Commercial Vehicle Rules and Regulations in NYC

You can avoid Commercial Vehicle Parking Tickets

Summary & Quick Facts

  • All vehicles with commercial plates must be permanently altered to meet the city’s commercial vehicle standards.
  • Commercial vehicles that do not adhere to the city’s requirements will receive a $115 parking ticket.
  • You cannot park your commercial vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of three hours.
  • You cannot park a commercial vehicle on a residential street, between the hours of 9 p.m and 5 a.m.
  • If you park in a residential during these hours, you may receive a $45-65 parking ticket depending on the location.
  • You can receive a $115 parking ticket for angle parking your commercial vehicle where it is not permitted.

Special Rules for Your Commercial Vehicle

Parking tickets can be a big headache for business owners in the city. Are you a business owner that received an NYC parking ticket for your commercial vehicle? Were you confused when you parked in a seemingly legal spot?  In many instances, businesses that receive tickets for their vehicles for parking in what seems to be a legal commercial parking spot usually come from this one particular section of NYC traffic law:


4-08 (K) Special 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 with 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 Section 10-127 of the Administrative Code and is also in compliance with paragraph (i) of the definition of commercial vehicle as set forth in Section 4-01 of these rules.”

So what does this mean for that parking ticket you received? You most likely received the parking ticket because your vehicle appeared to not adhere to the legal definition of a commercial vehicle under NY traffic laws and regulations.


Don’t Operate An Unaltered Commercial Vehicle

NYC is a city of opportunity and entrepreneurship. For this reason, many residents decide to start and run their own business. Some need vehicles to conduct their business smoothly, but if you want to legally operate a commercial vehicle, you must make sure to alter it to reflect all the requirements necessary by law. If it doesn’t meet these requirements, you are out of luck. You will not be allowed to stand or park a vehicle with commercial plates in any location in the city.

So what does this mean for your vehicle? You cannot park your vehicle unless it has been permanently altered. Commercial vehicles must have all seats and rear seat fittings removed except for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition. Failure to do so will result in a $115 parking ticket.

Commercial Vehicle Lettering

You must also have both the business name and address as shown on the commercial vehicle’s registration certificate plainly marked on both sides of the vehicle. The letters and numerals of this info must not be less than three inches in height.


Parking Your Commercial Vehicle

Parking a commercial vehicle can be very tricky in NYC and is one of the easiest parking ticket traps. Below we have some of the rules and regulations that legislate parking commercial vehicles. Learn the rules so you can avoid the parking tickets.

No Standing Except Trucks Loading And Unloading

Commercial Vehicles Only

If you ever see this sign while attempting to make a quick delivery, you’re in luck! Where a posted sign reads “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading,” no vehicle except a commercial vehicle, or a service vehicle as we defined above, may stand or park in that spot. Here, you will have space and time reserved for expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls. You can see these signs across the city.

Midtown Manhattan makes allowances for commercial trucks that make deliveries and service calls in the area. Here, particularly, in the area from 35th St. to 41st St. and  Avenue of the Americas to 8th Avenue between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., no vehicle except a truck with commercial plates may stand or park for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls.

Daytime Commercial Vehicle Parking Restrictions

While the city extends allowances to commercial vehicles that are not given to passenger vehicles, unfortunately, there are still some unique restrictions only for commercial vehicles. This is especially the case when it comes to parking. You cannot park your commercial vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of three hours. So during the day, prepare to move your car or expect a parking ticket after 3 hours, particularly in Midtown Manhattan.

Standing or parking a vehicle in Manhattan (from 14th to 60th Streets and First to Eighth Avenues) to make pickups, deliveries or service calls for more than 3 hours, will lead to a $115 parking ticket. Commercial vehicles may, however, stand or park at parking spaces controlled by muni-meters if they purchase a muni-meter receipt and display the receipt on the dashboard.

If your commercial vehicle has a platform lift, you may not park and leave it unattended with the lift set in a lowered position. This will cost you a $65 parking ticket in Manhattan below 96th street and $45  everywhere else.

Nighttime Commercial Vehicle Parking Restrictions

There are nighttime restrictions as well for commercial vehicles. You cannot park a commercial vehicle on a residential street, between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am.  If you do, you risk receiving a $65 parking ticket. You may also not park commercial tractor-trailers on any residential street between 9 pm and 5 am. If you are caught doing this expect a $265 ticket on the first offense and $515 parking ticket on the second. 

You may only park your commercial vehicle overnight if you are actively conducting business. If your commercial vehicle gets a parking ticket while conducting business overnight you can fight the violation. You must prove that you were making a delivery or service call at the time you received the summons. You must also prove that you were at or in a premise that’s within three city blocks of where you received the summons. These restrictions do not cover commercial vehicles owned or operated by gas or oil heat suppliers and maintenance companies. 

Angle Parking And Commercial Vehicles

Maneuvering large commercial trucks and vehicles in such a dense city is quite difficult. For this reason, the city places restrictions on the ways you can park or stand your commercial vehicle. Parking your commercial vehicle in an illegal manner is a sure fire way to get a parking ticket. One way is by angle parking. Remember, commercial vehicles standing or parking in authorized areas cannot be at an angle to the curb. The only exception to this rule is if this positioning is essential for loading or unloading goods and merchandise.

Even then, you can only park or stand for the period of time it takes to move these items. Moreover, you must leave enough space for other vehicles to pass between your vehicle and the center of the street. In no event shall an angle-parked vehicle occupy more than a parking lane, plus one traffic lane.

Parking Trailers Of Commercial Vehicles

If you’re a business that operates large trucks that use trailers or semi-trailers, you definitely want to read this. The city prohibits anyone from parking any unattached trailer or semi-trailer on any street or arterial highway in NYC. Doing so will result in a $65 parking in Manhattan below 96th street and $45 ticket everywhere else in the city. The only time you can is for loading or unloading at off-street platforms.  

The only places where you can park your trailer is in industrial zone property where signs permit. You can only park trailers or semi-trailers for the length of time indicated on the posted signs. Also, owners who park their trailer or semi-trailer must protect the streets from damage that doing so may cause. Finally, make sure that all doors on your trailers are locked while parked.

City Programs That Help Commercial Vehicles

Parking tickets for commercial vehicles can add an exorbitant tab to your business’s total expenses. Thankfully, the city provides programs to help lower the costs of parking tickets. Before you cruise off to your next delivery, remember this! The city offers other programs to help businesses with parking tickets, check out our articles on the NYC Parking Ticket Reduction and NYC Fleet Program to find out more!  

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