If you live in one of the main neighborhoods in Boston such as the North End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, or South End then you know how difficult it is to find parking. When dealing with a large vehicle like a moving truck, it becomes near impossible to find a place to park. Since most moving companies charge based on the amount of time your move takes, you want the moving truck parked as close to the entrance to your building as possible. You also want to avoid having to pay tickets that the movers receive for double parking or non resident parking. Luckily the city of Boston does allow residents to obtain parking permits for their relocations (We say luckily because some cities like NYC do not). Below is all the information you need on how to obtain a Parking Permit for your Boston move.
When to Obtain Boston Permit:
If you’re trying to reserve parking in a residential area permits must be obtained at least 3 days before your move. If you are moving on a Sunday, a permit must be obtained no later than the previous Thursday. The signs themselves must be posted a minimum of 48 hours in advance of your move in order to give owners of the cars parked on your street sufficient notice to move their cars. Although from a politeness perspective we really do recommend that you post the signs much earlier than 48 hours in advance. We have run into a few situations where one of our customers had a car towed only to find out that it belonged to a friendly neighbor who hadn’t check on it for a day or two.
If you’re trying to reserve parking in a metered area permits must be obtained 2 days in advance, with signs posted a minimum of 24 hours before your move. Less notice is required for reserving metered spaces because people can’t leave their car there for extended periods of time.
Where to Obtain Boston Parking Permit:
Boston City Hall
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Unfortunately Street Occupancy Permits must be obtained in person at Boston City Hall, and cannot be obtained by telephone, mail, or online. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to go yourself. A friend, partner, or family member can get it for you as long as they have proper funds and paperwork. Another option is to have your Boston moving company (such as DN Van Lines) obtain the permit for you.
The application process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the time of the year. During the busy summer months when everyone is moving, wait times can last upwards of an hour. Office hours are 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, except for when City Hall is closed due to federal holidays.
Once you are in City Hall go first to the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) located in Room 721. You will need to fill out a Traffic Approval Form and have it processed by BTD. You will then take the approved form to the Public Works Department (PWD) located in Room 715 of City Hall. This is where you get the Street Occupancy Permit itself as well as the signs that you will need to post in order for the movers to have parking.
How Much a Move Parking Permit Costs:
The cost of the permit is based on the size of the truck. There is a base fee of $50.00 with an additional fee of $1 per square foot based on the size of the truck and the space needed to load/unload. The base fee is for 40 feet of reserved space. This should be sufficient unless you have a tractor trailer coming for your move. 40 feet is plenty of space to park a local moving truck.
Signs must be purchased at a cost of $4.00 each with a minimum of two “No Parking” signs required. For occupancy of metered spaces there is an additional payment of $20.00 per meter head per day. Applicants must supply the department with the individual parking meter numbers. These numbers are two letters followed by three digits (AB 123). The meter charge is waived on Sundays. If the occupancy is only for late evening or nighttime hours, then inquire with the BTD to try and get the fee waived. All fees are payable by check, money order, or cash.
Other Things to Know About Boston Move Permits:
When you get your permit the BTD will give you a flyer outlining all the information that someone who is currently parked where you are reserving space needs to know. You are required to make multiple copies of this flyer and post it on doorways and vehicles within about a 20 ft radius of where you are reserving parking for your moving truck. This needs to be done each day for at least two days prior to your move date. It can become taxing to do this but it is common courtesy to let your neighbors know that if they don’t move their cars so that your moving company can park, that their car will be towed.
On the Day of the Move:
If on the day of your move you find that a vehicle is still parked where you reserved parking then you should call the police at 617-343-4911. Inform the police that it is not an emergency and give them the plate number for the vehicle. The police will run the plate and attempt to contact the vehicle owner. If after a while they can reach the owner they will call in a tow truck. Please keep in mind that this can take a long time, often over an hour. Be smart and check a few hours before the moving crew arrives and make the call then, instead of waiting for the last minute.
Once the movers arrive and are parked there is not much you need to do other than use your common sense. Make sure that the area is clean and clear of trash and equipment the will create a safety hazard. Make sure fire hydrants aren’t being blocked. Try to be respectful of your neighbors concerns. You don’t want your first or last impression with your neighbors to be a negative one.
After the Boston Move:
When the move is over you are required to clean the area thoroughly. You have to remove both the signs you put up and the flyers that you distributed. If anything City property was damages during the move you are required to inform PWD and may be held responsible for the associated costs. Also any City property that has been removed during the move must be replaced. This includes parking signs, traffic signals, control boxes, underground conduit and crosswalks and other pavement markings.
Boston Transportation Department (BTD)
Public Works Department (PWD)