New LA-Wide Valet Crackdown May Free Up Public Parking Spaces

Unpermitted valet businesses may be subject to citation, arrest or criminal charges if they do not comply with the new ordinance.

By Samia Khan, Gadi Schwartz, Kate Larsen and Christina Cocca
|  Saturday, Feb 1, 2014  |  Updated 11:52 PM PDT
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Valet Park in LA at Your Own Risk

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Valet Company Struggles to Get Permit Amid Crackdown

After Los Angeles police announced a crackdown on valet companies operating without permits, one valet parking lot manager says he feels trapped since he cannot get a hold of anyone to help him get a permit, yet does not want to run his business without one. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

Valet Crackdown Underway

A crackdown by the city of Los Angeles on regulating valet businesses is officially underway, and some are still waiting to get permits in order to operate under the law. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.
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The city of Los Angeles has officialy started its crackdown on valet operators.

Police on Saturday began enforcing new regulations on valet businesses after an ordinance passed by LA City Council went into effect in November.

Valet operators are now required to have a permit, show proof of insurance, and all valet drivers must be licensed and complete background checks.

But despite the public push to crack down on valet companies, popular valet vendors on Hollywood Boulevard operating without a permit have not yet been visited by city officials as of Saturday night, and getting the city's attention to get a permit has proven difficult for others.

WATCH: Rogue Valets Exposed

One valet parking lot manager is happy to see the change, but has had a difficult time getting permits for his valet companies.

"I think it's a very positive thing, it's about time," valet manager Younes Bennani told NBC4. "You've got small companies that come in ... some of them have licenses, some of them don't."

Bennani chose to halt operations at two of his lots until he can get a permit, but said his attempts to even get a hold of someone to help him get a permit for the last month have yet to be successful.

"I think they should have put a little bit more staff on. What's happening right now is more of a communication issue," Bennani said. "If you want to ask a question, you need to make an appointment, in order to make an appointment you have to call -- and I'm talking about calling 10, 15, 20 times to make an appointment."

"But I mean, we're not going to operate without it. I want to also follow the law," Bennani said.

WATCH: Valet Park in LA at Your Own Risk

The ordinance was a direct response to an ongoing NBC4 I-Team investigation that discovered valets posting fake signs, illegally parking, and tampering with meters to prevent drivers from parking in free spots. In some cases, valet drivers would even get tickets and never tell the owner of the vehicle, according to an NBC4 report.

"It’s frustrating when you find one and you think you got a spot and they say, 'No, you can't park there,'" one Los Angeles resident told NBC4.

Valet businesses will now be required to have a parking lot close by to park cars, as they can no longer use public street side parking, according to an NBC4 report.

WATCH: Car Thief Drives Off in $200K Mercedes Left Running by Valet

Unpermitted valet businesses may be subject to citation, arrest or criminal charges if they do not comply with the new ordinance.

Members of the public can report violations or complaints pertaining to valet businesses that do not comply with the new rules by calling the valet hotline at 323-929-2568.

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