Service Update

SmartCards are being phased out in preparation for a new app and on-street payment stations. Learn More

The SmartCard is a great payment alternative that works in most of the city’s 3,500 metered parking spaces. The SmartCard is a prepaid parking card. You can preload a set amount of value to the card and then can use it as payment at any of the on-street parking meters in downtown that are marked with the SmartCard logo.

To use a SmartCard to pay for a parking space, insert the card into the parking meter and follow instructions on the meter to add time. If there is time left on the meter when you return to your vehicle, reinsert the same SmartCard in the parking meter to have the remaining time refunded back to your card. You only pay for what you use!

Note: You can only refund back to the same SmartCard that put the value on the meter.
SmartCard logo

Where can you buy or refill a SmartCard?

The City of Des Moines operates four automated SmartCard vending machines where cards can be loaded on the card using cash or credit cards. The sale of new SmartCards ended on August 16, 2021.

The City is currently phasing out its SmartCard system as we prepare to replace it with a new mobile app and on-street kiosk payment system.

  • On August 16, 2021, the sale of new SmartCards ended.
  • On September 3, 2021, the maximum amount allowed to be added to SmartCards was capped at $25 .
  • On December 3, 2021, you will no longer be able to add any additional value to your SmartCard.
  • By April 1, 2022, you should aim to have a $0 balance on your SmartCard. Refunds are not possible.
  • As of July 2022, all SmartCards will expire and no longer work.
If you still need to refill SmartCards during the transition, vending machines are located at:
  • 3rd Street and Court Avenue Parking Garage office (on the 2nd Ave side)
  • 9th Street and Locust Street Parking Garage office (on the corner of 8th & Grand)
  • 5th Street and Grand Avenue (YMCA lobby)
  • City Hall, located at 400 Robert D Ray Drive (1st Floor lobby)   Out of Order
Lost SmartCard? The City is unable to offer refunds for lost, stolen, damaged, or expired cards.
Contact the Traffic & Transportation Division for further information:
  • Email:
  • Phone: (515) 283-4973