No Stopping Vs. No Standing Vs. No Parking (NYC Signs Meaning)

Are you wondering what the parking signs in New York mean?

Don’t worry; this article will clarify the confusion between NYC’s infamous No Parking, No Stopping, and No Standing signs.

New York parking rules and regulations are a constant hurdle and can be very confusing for travelers and visitors. Alternate side parking and whatnot? Even locals have a hard time navigating the city’s parking regulations.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has done an excellent job of putting parking signs on every street and block in the city. Unfortunately, these signs can easily be misunderstood (thanks to vague wording).

At first glance, for example, one might think that a “No Stopping” sign means you can run a red light without consequences.

However, that’s not the case.

Parking signs in NYC may seem vague, but they’ve profound meanings that can result in hefty fines and parking tickets if violated.

To avoid unnecessary stress and constant ticketing, take the time to understand the city’s parking signs and how they differ.

What Does No Standing Mean In NYC?

No Standing Any time sign

The term “stand” or “standing” has a different meaning in New York City Traffic Rules.

Section 4-01 of the NYC traffic rules defines “standing” as the stopping of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers.”

In other words, a “No Standing” sign means you may not “temporarily” stop or park in that zone to load or unload cargo, temporarily being no more than 2 minutes.

You’re also not allowed to wait at the curb to drop off or pick up passengers.

The sign is usually red with white markings and a double-sided arrow showing exactly where you cannot park.

Note that this sign only applies to loading and unloading goods, not people. Hence the law allows you to quickly drop off or pick up passengers already waiting at the spot.

It does not allow you to wait for passengers to arrive or to load or unload goods at this sign. You may be penalized if you violate this rule.

So if you need to pick up other people at a restricted area, always make sure the person(s) is there before picking them up.

It’s also important to know that New York City has two other types of “No Standing” signs.

One is the “No Standing Except For Commercial Vehicles” sign.

This sign means that only commercial vehicles are allowed to stop at this point to load or unload cargo. Passenger vehicles aren’t permitted to do so. And often, this sign also indicates the times when the regulation applies.

The other is “No Standing Except Trucks.” Only trucks are allowed to park for loading/unloading merchandise or products here. All other vehicles are prohibited from stopping curbside to discharge goods or passengers at this spot.

Standing in NYC may also be prohibited if the sign specifies a particular use, such as:

  • Hotel Loading Zone: Unless you’re receiving or discharging guests at the hotel, you’re not permitted to stand or park your vehicle in this zone.
  • Authorized Vehicles Only: Parking in these zones is only allowed for authorized vehicles.
  • Commuter Bus Stop: You’re only allowed to stop here if you’re quickly picking up or dropping off passengers, as long as you don’t interfere with commuter buses entering or leaving the area.

Other dedicated use “No Standing” signs common in NYC are: “Doctor’s Only,” “NYPD License Plates Only,” “Taxi Stand,” “Ambulance Only,” and “Electric Vehicles Only.”

No Parking Sign Meaning

No Parking icon graphic design isolated on white background. Vector illustration

The concept of “parking” is pretty simple. We park our car, turn it off, and leave it for some time.

Under New York traffic laws, you may stop your car at a no parking sign, load or unload goods, or pick up or drop off passengers.

However, you may not park your car and leave it unoccupied or unattended, even for a short time.

Some no parking signs include additional information such as “No Parking from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.” or “No Parking on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.”. In this case, the regulation is only in effect for the specified period.

Parking signs for specific periods are often found on streets where alternate side parking rules apply.

In addition, other signs remain in effect indefinitely, such as “No Parking Anytime.”

These signs will also have red arrows indicating the boundaries of the “No Parking” zone.

Remember that you may never park your car at a “No Parking” sign in New York unless otherwise indicated.

No Stopping Sign NYC Meaning

No Stopping Sign 1

Many people are familiar with the “Stop” sign that tells you to stop and watch for other vehicles or passengers.

A “No Stopping” sign is different. It is also the strictest and most restrictive parking sign in New York City.

Ideally, no stopping means you cannot stop your vehicle for any reason. Be it to park your car for some time, to wait for someone, to load or unload merchandise/packages, or to pick up or drop off other people.

You must keep your vehicle moving at all times.

Any violation of this traffic rule will result in you receiving a ticket.

You may only stop in a “No Stopping” zone in NYC if it’s an emergency or a traffic officer orders you. Even then, you must observe all other traffic rules in the area.

What Is The Difference Between No Parking And No Standing

No Standing


Parking and standing literally mean the same thing: stopping your vehicle, whether it’s occupied or not.

The difference, however, lies in the type of activity you may or may not perform in a restricted zone.

In a “No Standing” zone, you may only “briefly” stop your vehicle at the curb to drop off or pick up passengers.

Note that this rule only applies to people.

The “No Parking” rule, on the other hand, applies to both people and merchandise. In this case, you can “briefly” stop your vehicle at the curb to drop off or pick up passengers or merchandise.

While neither rule allows you to wait, no parking prohibits you from stopping your car, turning it off, and leaving it unattended for a while. This is what separates it from no standing in most cases in New York.

Can You Park In A No Standing Zone

No Standing Zone


No, you cannot park in a “No Standing” zone in New York, but you can pull over to the curb to pick someone up or drop them off.

Parking in a “No Standing” zone can result in a ticket, a tow or both

Remember that all of NYC is a designated tow-away zone. So even if you’re sitting in your car, you can still be towed for being in a “No Standing” zone.

There are occasions, however, when you can park in a “No Standing” zone without the fear of being ticketed or towed.

During major holidays, for instance, the City of New York suspends most of its parking rules. In these cases, all traffic signs except those in effect seven days a week (e.g., “No Standing Anytime”) are suspended.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day are holidays when parking rules are suspended in New York.

How Much Is The Penalty For No Standing, No Parking, And No Stopping

Violating a “No Standing” and “No Stopping” rule will amount to $115 and possibly a boot and tow penalty.

Whereas the ticket penalty for violating a “No Parking” sign in NYC varies, it is typically in the range of $45-$125. You can find more information about parking violations and fines on the New York City Website.

Note that once you receive a ticket for violating traffic rules in New York, you must respond to it within 30 days. Otherwise, you risk getting your license suspended.

There should be information at the back of the ticket that will tell you the next steps.

The good thing is that you can answer most parking violation tickets online. Visit this site for further information, enter a plea, or appeal a ticket.

How To Avoid Parking Violations In NYC

The best way to avoid parking violations in New York is to be diligent, always.

Know and understand New York’s parking rules and regulations. Before stopping, standing, or parking your vehicle, it is essential to be aware of all signs in your area.

Remember that parking signs in NYC change for various reasons, including holidays, inclement weather, during an accident, etc.

New signs may be posted with different parking rules than what you’re used to for that particular block. Therefore, it’s best to have this information in advance to avoid surprises.

You can look up parking sign locations and regulations for any block in New York using DOT’s parking signs locator.

This way, you can learn the complicated rules before reaching your destination, rather than scrambling to get away a minute too late.

In general, the parking signs in NYC are essential. Memorize them and use them as they should be so you don’t get into trouble.

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