General Parking Info

Updating Your Information with Parking Services

The Parking Services database is not linked directly to the University's database. Permit holders should update the Parking office of any changes in personal or vehicle registration information. Information updates, including ownership of a new vehicle, change of registration, change of address, and change in University employment, are important to prevent inadvertent enforcement action or delay in permit renewal.

City of Cambridge Parking

Parking on the streets of Cambridge is restricted to city residents, and requires that all vehicles be registered in the state of Massachusetts. Cambridge parking stickers are available at the Cambridge Traffic and Transportation Department, located at 344 Broadway. For more information on parking for Cambridge residents, please visit the City of Cambridge website, or call 617.349.4700.

Accidents, Witnessing an Accident, and Damage to Vehicles Parked on Campus

All vehicular accidents on University property should be reported to the Harvard University Police Department.

If an affiliate witnesses an accident, he or she is guaranteed anonymity in reporting. Such a report may be filed in person or by telephone with the Harvard University Police Department.

To file a claim for damage caused to a permit holder's vehicle by University-owned vehicles or property, the vehicle owner should obtain a Harvard University Insurance Claim form, which is available at the Parking office and the Harvard University Police Department.

If a permit holder is involved in an on-campus accident and fails to report it, he or she could risk loss of parking privileges.


Massachusetts' law requires that all motorcycle operators and their passengers wear helmets at all times. Motorcycles are subject to all the same parking regulations as any other motor vehicles. They may not be parked within the House grounds at any time, but limited surface parking is available in Allston, or at the Peabody Terrace Garage. Students can purchase a parking permit for their motorcycle for the academic year for $276.00.

Snow Emergencies

All tenants must report to their designated parking facilities during snow emergencies. Parking in other unreserved areas is prohibited, and vehicles that do so will be cited and/or towed to facilitate snow removal.

In the event that either the City of Cambridge or the City of Boston declares a snow emergency, the University grants Cambridge/Boston residents the right to park in designated University facilities. The Soldiers Field Park Garage and the 52 Oxford Street Garage are currently designated for Allston and Cambridge residents, respectively. Space is limited, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The University reserves the right to cease admittance due to capacity limitations and operation issues. All vehicles must exit these facilities within one hour after Snow Emergency status is lifted.

Any University permit holder who does not have 24-hour parking privileges and believes that weather conditions prohibit driving home safely may use these lots during declared snow emergencies.

The University reserves the right to move any vehicles that prohibit plowing or snow removal. All efforts will be made to contact the individual prior to moving the vehicle to a nearby parking space.


The University provides signage in all designated parking areas. Parking signs provide current information including the name of the facility and any facility-specific parking restrictions. A vandalized/removed sign does not constitute a valid justification for a violation of parking regulations.

Traffic Enforcement

The enforcement of traffic rules and regulations is the responsibility of the Harvard University Police Department. The Parking office will support the HUPD by directing vehicles to available parking locations and by informing the HUPD of areas of concern.

The speed limit on University property is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.


Illegally parked vehicles on Harvard University property are subject to tow at the owner’s expense. Tow fees are set by the municipal government. If you feel your car has been towed, you should contact the Parking Office at 617 496-7827 during regular business hours (M-F 8:00am to 5:00pm). After-hour inquires should be directed to the Harvard University Police Department at 617-495-1215.

A tow release slip and payment must be presented to the tow company to obtain your vehicle. You must first pay off your citation balance at the Parking Office before the tow release slip will be issued. Parking Services accepts cash, checks, credit cards and term bill for students as methods of payment.

Harvard Parking Services utilizes two separate tow companies. The tow release slip will indicate where your vehicle is located:

Phil’s Towing
333 Webster Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02141-1031

Stadium Auto Body, Inc.
305 Western Avenue
Allston, MA 02134-1096

Parking After 5:00 p.m. - Important Safety Reminder

For safety and convenience, all faculty, staff and student parking permits (with the exception of Evening Commuter permits, which are only valid in the designated garage or lot marked on them) are valid in all unreserved parking areas from 5:00 p.m. to midnight (Monday through Thursday) and 5:00 p.m. Friday to midnight on Sunday. Unreserved parking locations are identified in RED on the Parking Map. You may print this map for your own use. Parking in the garages or in the lots shown in Blue or Purple is not permissible, and doing so may result in ticketing and/or towing.

Wait Lists

Demand for Cambridge and Allston parking currently exceeds the available supply. Each year Parking Services maintains a waiting list for all parking types on the Cambridge and Allston Campuses. New applicants are wait-listed according to the date received in the Parking office.

Historically, there has been very little activity on waiting lists for preferred, centrally-located parking facilities in Cambridge due to spaces taken offline during construction. New applicants can expect to remain on these preferred waiting lists for up to 36 months. However, facilities located in areas farther away from central campus typically have shorter waiting lists, or none at all. Please contact the Parking Services office for the most up-to-date information for help with wait list placement.

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