Is it ever legal to park in front of a NYC driveway?
I frequently receive telephone calls and comments from wonderful members of the driving community asking whether it’s legal to park in front of a NYC driveway.
- Many friends want to know about the legality of saving spaces in front of driveways (It is never, ever legal to save a parking space on a NYC roadway…period).
- Other friends want to know whether a car is permitted to block an “unusable” driveway.
- While other friends want to know when they can park in front of their own private driveways.
- And, my Mom wants to know how to report the damn driveway blocker…(Mom, click on this link to report the scoundrel)
In an effort to shed a ray of light on our NYC driveways, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
The NYC driveway rule
“(f) General no standing zones (standing and parking prohibited in specified places).
No person shall stand or park a vehicle in any of the following places, unless otherwise indicated by posted signs, markings or other traffic control devices, or at the direction of a law enforcement officer:
(2)Driveways. In front of a public or private driveway, except that it shall be permissible for the owner, lessor or lessee of the lot accessed by a private driveway to park a passenger vehicle registered to him/her at that address in front of such driveway, provided that such lot does not contain more than two dwelling units and further provided that such parking does not violate any other provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or local law or rule concerning the parking, stopping or standing of motor vehicles. The prohibition herein shall not apply to driveways that have been rendered unusable due to the presence of a building or other fixed obstruction and, therefore, are not being used as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules.”[34 RCNY 4-08 (f)(2)]
You may wish to check out Larry’s blog post, “5 NYC Driveway Mistakes that Spell Disaster.” Do you agree?
It’s my driveway, and I’ll park if I want to
Yes you can, as long as:
- The vehicle is registered as a passenger vehicle; and,
- Registered to you; and,
- The private lot does not contain more than two dwelling units; and,
- Parking your chariot in front of your driveway doesn’t violate any on street parking rules
For example, you are not permitted to park in front of your own driveway, if:
- Your chariot displays commercial plates
- Your chariot is registered to your business, or your Aunt Tillie (who doesn’t reside with you…Thank g-d)
- You are the proud landlord of a lot containing 3 or more dwelling units
- The parking space in front of your driveway is regulated by a parking sign that prohibits parking (i.e., no parking, no standing, etc)
What if some joker parks in front of my driveway?
You can remove Mr. Joker, as long as you comply with the procedures set forth in the free download below
How ’bout if the driveway is no longer a “usable” driveway?
You can park in front of driveways that have been rendered unusable due to the presence of a building or other fixed obstruction and, therefore, are not being used as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules.”
Is a driveway a no stopping, no standing, or no parking zone?
What if I get a parking ticket anyway for parking in front of my own, personal, private driveway?
When you’re right- FIGHT. And, make sure you present the proper proof, properly.
You may wish to submit proof to the Evil Empire that you own the lot, the passenger vehicle is registered in your name, and the lot doesn’t contain more than two (2) rental units. Fight the good fight by mail or in person. Make sure you send your defense package by certified mail, return receipt requested (so you can prove receipt). I found it preferable to submit your defense statement in the form of an affidavit or certification, and you certify to the truth and accuracy of any documents you submit along with your defense statement.
Here are some driveway mistakes to avoid
…And I thought this was going to be simple.
Driveways fall under No standing violations, which means you can stop temporarily to drop off or pick up passengers in front of a NYC driveway. But, make sure you skedaddle immediately.
Need some more tips about how to avoid No standing violations? Here are 7 tips to help you avoid No standing tickets. Read more…
Commentary update: I recently engaged in a lively conversation with Alex (see our exchange below), which got me thinking. I used the word “inactive” and “active” in the content portion above, which was misleading. I’ve changed the word from “inactive” to “unusable” or “usable” because a driveway may appear to be inactive, but the law requires that the driveway is unusable due to the presence of a building or other fixed obstruction and, therefore, are not being used as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules” before the parking space in front of the driveway is deemed a legal parking space.
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