CITY HALL — For the thousands of residents who have preferential parking restrictions in their neighborhoods, the cumbersome permit renewal process could soon become a bit easier.

Instead of requiring residents to apply for renewals in person or by mail, City Hall is considering moving the process online.

“I’m hoping to have a new system in place by some time late this year,” said Don Patterson, City Hall’s business and revenue operations manager.

He said his department will start soliciting bids to revamp the parking permit process by the end of January with the goal of selecting a firm that can modernize the system and improve customers’ experience.

“The city as a whole has gone to a lot more online transactions,” he said. “Our Web site is really robust. It’s really just taking advantage of existing systems in a way that benefits parking permits.”

In some parts of Los Angeles, Patterson said residents can already use an automated kiosk to print out visitor permits instead of waiting in lines at city offices or mailing in forms. It could also be possible to create a system that allows residents to print out their own bar-coded passes at home.

Besides making the process more convenient, Patterson said an updated parking permit system would also save City Hall resources.

“The amount of work that I have staff doing to renew permits is amazing,” he said. There are two full time employees and one part time employee dedicated to preferential parking renewals, he said.

This year a glitch in the renewal process has already led to a delay in sending out some permits. In zone five, which covers the area north of Wilshire, Patterson said City Hall was unable to send out all of the new permits by Dec. 31, the date the old passes expired. He said most of the new zone five passes were distributed this week, but no tickets will be given out for expired passes in zone five through Jan. 31.

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