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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 need to get your permit at Boston City Hall:

Last updated:

Before you make your trip to City Hall

Moving trucks

Are you just looking to reserve a spot for your moving truck? We created a separate guide to help you through the process.

What you need

You must get the permit three days before you need the public space. You can only get permits in person at City Hall, but you can send someone for you.

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 must 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 may 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.


    Set money aside to pay for your permit

    Starting on July 1, 2017, we changed the fee structure for street occupancy permits. 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 fees.


    You won't be subject to the new rates when you renew your permit.


    Get traffic approval

    You need to bring your information to the Transportation Department at City Hall for traffic approval. The address is:

    1 City Hall Square, Room 721
    Boston, MA 02201

    Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


    Pick up your permit

    After you get traffic approval, bring your information, proof of bond, and payment to Public Works in Room 715 at City Hall.

    We 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. The Transportation Department will give you a flyer that you need to make copies of and leave in doorways and on cars for your neighbors.

    Please place the flyers within a half-block of the space you are taking up. You need to flyer 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 flyer 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 flyers.

    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
    United States

    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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