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Tips for Avoiding Parking Tickets in Boston

Finding a parking spot in Boston can be hard. Here are some guidelines to make the experience less confusing.

Always Check Parking Signs

  • Look in both directions for parking signs.

  • An arrow on the sign will point to the part of the street that has restricted parking.

  • If a sign does not have arrows or the arrows point in both directions, the restriction apples to the entire block.

Understand "No Stopping/Standing" Signs

  • A "No-Stopping" sign means that vehicles cannot stand, park, drop-off, pick-up, or load.

  • A "No Standing" sign means that vehicles cannot park, but they can pick-up, drop-off or load.

  • Commercial vehicles cannot load or unload in a "No Standing" zone.

Be Aware of Resident Parking

  • Many streets in Boston neighborhoods limit parking to residents only. A "Resident Parking" sign means that you must have a resident parking permit to park.

  • Commercial vehicles can park for up to 3 hours on streets with resident parking.

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Check Street Cleaning Schedules

  • Street cleaning happens in most neighborhoods from April 1 through November 30. You can check the street cleaning schedule online and sign up for reminders via email and text.

Understand Parking Meter Rules

  • Most meters in Boston have a two hour parking limit. After two hours, you can move your vehicle to a new meter if it's on a different block.

  • If a single space meter isn't working, you can park there for up to one hour for free.

  • During rush hour, many Downtown meter spaces become an extra travel lane. Read both the meter and signs for a schedule.

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Don't Block Sidewalks, Crosswalks, or Intersections

  • Vehicles, including motorcycles, cannot park on any part of the sidewalk or crosswalk.

  • Vehicles cannot park within twenty feet of an intersection unless it is at a single space meter. Parking too close to an intersection can prevent someone with a physical disability from using the curb ramp.

Keep Your Inspection Current

  • In Massachusetts, driving with an expired inspection sticker is a violation of the law. Parked vehicles with expired stickers can receive tickets.

Understand Snow Emergencies and Travel Bans

  • You cannot park on many main streets during snow emergencies. This restriction makes streets accessible for plows, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.

  • The City announces snow emergencies and lists no-parking streets on CityofBoston.gov/Snow. You can sign up to get an email, text, or voice alert when a snow emergency is declared or lifted.

If you did get a parking ticket

Find information about paying your ticket or appealing your ticket.

To save time and avoid paying late fees, sign up for parking ticket alerts. Drivers must have Massachusetts registration to sign up.

Parking Apps

  • ParkBoston: Meters Paid by App

    No more digging for quarters; you can now pay for street parking in Boston with your phone. ParkBoston is a mobile app for iPhones and Androids and will work at meters marked with the ParkBoston sign.

    Learn More

  • Ticketzen: Helping You Pay Your Parking Tickets

    Ticketzen is a mobile app that helps you pay your parking tickets using your smartphone.