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Navigate the Maze of Boston Moving Permits like a Pro with Our Handy Guide

If you’re moving in Boston, you’ll need to pick up some Boston Moving Permits. How badly you’ll need these permits, of course, depends on the neighborhood. Some buildings in Boston have a dedicated garage for movers or a spot for moving companies that do not require a permit. Check with your property manager first to determine if you will need a permit. Here is a quick video on how to get your Boston Moving Permit. 

If you prefer to hire a service, rather than spend the 2-4 hours to order the permit, travel to city hall, wait in line, pick it up, print out letters for cars, laminate the permit ( they are made of paper and can get ruined in rain/snow), and post the permits – you can hire a low cost service called Boston Moving Permit. Mastodon Moving will also get you a Boston moving permit.

What Happens If You Don’t Get A Moving Permit

If you hire a moving company or rent a truck and don’t get a moving permit, you risk the chance of getting your move shut down. In the past, police may have let this slide. However, because it has become an issue this is not the case in 2023 going forward. Moving trucks double parked or in front of hydrants are not just getting a ticket they are told to leave. Do not take this chance. Hire Boston Movers who will ensure you will have a moving permit for every move.

DIY Boston Moving Permits

Getting a moving permit in Boston without a moving company will require you to either go to city hall yourself or hire a Boston moving permit company which will get your permit with a fee or if you can get a boston moving permit online.

Boston Moving Permits at City Hall

Boston City Hall is the place to go to pick up Boston Moving Permits

If your move day is more than a month away or within the next two weeks, you’ll need to make a trip to city hall

Before you go all the way downtown, however, you’ll need a few things.

What You’ll need to get Permits from City Hall

-Money: The City now accepts cash, personal checks, and credit and debit cards for in-person payments for Boston Moving Permits. For one spot for a single moving truck, you should expect to spend about $69 total for the permits.

-Time: You cannot wait until the last minute to get your moving permits. To reserve a spot for a truck in a residential area, you have to obtain your permits AT LEAST 3 DAYS prior to your move. For example, if you’re moving on a Sunday, you have to get the permits by the previous Thursday. If you live in a metered area, you need to obtain your permits AT LEAST 2 DAYS prior to your move. It’s also important to bring your patience — sometimes the process will only take ten minutes out of your day, while other times it could take more than a few hours.

-Exceptions: Think the rules don’t apply to you?

Picking Up Your Boston Moving Permit

There are two ways to get Boston moving permits. The easiest way, of course, is to apply online and have the permits mailed directly to you. However, you can only apply online if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You’re only looking for a single-day (7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) moving permit, for the standard size of two parking spaces or forty feet.
  • You’re planning your move for AT LEAST two weeks after the date you apply, and NO MORE than a month after the date you apply. In other words, you can apply online if your move is between fourteen and twenty-eight days away.
  • You (or someone else) will be able to post the signs AT LEAST two days (48 hours) before your move. So if your move is at 9:00 A.M. on the 17th, the signs should be up before 9:00 A.M. on the 15th.
  • You’re going to post the signs in a valid spot. Bus stops, handicapped spaces, and other “no parking” zones aren’t valid. Boston Moving Permits are invalid in those spots.
  • You’re not moving to or from Boston anytime in June, July, or August. If that’s the case, you need to call Patricia Papa, Special Events Liaison, at 617-828-2509 to find a space that won’t interfere with any feasts, parades, or other special events.

Everything checks out? Good. You can go ahead and apply for Boston Moving Permits on the city’s website.

If not, you’re going to have make a trip to City Hall. It’s located at One City Hall Square, and its operating hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Once inside City Hall, take the escalator down to Floor 2. That’s where you’ll find a series of cashier windows. Look any signs that say “street moving,” and follow them to any window numbered 1 through 6. Any window with its blue sign lit up is open and ready to give you a street permit.

(If you’re applying far enough advance, the only reason they would deny the form is if there is a special event like a feast or a parade scheduled the same day as your move.)

The signs are $4.00 each, and then there is a $61.00 base fee for the 40-foot area needed to reserve for the truck. This total of $69.00 is all most box trucks require – the 40-foot area, and two signs to post in the area. If you are reserving a spot in front of meters, you will have to pay an additional $20.00 per meter head within the 40-foot spot. (If your move is on a Sunday, the meter fees will be waived.)

The city will also give you a helpful flyer to distribute on cars and to your neighbors in advance of the move, so they are aware of the parking situation.

How to Post Moving Permits

You need to post Boston Moving Permits and “No Parking” signs AT LEAST 48 HOURS (at least 24 hours in a metered area) in advance of the move, within the 40-foot reserved area. You can post them on utility poles, parking meters, trees, or even fences. If you think your two signs are not visible enough, you can make additional “no parking” signs out of cardboard. As long as your homemade signs have the date of the permit, you can post them within the reserved area for extra coverage. (And definitely make sure to use plenty of tape to securely post your signs and permits. It’s important that neither rain, wind, nor neighbors can interfere with your paid-for right to park on moving day.)

Remember the flyer you got from City Hall? You’ll need to make copies of it, and leave it on the windshields of the cars parked in your moving spot. You’ll need to post it on the doors of the buildings on either side of the street. The city wants you to post these flyers, once a day, for at least the two days preceding your move. You can post them anywhere and on any car within a 20-foot radius of your moving spot.

We recommend posting them more often and in a larger area. Remember – it is important that everyone in the neighborhood knows that that parking spot is yours and yours alone.It’s always best to have your neighbors avoid parking there on that date. You don’t want to call a tow truck and have their car removed. Just because you’re moving out is no reason to make enemies.

This is why we recommend posting your permits and flyers well in advance of the 48 hour cut-off — especially if you live in a residential area, where people often leave their cars in the same spot for days at a time.

Moving Day Parking Permit in Boston

In the morning of your move, you’ll need to check your reserved parking area a couple of hours before their scheduled arrival. If a vehicle is parked in the area, you can call the Boston Police Department’s non-emergency line at 617-343-4911. Make sure to say, “this is not an emergency,” when they pick up. Calmly explain the situation (that there’s a car parked in the space you paid for), and give them the offending car’s license plate number. The police will run the registration and try to contact the owner. This way, the owner can hopefully remove the car instead of getting towed. If the owner is unreachable, they’ll call the towing company.

Getting the police to come and finally decide to call a tow truck can take two hours or more (remember, you did say that it was not an emergency.) And if you have movers waiting, you’re still going to need to pay for their time. So plan to be up early on moving day.

Does this process sound like too much of hassle? Some Boston moving companies will take care of all aspects of permit acquisition.

If you’re moving in Boston, you’ll want to find parking for your moving truck or container as close to your address as possible. With a moving permit and Tow Zone signs from Boston City Hall, you can reserve space in any legal parking spot in the city. Obtaining these permits can be a major hassle but it doesn’t have to be. Let us do it for you!

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