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Tips for avoiding parking tickets

Tips for avoiding parking tickets

Parking in Boston can be difficult. We hope this guide will help clear up some of the confusion.

You need to always check for parking signs

An arrow on a parking sign will point in the direction of restricted parking. If a sign doesn’t have an arrow, or there are two arrows pointed in opposite directions, it means the whole street is affected by the parking restriction.

What do ‘No Stopping’ and ‘No Standing’ signs mean?

In a “No Stopping” zone, you can’t park your car or stop to make a drop off, a pick up, or load your car.

In a “No Standing” zone, you can’t park your car, but you can make a drop off, a pick up, or load your car. Commercial vehicles can’t load or unload in a “No Standing” zone.

Are you parking in a ‘Resident Parking Only’ neighborhood?

If you see a “Resident Parking Only” sign in a neighborhood, it means you need a resident parking permit sticker for that neighborhood. Commercial vehicles can park for up to three hours on streets with resident parking.

How to get a resident parking permit sticker.

Pay attention to street cleaning signs

Street cleaning takes place on most streets from April 1 until November 30. On some main roads, street cleaning happens all year. You can check the street cleaning schedule online and sign up for alerts.

What are the parking meter rules in Boston?

At most meters, you can only park in the spot for two hours. After two hours, you need to move your car to another City block. If a meter is broken, you can park there free for one hour.

During rush hour, many metered streets in downtown Boston become an extra travel lane. Please check the meter and signs posted on the street for a schedule.

Learn more about parking meters

Don't park on sidewalks and crosswalks, or block intersections

You can’t park vehicles — including motorcycles — on any part of the sidewalk or crosswalk on a Boston street. You can’t park a car within 20 feet of an intersection, unless it’s at a metered parking spot.

You need to keep your car inspection current

If you drive a car with an expired sticker, you are breaking the law. Also, a parked car with an expired sticker can get a ticket.

What happens during snow emergencies and travel bans?

We restrict parking on most main streets during major snowstorms so plows, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles can use the roads.

We will announce a snow emergency and list streets where you can't park at You can also sign up to get alerts when a snow emergency is declared or lifted.

Still have questions? Contact:
Parking Clerk
1 City Hall Square
Room 224
Boston, MA 02201-2007
United States
Still have questions?

Contact us at 617-635-4410.