Winter Overnight Parking Ban Begins Friday Night, Saturday Morning


On December 1st, a few hundred Chicago drivers will return to where they parked their car the night before only to find it has mysteriously disappeared.

It’s like that every December 1st, when Chicago’s infamous, annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban goes into effect. Every day between 3 AM and 7 AM until April 1st, city tow trucks will spirit away vehicles parked along 107 miles of Chicago’s main arterial streets to one of Chicago’s auto pounds.

Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Anne Sheahan says her department has had boots on the ground since Monday reminding drivers of the winter ban’s imminent return by placing fliers on the windshields of cars parked along streets affected by the ban.

“Our goal is to have the season start with no tows,” says Sheahan. “No one wants to come out and find their car has been moved. We’re trying to do our best to see that people don’t get ticketed and towed.”

Getting towed in violation of the winter ban is expensive. Between the $50 ticket and the $160 in tow fees, drivers will fork over a minimum $210 at the auto pound to get their car back.

Sheahan strongly advises motorists who park along winter ban streets to think of the ban as starting Friday night, not Saturday morning.

“Remember, when you go to bed Friday or park your car Friday night, the ban will take effect overnight,” says Sheahan. “We want to stress to people the ban will be in effect at 3 AM.”


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