Parking in and around Boston can be a challenge even with a compact car, let alone a moving truck. We advocate parking permits for all moves occuring in an urban area. We do this for multiple reasons. Parking is one of the variables when it comes to the cost of a move. If we have to park a few blocks away and walk a long distance, that’s going to make a huge differnce in the price. Conversely, if we can get an excellent parking spot very close to your entry, that will allow the move to be more efficient, and therefore economical. Parking permits both allow us to get a better spot, but also make the move more predictable. If we don’t know where we’re going to be able to park, it’s impossible to formulate an accurate estimate. When there’s a parking permit, we have a pretty good idea of how the truck will be positioned. If you would like us to take care of the permits we can do so for you for $125 in Brookline and Somerville, $80 in Cambridge and $175 in Boston.
Parking permits are non-refundable. We will not be held liable for any moving van permit signs we request. If the signs gets removed somehow or ruined by weather or city/state employees fail to put them up (Cambridge, Somerville and state owned roads) we will not issue a refund.
Different cities have different parking permit costs, requirements and availability. We’ve outlined some basic information about each of the local towns that we frequently serve who offer parking permits.
If you’d like us to get the Cambridge parking permit for you we can do that for $80, including the cost of the permit. As with Boston, telling us if you live on a street with meters and what those meter numbers are is very helpful. Unlike Boston, we don’t put these signs up for you. The City of Cambridge puts up the signs. So, if there is an issue it is best to call them up about it even if we are the ones who requested the signs for you.
Cambridge is the easiest city to get parking permits in if you’re looking to save money and want to do it yourself. All requests can be made online or in person. Either way you will need to provide your name, your telephone number and you e-mail address. You will also need to provide the name of your moving company, if you’re using one, and their telephone number. You do not need to list a contact person, fax number or e-mail address if you are requesting the permit yourself. Beyond contact info, the City of Cambridge wants to know the date(s) you need the permit for, the address you want the permit for, how big the truck will be (we’ll provide you with that information) and what the parking is like at that location (resident permit, metered, etc). Once you fill out the form you’ll pay the fee. This can be done with credit card in Cambridge. The price increases based on things like length of time the permit is requested for and whether there are meters being covered. Also, each address you are requesting a permit for requires a new application. For instance, if you are moving within Cambridge and you need a moving van permit for each location you need to fill out the form twice, once for each address.
The most important thing to remember when trying to get a Cambridge moving van permit is that they require at least four business days to process the request. If you try on a Friday (when they close at noon) to request a parking permit for Tuesday, you’ll be denied because that’s only three business days. This fact is important both when you’re asking us to get a permit for you and when you are requesting one yourself. Either way, the latest you can submit a request is four business days in advance of the move.
We charge $125 per permit to obtain Somerville moving van parking permits.
If you’d like to get the permit yourself go to the Office of Traffic and Parking at 133 Holland St. Somerville (its just outside Davis Sq.). The office is open Monday through Wednesday 9 AM to 4 PM, Thursday from 9 AM to 7 PM and Friday from 9 AM to 12 PM. To save some time when you get there, download the form you’ll need and fill it out. The Office of Traffic and Parking is also where people go to pay parking tickets and get residential parking stickers so be prepared for long wait times.
Once there you’ll be called up to one of the teller windows. Hand over your filled out form and get ready to pull out your checkbook. Somerville charges $40 per day per permit and $5 per parking sign. So, for example, if you are moving from one address in Somerville to another and you need permits at each location it would cost you $100 (two permits at $40 apiece and 4 signs at $5 apiece). Additionally, Somerville charges for metered spots. If you need to have us park at metered spots you’ll need to have those meter numbers with you before you go to obtain your moving van permit. Metered spots in Somerville cost $25 per bagged meter plus a $25 service fee.
Once your charges are determined and you pay the teller will give you signs for the trucks. They’re cardboard signs with information about your permit. Keep these to put in the front window of the moving trucks on the day of the move. You will have to put the signs up yourself.
As for a timeline, the website doesn’t list how early you need to apply for a moving van permit. Go at least two business days in advance to request a moving van permit, earlier in the busy summer months.
We don’t offer a permit procurement service for Boston. We suggest permitpuller.com or doing it yourself (see below).
If you live in Boston and its neighborhoods – this includes Allston, Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Charlestown, Roxbury, the South End, etc. – then you can get a parking permit through the City of Boston. You would then go down to City Hall at least 48 hours in advance (their offices are closed on weekends) and head to the 7th floor and go to room 721, the Boston Transportation Department, which is right near the elevators. They’ll ask you to sign in and then you’ll wait for one of the people who work there to come and call for whose next. Explain what date you want and what the address is. They will also ask you how much space you need for the truck. You will have to pay by check. The BTD charges $4/sign, so typically $8 total. After you receive your signs go down the hall to room 714. This is the Public Works Department and they will have received your information from BTD. They’ll hand you a permit to sign. They’ll also tell you the fee, which can be paid by check, money order or cash. The fee is variable based on the size of the truck, number of meters being covered, etc. If you live on a street with meters you’ll need to note the meter numbers we’ll be blocking with our truck. That information is very helpful to us as well if we’re the ones getting the permits. Once they have payment and you’ve signed the permit they’ll hand you your copy of the permit, which you should keep available for the day of the move.
Keeping the permit paperwork is very important for the move. There’s a lot of important information in that little packet. First, the actual permit should be displayed on our truck dashboard. Its kind of an insurance policy for the parking signs. Second, there’s information in there about what to do if someone is parking in your marked off spot. If you notice there is someone parked in your spot the day of your move let us know as soon as possible. Then, call 911. It sounds ridiculous but its right there in the City issued permit paperwork. You call 911, let them know its not an emergency and they will direct your call to the appropriate person. This will start the wheels in motion to get the offending car towed. Towing cars takes a long time and might not the best course of action, but it is always an option when you’ve got the permit to be there. Often, because it usually takes an hour or more to get a tow, we double park or find another space to put the truck. Having the permit should keep us from getting a ticket if we have to park somewhere funny because another car is in our place.
Once you have your signs and permit paperwork you can go about the business of physically posting the signs. As previously mentioned, its best to do it as close to the 48 hour mark as is reasonable. Parking signs can disappear for any number of reasons. The less time those signs are up there the less time there is for them to disappear.
Actually putting them up can be a challenge. Zip ties or heavy duty tape such as packing tape often works well for putting them up. There are many, many spots in Boston where good sign locations are few and far between. Do what you have to do to put them up. They can be adhered to fences, light posts and trees, to name a few. Don’t put them up on fire hydrants, bus stop signs or anything else that might get you or us in trouble. Remember to take them down when you’re done. The fine for leaving them up after the move is $300.
There are some other challenges to parking permits as well. One thing to think about is whether or not you live on a private way. They’re all over the place in Boston and City Hall can’t issue permits for them because private ways are not owned by the City. If you live on a private way you’ll have to kindly ask your neighbors to leave space for the moving truck. Its also important to be aware of street festivals or closings. The City will not issue a permit for a road that’s closed off due to a street festival or road work. Also, if someone else has already requested a permit for the same spot on the same day you will not be able to get a permit. In that case, you can hopefully just request a spot a little further up or down the road or around the corner. You can check for already issued permits on the City’s website. With that in mind, there are certain times of year where that is more likely than others. September 1st, everyone’s least favorite day to move, is going to be a tough day to get a permit as it approaches.
Obtaining a parking permit for the town of Brookline is a pretty straight forward affair. If you would like us to get the permit for you we charge $125/permit in Brookline, which includes going to get the permit, the cost of the permit and putting it up.
If you would like to take care of the permit yourself the first thing you do is go to 333 Washington St. in Brookline, which is the Brookline Town Hall. On the 4th floor is the Transportation Division, which where you will both pay for and pick up your “no parking” signs.
Each sign costs $5, so you’ll be paying $10 for two. In addition to the sign fee, you’ll have to pay $7.50 per meter space if the truck will be occupying meter spaces during your move. You will have to put the signs up yourself. Per the Town of Brookline, signs cannot be put up until the night before the move. The town issued signs and paperwork will state the time. You can request a parking as far in advance as you’d like, but the signs can’t go up until the night before. The office is not open on weekends, so if you have a Monday move scheduled you’ll need to go get your signs on Friday at the latest.
If you have any further questions, either specific to your particular move or about information that wasn’t covered here, you can call the Transportation Division at 617.730.2177.
Towns that don’t have parking permits
Many Massachusetts cities don’t offer moving van permits. Most of the time it is because its generally not a necessity due to either abundant street parking or a high number of driveways. The more suburban you get the more likely you are to find a lack of moving van permits.
For instance, Arlington, Lexington, Malden, Medford, and Newton do not offer moving van permits. Generally, not having a moving van permit in these or similar towns is not a problem. However, if you know that the address you are moving into or out of has particularly difficult street parking you can either park your own car in a spot and move it when we arrive or kindly ask your neighbors to find other spots for a few hours while we move you.
Some roads, particularly in Boston, are not owned by the City, but by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For example, the Jamaicaway/Arborway are state owned roads. Even though they are in the City of Boston, the City cannot issue moving van permits for addresses on state owned roads.
The only way to find out if a street is state or city owned is to call. The City of Boston parking office is the first place to try. If they tell you the street belongs to the state then the next step to is call the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) at 617.626.1297. Its possible the DCR will tell you the road in quesiton doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction either, but that’s a rarity. If the road is their’s, the DCR will e-mail you an application. The application must be filled out and returned with a check (as of right now its $100) at least six calendar days prior to the permit date. The paperwork needs to be delivered to their office at 215 Causeway St. Boston and they will issue you your permit. The DCR puts up the signs themselves so the purchaser (whether it be the moving company or the customer) has no control about when they go up or where exactly they are placed.
Police details are available in special circumstances in all towns. For instance, if a crane in necessary for a move job a police detail is required in the City of Boston. Also, if you reside on a busy street with no shoulder and no driveway, the town or city might require a police detail to direct traffic around the moving truck. Police details are a case-by-case situation and the charges for them vary by town. If you’d like us to procure a police detail for your move we charge a $50 service fee, plus the cost of the officers.