Winter Overnight Parking Ban Starts Tonight

The Facts, Info & Tips To Keep The Tow Trucks Away

With Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban starting late Wednesday night at 3AM (technically Thursday morning), The Expired Meter has the lowdown on what drivers need to know to keep their cars from being hooked up behind a city tow truck.


Thursday, December 1st until April 1st, from 3 AM to 7 AM.

Remember, this really means Wednesday night. Find a safe, legal parking spot on a side street for your car tonight so you can avoid any of this driving drama.


On 107 miles of Chicago’s main arterial streets.

This includes portions of Clark St., Devon, Central, Foster, Kedzie, Milwaukee, Division, Madison, State St., Cermak, Archer, Martin Luther King Drive, Morgan, 60th, Cottage Grove, 78th, 103rd, 106th and Torrence.

Here’s the city’s full listing of streets covered by the parking ban.

If you normally park on a major thoroughfare overnight, double-check the signs along the entire block to see if you can legally park there at night.

Give your alderman’s office a call and double check with a staff member to see where you can legally park and/or what streets near where you live are impacted.

Reference the map below to see if streets where you park are affected.


Blame it on the Blizzard of ’67.

The winter parking ban is historically rooted in that terrible Blizzard of ‘67. Because the snow was too deep and so many cars clogged these streets, plows were unable to start doing their job.  When the snow got too deep, it was nearly impossible to clear the snowfall with all the cars parked on the main arterial roadways.

So now, these crucial routes are kept open overnight–just in case.


No, it doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground.

The overnight ban is in effect no matter what–snow or no snow. Even if it’s 90 degrees in January, if you park you’ll be towed.

Don’t confuse the overnight ban with the 2″ snow ban which covers over 500 miles of city streets but only when there’s snow on the ground AND when the city officially invokes the ban through the media.


It will cost you $210 (or more) if you get caught parking on a street affected by the Winter Overnight Parking Ban.

Tow = $150
Storage Fee = $10 (per day)
Ticket = $50

TOTAL = $210


If you do get towed by the city here’s some resources to locate your car.

The city’s own Find Your Vehicle website let’s you search via the internet for a missing car.

Or just call 311.

Ultimately, your car will be brought to one of Chicago’s infamous auto pounds. Here’s a list of City Auto Pounds with addresses and maps to help reunite you with your wayward vehicle.


  • Ban officially starts December 1st at 3 AM and ends at 7 AM
  • It’s best to think of the ban as starting Wednesday night, November 30th
  • Keep your car off of all major thoroughfares affected by the ban each night
  • Review map (see below) and carefully read signs if you’re parking on a busy street
  • No snow required! It doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground or not. You park, you’re towed
  • Ban ends April 1st


9 Responses to Winter Overnight Parking Ban Starts Tonight

  1. [...] Both parking bans runs through April 1. For a brief history on the ban and further details on the rules, check out our friends at The Expired Meter. [...]

  2. [...] Both parking bans runs through April 1. For a brief history on the ban and further details on the rules, check out our friends at The Expired Meter. [...]

  3. DoR Employee says:

    I say 215 today.

  4. elizabeth says:

    How on earth are we to park on the parkway and walk into work on time?? I understand the reason for the ban;however, please consider a 30″ allowance for street parking close to institutions with a significant number of employees!! Parking at 0630 does not mean we have been there all night.

  5. Pete says:

    Why, that’s easy Elizabeth. Just pay $200 a month or more for a reserved garage space. This is all a part of Chicago’s long-fought War on Cars.

  6. DoR Employee says:

    Nope…but parking at 0630 means you are in violation Elizabeth

  7. Lisa says:

    I was from out of the City and not realizing the new ban on overnight parking. There was no sign posted anywhere even close. My friends husband that LIVES there everyday had not ever seen the sign posted because IT WAS SO FAR AWAY FROM MY CAR! It was a half a mile away! I think the city of Chicago should HAVE to be required to post so often every few feet if this is the law they want enforced. Is there any rights for citizens on this? Can I contest it? It is weird because I was parked near a busy CORNER and NO SIGN on the corner or near any Pay to Park which the closet was across the street. Chicago and it’s politicians are known to be con artists and this is completely unconstitutional to NOT post a sign where ENOUGH people from OUT OF TOWN can read it!

  8. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    You may be able to contest this. At minimum the city must post at least 1 sign for parking restrictions per block.

    If there isn’t one per block, you can contest it and potentially prevail. You will need to bring in photos of the entire block documenting no such sign exists.

    If you were towed, you must have a hearing to contest the tow and another one to fight the ticket itself. You can request a hearing for the tow at the auto pound, but you must do it right away. I believe you have two weeks, but it may be only one. Get on that right away. But also make sure you request an inperson hearing for the ticket as well.

  9. Mikus says:

    Hey guys ! Can anyone tell me ,I live in north side of the Chicago, we can not park on that listings bans only right ? how about side streets ? and what is the overnight ? overnight parking tickets can only be given on business streets ?

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