones

Are there changes to parking zones with the launch of HotSpot?

Most parking zones and time limits remain the same, with the exception of 2 HOUR UNRESTRICTED, which is now 4 HOUR MAXIMUM. This affects the Marvel Block on Ross Street. See the Pay Station and Parking Zone Map (pdf) for more information on parking zones.

How do the subzones work?

Subzones determine the maximum length of time a vehicle may remain parked in a certain area, such as a city block. 

There are four different maximum time limits: 30 minute, 2 hour, 4 hour and 8 hour.

If your parking session is equal to the maximum time limit of the subzone you're parked in, you must move your vehicle to a different subzone when your session expires. 

You can park in the original subzone again once an hour has passed.

To view the different subzones, see the Pay Station and Parking Zone map (pdf)

Parking Tickets

How will the ticketing process change with the implementation of HotSpot?

Customers who receive a City-issued ticket can pay it in person at City Hall or online via MyCity.

Following the initial launch of HotSpot (likely in early 2024), customers will have the ability to receive, dispute and pay parking tickets through the HotSpot app. Please note that a $0.50 (50 cents) convenience fee is added for customers who choose to pay parking tickets via the HotSpot app.

What do I need to pay my parking ticket online?

You will need your ticket number (begins with 'D', 'DH', or 'F') or the licence plate number of the vehicle to which the ticket was issued, as well as your valid VISA or MasterCard credit card.

The following payment forms are not accepted for parking tickets: American Express, VISA/Debit, MasterCard/Debit and e-transfer.

Why isn't the ticket information available when I enter my ticket number or licence plate number?

There are some possible reasons for this, including:

  • The ticket is recently issued, and is not yet entered into the ticketing system. 
    • Hand-written tickets are usually entered into the system within 2-5 business days of the offence date. Payments can still be accepted in person at the Cashier on the main floor of City Hall.
  • The ticket is already paid.
Can I make a partial payment on my ticket?

No. Only the full amount on the ticket or notice can be accepted.

City Council sets the fine amount for all City Bylaws and the Alberta Government sets the fine amount for Highway Traffic Act offences.

Why can't my ticket be paid online?

There are a few possible reasons for this, including:

  • The ticket is paid.
  • The ticket was cancelled or issued as a warning:
    • Enforcement officers can issue tickets as a warning to indicate what the bylaw infraction is, to prevent you from repeating the offence.
    • Warning tickets do not require payment.
  • The ticket has been forwarded to the Provincial Court for processing. Payment can made online through the Alberta Fine Payment System if you have the Provincial Part 3 Violation Notice. Please contact Parking Administration for more information:
Are there any additional charges associated with online ticket payments?

No. There are no additional fees or charges applied with paying a parking ticket online.

Why is the ticket amount displayed on the web payment screen different from the written amount on the ticket?

Your ticket may qualify for an early payment reduction. The web screen automatically adjusts fine amounts to reflect an early payment.

What about security, how do I know the credit card I use to pay my ticket is safe?

The City of Red Deer is committed to providing a secure environment that protects your personal information. Their service partner, Moneris, was selected because of their experience and expertise in operating online services in a secure environment. Moneris is committed to maintaining the accuracy, confidentiality and security of your personally identifiable information.

When I pay online, what will I receive as proof of payment?

When you complete the online payment process, you will be given the option to print out a receipt on your printer. Failing that, your authorization number from the credit card company is your proof of payment.

Accessible Parking

Is there a fee for parking in accessible parking stalls?

No, there is no fee for accessible permit holders to park in accessible stalls. Just make sure your valid hang tag is visible to our parking enforcement team to avoid a ticket. 

Veteran's Parking

Is the Veterans Parking Program still in place?

Yes, the Veteran's Parking Program is still in place and provides complimentary parking to vehicles with a Veteran Licence Plate. 
Visit the Veteran's Parking Program page to learn more.

If you don’t find the answer to your question on our website, here are some additional options for support:

The City of Red Deer thanks the Government of Alberta for supporting parking system improvements through Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding.