New York City


Boston Community Bulletin Board

Boston Complicated Sign Breakdown

Can people really “fight City Hall” if they get a parking ticket or are towed in error?

If you were given a parking ticket and believe you didn't do anything wrong, or were towed when you were parked legally, you absolutely can challenge the ticket. If you need our help, please consult with The Parking Expert. The best strategy, obviously, is to not get a ticket in the first place.

Should I fight a ticket/tow if I was parked illegally?

If you are guilty of a parking infraction, it is naturally much more difficult to fight a parking ticket or a tow. There are, however, some instances where an infraction can be contested—especially if the ticket was filled out incorrectly by the officer who wrote it. If things like the date, time, location, or type of infraction and/or the make and model of your car are improperly filled out on the ticket, the ticket should be dismissed.

Are there other tips or tricks you have for finding the best places to park in Boston?

It’s difficult to generalize, but there are some good methods to find parking in the busiest sections of big cities—usually their downtown areas or business districts. For instance, instead of trying to park in the heart of a busy Boston shopping area, say, on Newbury Street between Clarendon and Dartmouth Streets, it’s easier to find parking if you travel a little farther towards the outskirts of the city. Basically, even in places where there seems to be no street parking, there probably will be something available if you are willing to park a little farther away and walk a little bit more. Exercise is healthy, so kill two birds with one stone! Another tip: I f you call ahead to a parking garage, or go to their website and reserve ahead of time, you'll likely get a better rate.

What does it mean when a sign says “No Standing” ?

Standing actually means sitting! Specifically, it means that you are sitting behind the wheel in your parked vehicle.

What is the difference between No Standing and No Parking?

No Parking means that you can’t park your car and walk away, but you can stand in your car (see above). You can wait as long as you like while standing as long as you’re not asked to move by a police officer or traffic enforcement agent (you must move if asked). No Standing means that you can’t wait in your car for more than a few seconds (i.e., to drop off or pick up passengers).

How is No Stopping different than No Parking and No Standing?

No Stopping means exactly what it says—you can’t stop there at all, not even for one second!

What are commercial vehicles?

Commercial vehicles—generally vans and trucks that make deliveries—have special license plates. If you don’t have commercial license plates, you don’t have a commercial vehicle (no matter how big the vehicle is) and can’t park in spots designated for commercial vehicles.

In Boston, what is a Multi-Meter or “meter kiosk?"

Meter kiosks, found in many cities including Boston, are centralized meters that accept payment for designated parking spaces in the immediate area. These centralized meters are replacing the older meters at individual parking spaces. Meter kiosks accept payment for all the nearby parking spaces on the block. You put money in the machine (which usually takes credit cards and special parking cards, as well as cash) and get a receipt, which you put on your dash board facing up, so that the time at which you paid for parking and the amount of time you paid for are clearly visible.

In Boston, what are the regulations for handicapped parking?

Disability Plates are issued to qualified Massachusetts residents who are primary owners of a registered passenger vehicle or a motorcycle. Disability Placards are issued to qualified Massachusetts residents on a temporary or permanent basis. A person may be issued only one valid placard at a time.

Disability Veteran Plates are issued only to qualified Massachusetts resident veterans who meet the same qualifications as those applying for a disability plate. A statement of disability from the Veteran’s Administration must support this claim. These plates are issued only to persons who have a passenger vehicle registered in their name.

A Massachusetts issued disability plate or placard may be used in any parking space designated as HP parking. Other parking ordinances may be in effect, so obey all designated parking rules. For instance, if a sign says, "Residential Parking Only," then you must also have the proper residence parking authority. Massachusetts's law also allows vehicles with proper Disabled Parking authority to disregard all public meter fees, except for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which does not exempt meters fees for Disabled Parking.

Do not park in a cross-hatch area (Zebra Stripe) adjacent to an HP space. This area is reserved for van ramp access.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive a Disabled Persons License Plate or Parking Placard in Boston?

The following conditions meet the eligibility requirements to obtain a Disabled Persons License Plate or Parking Placard in Boston:

  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid or other assistive device.
  • Are restricted by lung disease to such a degree that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one (1) liter.
  • Use portable oxygen.
  • Have a Class III cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
  • Have a Class IV cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association. A customer in this condition must surrender his or her license.
  • Have Class III or Class IV functional arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
  • Have Stage III or Stage IV anatomic arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
  • Have been declared legally blind (please attach copy of certification). A customer in this classification must surrender his or her license.
  • Have lost one or more limbs or permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.
How do I apply for a Disabled Persons License Plate or Parking Placard in Boston?

Applications for Disabled Parking are available at all branch locations; at the Medical Affairs office, 3rd floor, 630 Washington St., Boston, MA; and on the RMV website:

All Disabled parking applications are processed at the Medical Affairs office in Boston. Walk-ins are welcome.

The application must be completed with the disabled person's personal information.

The medical information must be completed and certified by your medical professional.

Take the completed form and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV branch office or mail to:

Attn: Medical Affairs Branch
Registry of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889

What do “Alternate side street cleaning rules” mean?

These rules refer to the time of day and days of the week when the streets are cleaned. During these days/times, one side of the street will not be eligible for parking. Often—though not always—parking will be allowed during all other days/times.

I hear about people who wait in their cars and sometimes double-park during the street-cleaning times. What’s the story with that?

Very often people will move their vehicles at the last minute before the prohibited time (when one is not allowed to park), and then wait for the street cleaner to go by, at which time they will drive back to the side where they started and wait for parking to be legal again before they leave their cars. Since the street cleaning sign says “No Parking,” people can legally stand (sit behind the wheel) while waiting for the magic minute when parking is again allowed. Double-parking is never legal and you run the risk of getting an expensive parking ticket anytime you do it.

Sometimes police and traffic enforcement agents will look the other when people double-park while waiting for the street cleaner to go by, but it is not worth the risk.

Do street parking rules apply during holidays in Boston?

Daytime street cleaning rules are suspended during city holidays in Boston, a list of which can be found at:

Nighttime street cleaning rules remain in effect on holidays.

Other parking rules are in effect unless the parking sign specifically states otherwise.

Do I need to pay the parking meters if parking rules are suspended?

Some parking meter fees are not suspended on holidays in Boston, so obey what is written at all parking meters 365 days a year. Note that the City of Boston usually offers free 2 hour parking at meters on the Friday after Thanksgiving as well as on the five consecutive Saturdays between that day and New Year’s.

What does it mean when a sign says “No Parking School Days”?

This refers to days that school is in session (including summer school). Very often there are hours associated with the rules, e.g., 7am–4pm. In this case you may not park during those hours on days that school is in session.

What does “feeding the meter” mean?

Many people think it is OK to continually go back to a parking meter and put in more money so that they can stay as long as they like. Lots of people get away with this, but it is not legal. If the sign says “2-hour metered parking 8am–7pm,” then during those hours you may only stay for 2 hours at a time. If you come back during a 2-hour maximum period and put in more money so that you can stay longer, this is termed “feeding the meter” and can get you an expensive parking ticket.

How much will it cost me if I get a parking ticket in Boston?

Most Boston parking tickets cost between $40-$65, although the range is from $15–$120.

How much will it cost me if my vehicle gets towed or booted in Boston?

The city of Boston charges a fee of $56 for boot removal and $90 to retrieve your vehicle if it has been towed. Once payment in full for the booted vehicle has been received, the boot will be removed in approximately ninety (90) minutes. All payments made after 4:30 P.M. on booted vehicles are subject to next day removal.

Additional storage fees for towed vehicles will occur if the vehicle is left overnight. Before a vehicle is released from the tow pound, all outstanding parking violations, the boot removal and any storage fees must be paid. Payment for the release of a booted/towed vehicle must be paid in cash, cashier's check, money order, debit card or credit card (Visa, Mastercard). No personal or business checks will be accepted.

If a vehicle has been booted and towed, payment will be accepted at:

The City of Boston Tow Lot
200 Frontage Road
(617) 635-3900

All other payments for outstanding parking violations must be made at:

Office of the Parking Clerk
Mezzanine Level
1 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA 02201
Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 4:30pm

The parking signs indicate that it is legal to park in front of an apartment building, but the doorman told me I couldn’t park there. Was he right?

No, he was just trying to intimidate you. Whatever it says on the official parking signs is correct.

The official parking sign indicates that it is legal to park in front of a hotel, but there was a sign made by the hotel saying that I couldn’t park there. Which was right?

The official parking signs are always correct. Any signs that aren’t official are meaningless and unenforceable.

How close to a crosswalk can I park?

You can park right up to a crosswalk, as long as no signs prohibit it.

Are there best days of the week to find parking on the street?

It is generally easier to find street parking on weekends than weekdays. Specifically, Sundays are the easiest of all, as there are a fair number of parking regulations that cover either Mondays through Fridays or Mondays through Saturdays.


©2012 Tired of Parking TIckets, Inc.