Your average driver probably does not have “commercial vehicle” in his or her parking/driving vocabulary. That’s because your average driver doesn’t use commercial vehicles on a regular basis for his or her day to day needs. However, it’s always good to have a basic knowledge of commercial vehicles and the rules of commercial vehicle parking in NYC.
WHAT IS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
For the purposes of parking, standing and stopping, a commercial vehicle is defined as a vehicle that:
- bears commercial plates
- is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings (except the front seats) removed to create a large space for transporting or moving furniture, large boxes, or anything else that requires that much space. Vehicles that are designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition are not included in this rule, since the seating capacity within the cab is not considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered.
- displays the registrant’s name and address on both sides of the vehicle, in characters at least three inches high, in a color contrasting with the color of the vehicle, and placed approximately midway vertically on doors or side panels.
For the purposes other than parking, stopping and standing rules, a vehicle that meets the above criteria is considered a commercial vehicle.
(Vehicles from other states or countries bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries are not considered trucks or commercial vehicles unless they meet the above criteria.)
RULES FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PARKING IN NYC
Additional restrictions may apply to the following rules, especially in midtown Manhattan.
Parking of Unaltered Commercial Vehicles Prohibited -If you own a vehicle bearing commercial plates, yet it does not meet the other criteria (see above) for it to be deemed as a commercial vehicle, then parking your vehicle in a no parking, no standing, or no stopping zone will earn you a hefty ticket. Those NYC cops don’t really care if your van is “technically” a commercial vehicle since it has commercial plates. They really care what the inside of that commercial vehicle looks like. If it has not been properly altered with all seats and seat fitting removed, it is not a commercial vehicle, and is therefore not deserving of the benefits or rights that a commercial vehicle is entitled to.
No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading – If you see a sign that reads “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading,” that means that only a commercial vehicle, or a service vehicle (as defined in New York City Traffic Rules), may stand or park in that area for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls.
In Manhattan from 35th St. to 41st St. and Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave) to 8th Ave between 7 am and 7 pm, only a truck as defined in Section 4-13(a) (pdf) may stand or park for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls.
Parking of Trailers – If you own a trailer or semi-trailer, be careful when parking on a street or highway to load or unload. If you drive a vehicle that pulls the trailer along, then you are entitled to do this. If not, then you are much better off finding an off-street platform, such a rest-stop or resting area to attend to your loading and unloading needs. Also, if you are an industrial zoned property (defined in Zoning Resolution), then you don’t even need your trailer to be attached to your car, as long as there is a posted sign that permits you to do so. To avoid any fines, make sure that you keep within the times that are posted on the sign. As an owner of a trailer or semi-trailer who decides to take advantage of parking this vehicle where it is permitted, you need to make sure that all the doors of your trailer are locked. Not only does this protect your trailer from passing traffic accidentally ripping off the doors, but it also protects you from having to pay for their damage. It is the responsibility of the trailer’s owner to make sure that no damage is caused because of his parked vehicle.
Street Storage of Commercial Vehicles Prohibited – When parking is not otherwise restricted, you should not park a commercial vehicle on the street for more than three hours. If a cop sees your vehicle parked excessively, he may fine you for storing your vehicle there.
Nighttime Parking of Commercial Vehicles Prohibited – It is prohibited to park a commercial vehicle on a residential street between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am. If this rule is violated, it is up to the one who parked the vehicle to come up with proof that he or she was actively involved in business during those hours. (Doing business during those hours can be within three City blocks of where the summons was issued.)
*This rule does not apply to vehicles owned or operated by gas or oil heat suppliers, gas or oil heat systems maintenance companies, their agents or employees, or any public utility.
DOUBLE PARKING FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Under the New York City Traffic Rules, double parking is when the driver of a vehicle stands or parks their vehicle (on the street) next to another vehicle that is stopped, standing, or parked at the curb.
In most situations, a driver may stand a commercial vehicle alongside a vehicle parked at the curb at such locations and during such hours that stopping, standing, or parking is not prohibited. Of course, this only if he is making pickups, deliveries or service calls in an efficient manner. The driver should make sure that there is no unoccupied curb space within 100 feet on either side of the street that can be used for standing, and that the standing is in compliance instructions from police officers and flagpersons.
MIDTOWN PARKING RULES FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
After reading this page, hopefully you are more familiar with the rules of commercial vehicle parking in NYC. However, if you will be in midtown Manhattan area, the rules are a bit different over there. Prepare yourself as best as you can so that you won’t run into any problems. For your convenience, please click here to read all about the commercial vehicle parking rules in Manhattan.