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How to get a street occupancy permit

The permit allows you to restrict access to a section of a street or sidewalk in Boston for a certain amount of time. You apply online:

Last updated:

Before you get started

UPDATE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the process for requesting a street occupancy permit has moved entirely online.

Please keep in mind:
  • You must apply for the permit at least seven business days before you need the public space.
  • You need to let us know what type of job you need the space for and how much time you need. We also need to know your plan for traffic and your plan for hiring a Boston police detail.
  • You'll need to give us proof that you are bonded. Print out and complete this form with a bonding company.
  • If you are taking up metered spots, you need to give us the parking meter numbers. These can be found on the meter head and are two letters followed by three numbers (for example: AB123).

Make sure you know your scope of work

When applying for a permit, you need to have a working knowledge of the scope of work for your project. Some questions you need to answer include:

  • How many dumpsters are you using?
  • What is the size of the dumpster or dumpsters?
  • Will there be a chute or some other way that you will drop materials into the dumpster?
Staging and fencing:
  • What type of staging or fencing are you using?
  • Will you obstruct or close the sidewalk? If so, is there an ADA compliant pedestrian detour?
Trucks and storage containers:
  • What is the length of the truck you're using?
  • How much of the street will you use (both length and width)?
Using storage containers that occupy the street?

You need to give us a letter of authorization from the company that owns those containers. The company must hold a bond with the City.

Please keep in mind:

We reserve the right to withhold a permit if we think you haven't given us sufficient information about your scope of work.


Apply online

You will need to provide your contact information, as well as a description of the work you're planning to do:

Street Occupancy application

Please note:

Is your company not listed in either the "PERMITTEE" or "CONTRACTOR" lists of our online application? Email your full-bonded company name to and we will add you to our list.


We send you the permit

After you submit your online application, City staff will get in contact with you about your application. We will follow up with you on any questions or issues with your application. We will also email you instructions on how to pay for your permit. Once your application is finalized, we will email the permit to you.

Permit costs

The base fee is $50. Here's the breakdown for space fees:

  • ten cents ($.10) per square foot each day for the first five hundred (500) square feet occupied, and
  • five cents ($.05) per square foot each day for any additional square feet occupied.

Fees for signage ($4 each) and occupancy of metered spaces ($20 per meter per day) have stayed the same. Learn more about the change to permit feesWe take cash, a check (with a valid photo ID), money order, credit, or debit card. 


Warn your neighbors

If you are taking up space in a residential area, post signs for your neighbors at least three days before the job. We will give you a flier that you need to make copies of and leave in doorways and on cars for your neighbors.

Please place the fliers within a half-block of the space you are taking up. You need to flier each day for at least two days before your planned work.

If you are blocking off metered spots, you need to post your signs at least two days before the job, and flier at least one day before your planned work.


Clean up after you finish your work

Make sure to clean up any debris left behind and remove any signs or fliers.

You need to replace any City property that you removed from the work site. If you break any City equipment during your work, you need to either repair or replace it.

Need to Know:
Want to reserve a spot for your moving truck?

A permit for your moving truck is not required by the City of Boston, but it guarantees you a parking spot to avoid parking tickets.

moving truck information
Public Works
1 City Hall Square
Room 714
Boston, MA 02201-2024

Getting a car towed

If a car is parked at your worksite, call the Boston police at 617-343-4911.

Let them know it's not an emergency and give them the plate number. If the police can't reach the car owner, they will arrange for a tow.

Street Occupancy Permit Lookup

For questions about traffic approval, scheduling, parking meters, or signage, contact Transportation at 617-635-4675.

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