Massachusetts Parking Laws (Everything You Should Know)

Massachusetts Parking Laws (Everything You Should Know)

Did you know that you can’t just pull over and park?

In Massachusetts, there are places where you are prohibited from parking – and it’s a lot more than you might think.

Not a lot of people are aware of the Massachusetts parking laws, and unfortunately, this ignorance usually leads to hefty fines. 

So if you want to avoid the penalties, keep on reading to know where you can and can’t park in Massachusetts. 

Parking Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Parking Laws

Let’s get down to business. Where are you NOT allowed to park?

Let’s see what the Massachusetts parking law says. 

  • In a zone or area that has a ‘NO PARKING’ sign on it. You’re not allowed to park in areas with a ‘NO STANDING’ sign either. 
  • In a bicycle lane
  • On a sidewalk, curb, traffic island, or median
  • At a bus stop, taxi stand, or any posted loading and unloading zone
  • In a zone where it is scheduled for cleaning
  • Within 20 feet of an intersection
  • On a crosswalk, driveway, or a handicap-access ramp
  • In a zone dedicated to HP-DV parking unless you have a disabled person or disabled veteran’s license plate
  • On a striped zone just beside an HP-DV parking slot even if you have a disabled person or disabled veteran’s license plate
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or fire land
  • Where a weather or roadway emergency is
  • On any road where you are facing the opposite of the incoming traffic
  • On a state or interstate highway, unless authorized
  • On a rural roadway
  • On the Massachusetts Turnpike
  • On a traffic lane beside parked vehicles (also known as double parking)

Take note that these parking restrictions are issued for the whole state. However, some cities or towns may have adjustments or additions to these parking restrictions. 

To avoid getting any penalties, it’s best to look for signs indicating parking areas or review the parking restrictions of the city/town that you’re visiting. 

Parking Penalties in Massachusetts 

What happens if you get a parking violation in Massachusetts?

If you park in an illegal spot, you will be fined $25 for each violation. This fine should be paid within 21 days.

For fines paid beyond the due date, the price increases to $35. 

Now, there are also special fines if you park in certain areas: 

  • Parking at a bus stop – $100 fine
  • Parking at an HP-DV parking only – $300 fine for the first offense
    • If there’s a wrongful use of a disabled person’s or disabled veteran’s license plate, you are charged a minimum of $500
  • Parking on the Massachusetts Turnpike – $15-$100 fine

If you fail to pay your fines after a prolonged period, you will not be allowed to renew your driver’s license.  

Parking Meters in Massachusetts

Don’t know where to park?

The best thing to do is look for a parking meter. 

Parking meters are found in public spaces and must be paid with pennies. Depending on the parking lot, the time limit and rules will differ. 

Don’t worry, parking meters will almost always have their time limits posted. 

Most of the time, parking meters are active from Monday to Saturday. The rate per hour is $1.25. 

That said, you are only allowed to park within the time limit set. If you exceed this limit, you will be given a parking citation. 

To add to that, you’re required to settle the parking fee right away. If you fail to pay, you’ll also receive a parking citation. 

Parking Permits in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, some cities and towns give away parking permits, often to residents around the area. 

With this permit, you’ll be allowed to park in certain spaces, such as parking overnight or at the weekends near your home. 

If you want this, you must apply for it, as well as renew it whenever it expires. 

To renew a parking permit you need: 

  • To settle all parking tickets
  • Show proof of residency. This should be the same as the address found on your Vehicle Registration.
  • Vehicle Registration

Safe Parking Tips

A lot of people find parking difficult, especially if you’re a new driver. 

Well, to help you, we’re giving tips on two of the hardest parking situations — parallel parking and parking on hills. 

How to Parallel Park

When parallel parking, you want to choose a slot that fits your car and has enough space for you to maneuver in it. If the space is almost exactly your car’s length, find another parking slot. 

But if the parking slot has enough room, here’s how to parallel park: 

  • Pull up beside the car in front of the spot you’ll be parking on. The distance between you and the car should be 2-3 feet. 
  • Move forward until your front seats are aligned with the other car’s front seats. 
  • Look behind or in front to check if any other cars or pedestrians are coming up. 
  • When it’s safe to do so, slowly back up while you turn the steering wheel in the direction of the curb. Accompany this with your foot lightly on the brakes. Do this while looking at the rear window and not the side mirrors. 
  • If the front of your car already passes the other car’s rear bumper, turn your steering wheel to the opposite direction of the curb. Do this while slowly backing up and your foot lightly on the brakes. 
  • If your car is inside the parking slot, straighten your wheels and move forward until your car has enough distance from the car in front and the back. 

When parallel parking, always move back slowly. Your foot should always be on the brakes in case you need to make a full stop. 

How to Park on a Hill

When parking on a hill, your wheels should always be turned toward the curb. This is so, if your car slides down, it will go towards the curb and not on the road. 

Here are other tips for parking on a hill: 

  • When there is no curb – turn your wheels inward or toward the side of the road (always opposite the traffic lane)
  • When parking uphill – turn your wheels outward so if your brakes fail, your car slides towards the side of the road
  • When parking downhill – turn your wheels inward so the car moves toward the side if the brakes fail

Another precaution is to place a rock or a stopper behind your tire so that it helps prevent your car from sliding down the hill. 


And that concludes the Massachusetts parking laws. 

Now that you know where you’re not allowed to park, it’s time to get your eyes peeled for parking lots and meters that signify allocated parking spaces. 

Remember, you just can’t park anywhere in Massachusetts. And while the list of prohibited parking areas is long, it’s best to remember these areas so you don’t get a parking citation. 

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