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What Is a Moving Permit, and Do You Need One? (2024)

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Author Image Written by Shane Sentelle Updated 05/09/2024

Moving to a new city can be exciting, but there’s a lot to think about before moving day. You need to rent a moving truck, find boxes, pack your home, and you may even need to file for a moving permit. Moving permits are mandatory for people moving in and out of many United States metro areas, and failing to register for one may result in a ticket. If you’re wondering what a moving permit is and whether you need one, we cover everything you need to know in this article.

What Is a Moving Permit?

A moving permit is a city’s temporary parking authorization. It allows an individual to park a vehicle, such as a moving truck or other commercial vehicle, on the street for a specific time. Moving permits are required or recommended in large U.S. cities.

A moving permit ensures that you won’t have to park too far away from your new home, making it easier to move your items. Most municipalities will provide temporary parking signs so you have a designated space to park your moving truck. However, you should avoid double parking because you could end up with a parking ticket.

U.S. Cities That Require Moving Permits

Whether you’re in California, Virginia, Nevada, or anywhere in between, every metropolitan area has its own types of permits and requirements to obtain them. You will need to confirm the guidelines to obtain a moving permit based on the city you’re moving to.

Below is a list of some large U.S. cities that require or recommend moving permits. We sourced each city’s moving permit information via its “dot gov” or official city website.

CityMoving Permit CostWhere To Register

Alexandria, VA

Starting at $30

Alexandria permit application

Arlington, VA

Starting at $48

Arlington permit application

Boston, MA

Starting at $50

Boston permit application

Brookline, MA

Starting at $5

Brookline permit application

Cambridge, MA

Starting at $60

Cambridge permit application

Chicago, IL

$25 per day

Chicago permit application

Des Moines, IA


Des Moines permit application

Hoboken, NJ

Starting at $15

Hoboken permit application

Houston, TX


Houston permit application

Knoxville, TN

Starting at $25

Knoxville permit application

Los Angeles, CA


Los Angeles permit application

Madison, WI


Madison permit application

Manhattan Beach, CA


Manhattan beach application

New York City, NY


New York City permit application

Philadelphia, PA


Philadelphia permit application

Portland, OR

Starting at $35

Portland permit application

San Francisco, CA

Starting at $322

San Francisco permit application

Seattle, WA

Starting at $16

Seattle permit application

St. Louis, MO

Starting at $20

St. Louis permit application

Washington, D.C


Washington, D.C. permit application

How To Get a Moving Permit

It’s easy to get a moving permit for one day. Request your permit at least two weeks before your move, but check each city’s recommendations because it may take longer for the authorities to approve your application. Below are the steps you can take to obtain one:

Confirm that you need a moving permit: Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or city hall to confirm whether you need a moving permit. You may also be able to check moving permit requirements on your city’s website.
Apply for a moving permit: Once you’ve confirmed that you need one, you’ll need to file the permit application online or in person. Methods for obtaining a moving permit differ by city, so you’ll have to confirm the exact instructions and what items you’ll need to register. Most cities share this information on their websites. During the application process, they may ask you for your new address and information about the truck, such as its license plate number or proof of insurance.
Get the signs: Once the city has approved your application, you may receive temporary No Parking signs to block off parking spaces where you can park the moving truck. Some cities will handle this part for you. Make sure you check with your local government to confirm instructions on parking signs.

Some full-service moving companies include a moving permit’s cost in the quote they send you before filing for the permit, but ask your movers if they will handle this. You can end up with a parking ticket if you don’t file for a permit, so always determine whether you need one.

Moving Permit Costs

Factoring a moving permit into the cost of a move will help you create an accurate budget. The moving permit price varies according to the city, the truck’s size, and how long you need the space, so check with your local municipality to learn how much a moving permit costs for your situation.

Our Conclusion

A moving permit is a valuable resource even if the city in which you’re parking your moving truck doesn’t require it. It helps you avoid parking tickets and the hassle of finding space to load or unload your truck on a busy city street. We recommend filing for a moving permit when you’re eligible. Most city websites tell you when to file your application, but consider filing at least two weeks before your move.

FAQ About Moving Permits

What do I need to get a moving permit in Boston?

You don’t need to get a moving permit in Boston, but the city recommends you file for one. Registering for a permit guarantees a parking space for your moving truck, which can give you peace of mind. You might struggle to find parking otherwise, making moving day a hassle.

What are the steps to getting a moving permit in Los Angeles?

The steps to getting a moving permit in Los Angeles are to visit the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) website and fill out the application. You may also visit the LADOT in person or mail a form to apply. Call 311 for more information.

How much is a moving permit in Chicago?

A moving permit in Chicago will cost you $25 per day.

What happens if I don’t have a moving permit and park my truck on the street?

If you don’t have a moving permit and park your truck on the street, you may end up with a parking ticket or you might have to park far from your new home, which makes it more difficult to move your items. You may want to consider obtaining the permit even if you don’t need one. You’ll have a designated spot on the street to load or unload your truck, and you won’t need to worry about where to park on the day of your move.

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