Where To Park A Moving Truck If You’re Moving To Boston

From the beginning of time, man has fought to move where he must live!

Planning a move to Boston (or moving from Boston) is going to have a number of complications that will need to be figured out. One pertinent task that must be tackled is determining the proper place to park a moving truck while you are loading or unloading your belongings. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits, reserve a loading space, or just clear the time with other tenants. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, today’s post is all about helping you legally and safely park your moving truck on moving day.

When Do You Need Parking Permits?

The City of Boston offers parking permits for moving trucks. Street occupancy permits reserve a specific length of parking for a specific day (sometimes a range of dates). Permits need to be obtained at least three days prior to your move (in person at City Hall), or 2-4 weeks prior to your move through the City of Boston website; it is imperative that you seek out the permit on time if you should need one.

Anytime that you need to park a moving truck (or van) on a street in Boston (any Boston neighborhood), you are going to want to seek out permits. Permits will do two main things for you; first, it reserves your parking space so you don’t have to worry about where you need to park, and second, it will prevent you from getting potentially expensive parking violations. If another car is in your reserved parking space, you just call BPD and they will attempt to contact the owner or have the car towed, if necessary.

The typical fee for parking permits is $69, but that could change if you have a particularly large truck, or if you need parking on consecutive days, or if there are parking meters (which are bought out for $20/day/meter).

What If You Have A Driveway?

If your house has a driveway, there is a good chance that you will not need to get parking permits for the truck. It is important that your driveway has ample clearance for whatever moving vehicle you may be using; often times a large box truck or tractor/trailer is simply not going to be able to get into a very narrow driveway, or one with branches or other objects hanging <13′ high. If you are uncertain whether your driveway will be sufficient, you can consult with a moving expert to get a professional opinion on the matter.

If your driveway does have the required clearance, you may need to clear time with your landlord, property manager, or other tenants. Whatever needs to be done to make sure that the parking space is vacant when the moving truck arrives should be done.

Parking In A Commercial Loading Zone or Loading Dock

Many buildings, particularly the larger buildings, will have access exclusively for trucks loading/unloading. Whether this is a ‘loading zone’ or a ‘loading dock’ usually doesn’t make a big difference, the process is almost always the same. You will need to speak with the property management to clear a date and time for your move. Usually a simple call to the building’s front desk will be able to put you in touch with the right person to reserve your appointment.

Failure To Obtain Parking Spaces On Time

In some circumstances, it can be impossible to obtain the required parking on time for the move. Moving has ways of being unpredictable, and sometimes you just have to get out and didn’t have the proper time or ability to reserve parking for your move. Can you still move? Of course. But there are some additional risks that you could be facing.

For one thing, you could be stuck wasting time trying to find a safe place to park the truck. Safe doesn’t always mean legal, so you could also potentially face expensive parking violations. There is also the possibility that the safest place to stop the truck could be a considerable distance away from where you are moving from/to, which is going to add time and cost to your move. In extreme situations, we have been forced to postpone a moving job because there simply was no place to park, and BPD was actively blocking our truck from stopping at all; in these last-minute postponement jobs, the customers are unfortunately required to pay a cancellation fee, and oftentimes they have to wait at least three more days before they are able to get the parking permit and park legally.

No matter what your situation is, if you are moving within Boston, you have to take time to make sure that you will have a place for your truck. Any location that you have to park at (if you are loading or unloading at multiple addresses) should have parking arrangements made in advance. Failure to do so is taking on additional risks that are easily avoided.

Parking Permits For Moving In Boston Now Available Online!

The process of obtaining parking permits for your move in Boston has gotten a bit simpler today. For the first time, residents of Boston are able to obtain single-day moving permits through the City of Boston Website. As always, there are certain guidelines that must be followed, but this should make your permit acquisition easier, and you can save the money that it costs to hire a service (like our own) to do this.

To be eligible for online permits, you must be getting single day moving truck permits, and it must be 2-4 weeks in advance of your move. If your move is in less than two weeks, you must still obtain your permits in person at City Hall. The permits are also not available for the North End, and for certain streets and areas (such as Park Drive).

That means that all of you looking for help with permits on September 1 can apply today and save yourself the trip to City Hall (or possible posting fees of hiring somebody). There are lots of people moving in Boston this busy summer, and this should alleviate some pressure for a lot of them.

Parking permits have been a requirement for parking a moving truck on-street in Boston. Up until now, if you wanted to obtain your permit for a move, you would have to go to City Hall in person, or at least hire a person or company who would be willing to make the trip for you. Online permits have been available in Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville for some time now, and it is a great step forward to see Boston finally streamlining this process for its residents.

If you have a move scheduled and it is at least two weeks away, you can use this simple online application to obtain your permit. And if you’re still looking for movers for your August 31-September 1 move, Big City Moving Company has limited appointments remaining. Contact us today to secure your appointment for the busiest moving week of the year in the city of Boston.

For more great information about this new policy, check out this article by Sanjay Salomon over at Boston.com.

When Should You Get A Parking Permit For Your Move?

J.S. submitted the following question:

I am moving from Allston to Back Bay. Will I get a ticket if I don’t get a moving permit for either location? I am planning on starting the move around 9am on a Saturday. 

In short, you’re going to want to obtain parking permits for this move. A parking permit will reserve the best possible parking space for the truck on your move, which will reduce the move time. There will be no wasted time searching for a parking spot, which will also reduce the time. Obtaining a permit will also help eliminate the risk of a parking violation, which can be quite costly for a commercial moving truck.

If you’re planning a move in Boston, there’s only a few scenarios where we would not recommend getting a parking permit for the move:

Driveway – if you have your own driveway that can accommodate a large moving truck, no permit will be necessary. Be sure to measure out all three dimensions – a lot of people overlook the height issue, but a low hanging wire or branch can prevent you from parking the moving truck in the driveway.

Parking Lot – If your building has it’s own parking lot, you might not have to get a permit. You should check in with the property manager and find out if you are allowed to park the truck in the lot, and make a reservation if necessary. Some parking lots are not made for a large truck, so be sure to check with the property manager in advance.

Loading Dock – If your building has a loading dock, you should not need a parking permit. In most cases, the loading dock will need to be reserved in advance, so make sure you reach out to a property manager well in advance of the move.

Commercial Loading Zone – In some rare cases, a building will have its own commercial loading zone available to tenants. Find out if this space needs to be reserved in advance so you can decide if you can use that, or if you’d be better off getting a parking permit.

Other than those (somewhat rare) scenarios, we always suggest obtaining a parking permit for your move. If you need help, Big City Moving Co. can help obtain permits for Boston (all neighborhoods), Cambridge, Somerville, & Brookline. There’s also The Permit Guy or Permit Puller, who can be hired to obtain permits in the Greater Boston area as well.

Thank you, J.S., for submitting a question! We appreciate the chance to answer all your moving questions right here on our blog. To submit your own question, click here