Last Updated on November 7, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
Does the Evil Empire levy an involuntary tithe on your commercial vehicles?
I trust the answer to this question is a resounding yes, yes, and more yes. I thought we might take some of your valuable time today to formulate strategies to cut the cost of parking a commercial vehicle in NYC. I am frequently asked a variety of questions about the stopping, standing, and parking rules in NYC as they relate to commercial vehicles. Let’s take ’em one at a time.
Is there a difference between a commercial vehicle and a truck?
You bet your CDL there is!
Here’s how the DOT explains the difference
Can my chariot qualify as a commercial vehicle for parking purposes?
Yes, with the proviso that it bears commercial plates and is properly altered. Here’s the text of the rule [4-01 Words & Phrases Defined]:
Commercial vehicle. (i) For purposes of parking, standing and stopping rules, a vehicle shall not be deemed a commercial vehicle or a truck unless:
(A) it bears commercial plates; and (B) it is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings, except the front seats, removed to ease the transportation of property, except that for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the seating capacity within the cab shall not be considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered; and (C) it displays the registrants’ name and address permanently affixed in characters at least three inches high on both sides of the vehicle, with such display being in a color contrasting with that of the vehicle and placed about midway vertically on doors or side panels.
(ii) For the purposes of rules other than parking, stopping and standing rules, a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of property, or for the provision of commercial services and bearing commercial plates shall be deemed a commercial vehicle. (iii) Vehicles bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries shall not be deemed trucks or commercial vehicles unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in (i)(B) and (C) of this definition, above.
- A commercial vehicle must be permanently altered AND bear commercial plates. Love & Marriage, Horse & Carriage, Permanently Altered & Commercial Plates. One without the other results in a parking ticket and tithe
- All seats and seat fittings (except front seats) must be removed. Folding seats do not qualify. Removing the seats and leaving the seat fittings behind do not qualify. An SUV with the seats temporarily folded down does not qualify as a commercial vehicle
- The name and address of the registered owner of the commercial vehicle must be permanently affixed to both sides of your vehicle. Removable letters do not qualify
- The name and address affixed to both sides of your commercial vehicle must match the name and address on the vehicle registration. If a commercial chariot is registered to John Doe, the business name ABC Corporation cannot be permanently affixed to your vehicle.
- The lettering must be at least 3 inches high. Measure the lettering to be safe and avoid paying a tithe to the Evil Empire
- The color of the lettering must contrast with the coloring of a commercial vehicle. White-on-white will cost results in an NYC parking ticket and tithe
- The lettering must be placed midway on the doors or side panels. The left corner of the side panels over the rear tire doesn’t work for parking ticket warriors
- An out-of-state vehicle that qualifies as a commercial vehicle in its state of registration, is still required to be altered by this rule to qualify as a commercial vehicle in NYC
What are the benefits of qualifying a vehicle as a commercial vehicle?
NYC Department of Finance grants certain important privileges to commercial vehicles while standing or parking and engaged in a business activity. For example, a commercial vehicle is permitted to park in a no-parking zone while making a delivery to a customer. If a warrior issues an NYC parking ticket, a company will beat the no parking ticket:
- If the company produces a business document proving its commercial vehicle was parked at the place of occurrence entered on the parking ticket while engaged in a business activity; and,
- If the company produces an affidavit from the driver or company representative with personal knowledge of the facts swearing the vehicle was at the location engaged in a business activity
There are other parking violations a commercial vehicle can vanquish, such as; Codes 16, 21,34, 36, and more.
Circumstances may arise that make it impractical to register a vehicle as a commercial vehicle for NYC parking purposes. For example, we represented a company that employed technicians who were permitted to take their vans home with them after finishing their daily routes. The company computed the cost and horror of finding overnight parking for the vehicles versus registering the vans as passenger vehicles. It was a costly decision for parking ticket purposes, but overall saved the company a bunch of bucks.
Please never pay a parking ticket “no questions asked.” Do a little research to learn whether you have a technical or substantive defense to the parking ticket.