Street Occupancy Sign

Street Occupancy Permits

Any occupation of a public way in Boston requires a Street Occupancy Permit authorizing the permit holder to restrict access to that portion of the street for the length of time specified on the permit.  Examples of work that require obtaining a Street Occupancy Permit include moving, construction, utility maintenance or relocation, and dumpster location.

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Database contains 2664 permits last updated 3/30/2015 4:27:53 PM

Obtaining a Street Occupancy Permit

Street Occupancy Permits must be obtained in person at Boston City Hall, and cannot be obtained by mail or online. However, you can have a representative come to City Hall for you, provided this person comes with all the paperwork described below. The application process takes 15 minutes. During busy summer months, wait times can last upwards of an hour. Application hours are 9AM - 5PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Permits are issued jointly by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD). PWD is located in Room 715 of City Hall. Permits are issued by PWD based on a Traffic Approval Form processed by BTD in Room 721 of City Hall.

The vast majority of Street Occupancy Permits that are given solely for moving purposes are issued for one day only from 7AM - 5PM and permit holders are asked to remove temporary signs to open space up for other purposes if their move is completed prior to 5PM.

When to Obtain Permits

Permits must be obtained 3 days in advance for residential locations, with signs posted a minimum of 48 hours in advance of occupancy. If you are moving Sunday, a permit must be obtained no later than the previous Thursday. In residential areas, it is strongly recommended that signs are posted earlier than the minimum required time. This is to avoid having to tow a vehicle belonging to a neighbor who may leave the vehicle for a day or two without checking on it.

Permits must be obtained 3 days in advance for metered locations, with signs posted a minimum of 24 hours in advance of occupancy.

You are welcome to obtain your permit up to 2 weeks in advance of your move (BTD must factor in special events, construction activity, etc.) when issuing permits for your move date.

Requirements Before Receiving a Permit

The permit applicant must supply the following information:

  • Type of job
  • Length of time involved
  • Plan to allow for vehicular and pedestrian access (if applicable)
  • Plan to hire Boston Police Detail whenever digging will take place or whenever extenuating circumstances deem it necessary by the City of Boston.
  • Proof of Bond and Bond Form (required for all street occupancy permits other than moving permits).  

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to notify residents and businesses in the adjacent area of upcoming work on a public way that may be disruptive to the neighborhood. Notification is required by both signs and flyers.

PLEASE NOTE: Late July through the end of August, feasts that require street closures take place each weekend in Boston's North End neighborhood. Those seeking street occupancy permits for the North End during this time frame must contact (in advance) Patricia Papa, Special Events Liaison, at 617-828-2509, to schedule accordingly so that permitted work may take place safely and efficiently, but without interferring with these popular events.


"No Parking" signs made of cardboard must be posted within the confines of the area to be restricted. The dates and times that the Street Occupancy Permit has been issued for, and/or that parking has been restricted for, must be clearly stated on each sign. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to post all necessary signs a minimum of 48 hours prior to the start of work in residential neighborhoods and a minimum of 24 hours prior to the start of work in non-residential areas. 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 (example: AB123 or XY789). The meter charge is waived on Sundays. If the occupancy is only for late evening and nighttime hours, then it depends on the individual meter and the color of the meter-head cap.

The permit application is a two-step process. Immediately after receiving traffic approval from BTD in Room 721, applicants receive their permit from PWD in Room 715. 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. All fees are payable by check, money order, debit card, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover), or cash and must be paid in Room 715. 

In summary, please bring the following information to City Hall at least 3 days before your permit is needed:

  1. Proof of Bond and Bond Form (required for all street occupancy permits other than moving permits).  
  2. Any parking meter-head numbers at the location
  3. Payment (check, money order, debit card, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover), or cash) for all fees associated with obtaining the permit (signs, meters, space occupied). 

Other Requirements

At the time of permit issuance, BTD will supply the permit holder with one flyer outlining pertinent information for abutters. The permit holder is required to duplicate the flyer and distribute flyers in doorways and on vehicles within a one-half block area. This should be done each day, for two days prior to the start of work in residential neighborhoods and one day prior for work done in commercial areas.

When the permit takes effect, if the permit holder finds a vehicle still parked in the work-site, then the permit holder should call the police at 617-343-4911. Inform the police dispatcher that this is a non-emergency, and give them the plate number for the vehicle. The police will run the plate and attempt to contact the vehicle owner (at their discretion). If unsuccessful, they will arrange for towing the vehicle.

The permit holder is required to ensure that the work-site and the surrounding area are clean and clear of debris that may cause public safety hazards. Fire hydrants must remain unobstructed. Upon completion of the job, the permit holder must clean the site thoroughly and remove any remaining signs or flyers.

Any City of Boston equipment that has been broken must be repaired or replaced by the permit holder. In addition, any City property that has been removed from the work-site must be replaced. This includes traffic and parking signs, traffic signals and control boxes, underground conduit and crosswalks and other pavement markings.

Meter and Kiosk Requirements


For questions about traffic approval, scheduling, parking meters, or signage, contact BTD at 617-635-4675/4680.

For all other questions including bonds, fees, moving permits, etc. contact PWD at 617-635-4909/4910.


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