Everything You Need to Know About Boston Parking Permits

Last Updated: December 14, 2015

boston parking permit

If you’ve ever driven around residential areas in Boston you know how necessary it is to have a Boston parking permit. Many streets have regulations so that you can only park if you have a resident parking permit or are a visitor of a resident. This guide to Boston parking permits will tell you everything you need to know about applying for and using a Boston parking permit while saving time at City Hall!

And what about parking permits for moving? We can tell you about that too! The process for obtaining a “street occupancy permit” – which is what you need when you move – is a bit different. Read on for more information.

How to Get a Resident Parking Permit in Boston

1. Pay outstanding parking ticketsBefore you even start your application for a resident parking permit in Boston, make sure you pay any parking tickets you may have accumulated. The City of Boston will not accept Boston parking permit applications or renewals for people with unpaid parking tickets. Pay your Boston parking tickets now.

2. Online application Once you have all outstanding parking tickets settled, you can begin your application for a resident parking permit. SAVE YOURSELF A TRIP TO CITY HALL AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ONLINE. If you are unable to apply online, follow the next few steps to complete the process in person.

3. Fill out a Resident Parking Application FormThe first step in applying for a resident parking permit in person is to complete the Resident Parking Application Form, which you will eventually bring in to City Hall for review. Download the Resident Parking Application Form  here and complete the form to the best of your ability.

4. Gather the required materials Before you go to City Hall to turn in your application, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need. You must bring your completed Resident Parking Application Form, a valid Massachusetts automobile registration and proof of residency, which is described on the City of Boston’s website.

5. Go to the Office of the Parking Clerk The last step in the process to apply for a resident parking permit in Boston is to visit the Resident Parking Division at the Office of the Parking Clerk located at City Hall in Room 224. They are available Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. A City Hall representative said that it can be busy at different times depending on the day and was unable to recommend a best time to go to Boston City Hall.

BONUS TIP – You can also visit City Hall To Go, City Hall’s mobile unit that brings representatives to different Boston neighborhoods. View their schedule to see when they’re coming to you!

***Make sure to display your permit in your car’s rear window on the passenger side***

What is the fine if you don’t have a permit?

If you find yourself in a resident permit parking only zone, don’t try to get away with parking there! You can expect a $40 fine for parking without a permit. If you don’t pay your ticket in time, there will be a $13 late penalty added to your initial fine. You can read more about Boston parking tickets here if you do get a fine.

How soon after getting a car do you need a permit?

The City of Boston recommends getting a resident parking permit before you get a new car because there is no buffer period in which you do not need a permit. However, if your permit application has been approved but you are waiting for the physical sticker, you should be ok parking in your resident parking zone.

How to Get a Moving Parking Permit in Boston

1. Start the process in advance Make sure you get an early start on your quest for a moving permit in Boston. Street occupancy permits (the type you use when you move) must be obtained at least 3 days in advance for residential locations and 2 days in advance for metered locations.

2. Have your information ready Boston moving permits must be obtained in person in City Hall. Before you go, it is important to have all the necessary materials ready to bring with you. To apply for a moving permit, the City of Boston’s website instructs that you must be prepared with the following:

  • Type of job the permit is for
  • Length of time involved
  • Plan to allow for vehicular or pedestrian access (if applicable)
  • Plan to hire Boston Police detail whenever deemed necessary by the City of Boston

3. Go to City Hall Moving permits can only be obtained in person at City Hall. However you may have a representative come on your behalf as long as he/she comes with the appropriate information. Moving permits are issued by the Boston Transportation Department in Room 721 and the Public Works Department in Room 715. Application hours are from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

***Make sure you set aside some time for this process – wait times can be up to an hour during busy summer months; the application itself only takes 15 minutes.***

4. Use appropriate signage Although you already have a moving permit, the process is not over. As the holder of a moving permit, it is your responsibility to notify the adjacent public of upcoming disruption/work in the area. Appropriate signs and flyers are required forms of notification.


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