Last Updated on October 20, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
7 Special NYC parking rules for commercial vehicles you ought to know about
New York City giveth and New York City taketh away. That is to say; It giveth when it permits commercial vehicles to park in no-parking zones while making deliveries or service calls.
In the same vein, commercial vehicles may be issued a parking ticket by an over-zealous warrior; it is beatable. And will be dismissed upon submission of the proper proof.
On the other hand, NYC taketh away when the commissioner of the Department of Transportation invents the unfathomable NYC parking rule, “Parking of unaltered commercial vehicles prohibited.”
Besides the unfathomable unaltered commercial vehicle rule, six other special rules can create havoc for companies making deliveries or services calls in New York City.
Let’s start with the definition of a commercial vehicle contained in sections 4-01 of the Rules of NYC.
4-08(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 help 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 addresses 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 approximately 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
Commercial vehicle parking in NYC
There are certain common practices that violate this rule:
- Putting down the rear seats of an SUV instead of removing the rear seats and fittings
- Attaching the name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle in lettering that is not permanently affixed
- Affixing lettering that is not at least 3 inches in height
- Placing the lettering too low or too high on the vehicle
- Choosing colors for the lettering that don’t contrast sufficiently with the color of the vehicle
- Only affixing the lettering on one side of the vehicle
Here are the seven special NYC parking rules for commercial vehicles
(1) Parking of unaltered commercial vehicles prohibited
No person shall stand or park a vehicle with commercial plates in any location unless it has been permanently altered with all seats and rear seat fittings, except the front seats, removed, 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 has the name and address of the owner as shown on the registration certificate plainly marked on both sides of the vehicle in letters and numerals, not less than three inches in height, in compliance with §10127 of the Administrative Code and is also in compliance with paragraph (i) of the definition of a commercial vehicle as in §4-01 of these rules.
(2) No standing except trucks loading and unloading
Where a posted sign reads “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading,” no vehicle except a commercial vehicle or a service vehicle as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules, may stand or park in that area for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls, and except that in the area from 35th St. to 41st St., Avenue of the Americas to 8th Avenue, inclusive, in the Borough of
Manhattan, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., no vehicle except a truck as defined in §4-13(a)(1) of these rules may stand or park for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups,
deliveries or service calls.
(3) Angle standing or parking of commercial vehicles.
Commercial vehicles standing or parking in authorized areas shall not be placed at an angle to the curb unless such positioning is essential for loading or unloading and then only for such time actually required for such purposes provided that a sufficient space shall be left clear for the passage of a vehicle between the angle-parked vehicle and the center of the street, the opposite curb or a vehicle parked or standing then, whichever is closest. In no event shall an angle-parked vehicle occupy more than a parking lane, plus one traffic lane.
(4) Parking of trailers
(i) No person shall park any trailer or semi-trailer on any street or arterial highway, except while loading or unloading at off-street platforms, unless such trailer or semi-trailer is attached to a motor vehicle capable of towing it.
(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (i) above, were posted signs permit, a trailer or semi-trailer may park while unattached to a motor vehicle capable of towing it on streets in the industrial zoned property as defined in the Zoning Resolution. Such trailers or semi-trailers may park for the length of time indicated on the posted signs. An owner of a trailer or semi-trailer parked pursuant to this provision shall protect the streets from damage that may be caused by parking the unattached trailer. All doors on such trailers or semi-trailers must be locked while the trailers are parked.
(5) Street storage of commercial vehicles prohibited
When parking is not otherwise restricted, no person shall park a commercial vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of three hours.
(6) Nighttime parking of commercial vehicles prohibited
No person shall park a commercial vehicle on a residential street between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Where a commercial vehicle is parked in violation of this paragraph, it shall be an affirmative defense to the said violation, with the burden of proof on the person who received the summons, that he or she was actively engaged in business when the summons was issued at premises located within three city blocks of where the summons was issued. This paragraph shall not apply to vehicles owned or operated by gas or oil heat suppliers or gas or oil heat systems maintenance companies, the agents or employees thereof, or any public utility.
(7) Vehicles equipped with platform lifts
Commercial vehicles may not be parked on any city street with a platform lift set in a lowered position while the vehicle is unattended.
These special seven NYC parking rules for commercial vehicles are just some of the parking rules and laws that apply solely to commercial vehicles. These confusing rules create uncertainty for business owners, who meet significant loss of revenue due to NYC parking tickets. Here are a few observations:
- How can a parking ticket warrior issue parking tickets for “unaltered vehicle” and “overnight parking” or “street storage?” If a vehicle is not properly altered, under the clear language of these rules, it is not considered a commercial vehicle. Therefore, if it is not a commercial vehicle, it doesn’t violate the other two rules listed above…right?! Fight it. We did and beat the parking ticket
- Make sure that the name you affix in 3-inch high lettering on both sides of your commercial vehicle is permanently attached.
- Have you ever been issued a parking ticket for parking your passenger van overnight in a residential neighborhood? Fight it! We did and won
There’s more, keep reading.
- What about your passenger van getting two parking tickets, one for “unaltered vehicle,” and the other for parking overnight in a residential neighborhood? If your van is properly registered as a passenger vehicle, fight ’em. We did and won.
- Why do the loading and unload parking sign display “trucks” and not commercial vehicles? Does the parking rule only let trucks or load or unload? The answer is no. The sign and rule permit legal parking for any commercial vehicle (including trucks) that are loading and unloading stuff. The parking sign didn’t have enough space to print, “commercial vehicles.” “Trucks” was much easier…Amazing.
- Learn the difference between trucks, passenger vehicles, and commercial vehicles
- Learn the parking rules that torment pick-up truck owners
Or, we should all move to Wyoming