Boston parking tickets

Boston Parking Tickets Guide (Plus, How to Dispute)

As wonderful as Boston is, parking isn’t the best. With the lack of free parking, it can be hard to avoid tickets. Boston has been making a large chunk of its revenue from parking tickets after the city increased fines in 2018. Keep reading to learn about paying, how much they cost, and even appealing your ticket.

Paying Your Boston Parking Ticket

Like most cities, Boston offers online payment as long as your car hasn’t been booted or towed. You will need to enter your ticket number, AVR ticket number, or notice number. There is also a section to pay by license plate number if your vehicle is registered in Massachusetts. They allow payment with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express debit or credit cards. In addition, the Boston Paytix app allows you to pay right from your phone and keep track of your tickets. 

If you don’t want to pay online, you can also pay by phone or in-person at City Hall. 

You must pay within 21 days of receiving your parking violation or else there will be a late penalty. These vary depending on which violation you received, but it is 33% of the ticket cost (rounded). 

If you plan to appeal your ticket, make sure not to pay!

Boston Parking Tickets Appeal

Mistakes happen and it’s fairly simple to dispute a ticket. There are a few ways to appeal your ticket if you believe it was wrongly issued. To make it easy, you can submit your appeal through their form online. It will ask for information including any supporting evidence you have. 

Once you submit the form, they will mail out their decision and you will receive it within 7–10 business days. If rejected, you must pay within 10 days OR request a hearing. You can request by calling the Boston parking tickets phone number (617-635-4410). Once you request a hearing, they will mail out a letter with the hearing date, which you may not receive for several weeks.

You can also submit your appeal request in-person, over the phone, or through a video call. The video call option can only be used if you’re not a Massachusetts resident, your car isn’t registered in Massachusetts, and your ticket isn’t more than 3 weeks old. 

Reasons Your Ticket May Be Invalid

Most people see a parking ticket on their windshield and get upset, look at the fine, then throw it in their car without even looking at the details. Mistakes are more common than most of us realize! Here are a few examples of why a parking ticket could be disputed. 

  • The ticket is illegible
  • Wrong date of issuance, time, or county
  • Incorrect or missing vehicle information (i.e. wrong license plate number, plate type, vehicle color, model year, vehicle manufacturer)
  • They didn’t specify whether you were parked in ‘Front of’ or ‘Opposite’ the address in question
  • The parking signs gave incorrect information or weren’t visible (make sure to take a picture of this for evidence)
  • Malfunctioning parking meter

How Much is a Parking Ticket in Boston?

This depends on the type you get – we’ve listed a few fines below.

  • Fire Hydrant – $100
  • Fire Lane – $100
  • Obstructing Disability Ramp – $100
  • Overnight Street Cleaning – $90
  • Loading Zone – $90
  • No Parking (Zone A) – $90
  • No Stopping – $90
  • Resident Parking – $60
  • No Parking (Zone B) – $55
  • Double Parking (Zone A) – $55
  • Unpaid Meter – $40
  • Over Time Limit (Meter or Posted Sign) – $40
  • Street Cleaning – $30
  • Double Parking (Zone B) – $35
  • Driveway or Alley Obstruction – $25
  • Wrong Direction Parking – $25
  • Over 1 ft. From Curb – $25
  • Within 20 ft. of Intersection – $25

How Many Tickets Are Too Many?

Unfortunately, outstanding parking tickets in MA is very real. If you have five or more unpaid tickets, your car can be booted. Once this happens, you need to pay every ticket fine and additional fees under your name in-person. Plus, the boot itself will cost $45 plus $20 per day. If you don’t pay within 3 days, your car will be towed. 

If you know your nearing the limit, at least pay one of your tickets to avoid getting booted and having to pay hefty fees!

Boston Parking Tickets FAQ

How long do you have to pay a parking ticket in Boston?

You have 21 days to pay your ticket before additional fees are applied. 

How far do you have to park from a fire hydrant in Boston?

You need to park over 10 feet away from a fire hydrant (measured from the center of the hydrant). If you’re too close, there is no doubt you’ll get a Boston parking ticket. 

How many tickets before you get a boot in Boston?

Your vehicle will be booted when you have five or more unpaid parking tickets. It can be removed once you have paid all ticket fines and additional fees (the boot fee is $45 plus $20 per day). After 3 days of being booted without paying, your vehicle will be towed. 

Is street parking free in Boston?

All the meters are free on Sundays as well as city holidays. Otherwise, free street parking is very rare. Make sure to pay close attention to all signs to avoid the City of Boston parking tickets

Can you park at meters overnight in Boston?

Since meters are active from 8 am – 8 pm, you can park overnight for free without getting a Boston parking ticket. Just make sure you wake up early enough in the morning to move your car! All meters are also free on Sundays. 

Bottom Line

Boston parking tickets can add up quickly and, if left unpaid, can result in your car being booted or even towed. When parking, make sure to read parking signs very closely to ensure you don’t park over posted time limits or in prohibited spots.