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Temporary Occupancy Permit

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At a Glance

  1. Companies, homeowners, tenants, and others can apply for a temporary occupancy permit required for the short term private use of public space in the District.

  2. The permit authorizes the temporary occupancy of public space, such as lengths of metered or non-metered parking lane, travel lane, sidewalk, alley, or an intersection for an approved number of days.

  3. If parking needs to be reserved or prohibited, either Reserved Parking or Emergency No Parking signs must be printed from the TOPS system after the permit is approved, paid for and issued.

  4. A permit can be printed from any place, but the sign printing is available only at Kiosks or at the permit office. Kiosk locations are listed further below.

  5. Most of the Temporary Occupancy Permits require an office review and it is best to allow adequate lead time for the review and approval of your application. Click here to view the number of lead days for each event.

  6. Signs must be posted 72 hours in advance in residential areas without metered parking and at least 24 hours in advance at metered parking spaces in commercial areas.

Permit Types

Reserved Parking

Reserved parking allows vehicle parking in up to 4 curbside parking spaces for up to 16 hours. These permits are perfect for reserving curb space for a Wedding, Funeral, Moving Truck, or other non-recurring event.

Emergency No Parking

Emergency no parking signs prohibit vehicle parking. Permits which require Emergency No Parking signs include Construction Staging Area and Roll off Debris container permits.

Posting Reserved Parking and Emergency No Parking Signs

  • 72 hours advance posting of the signs is required in residential neighborhoods without metered parking.
  • 24 hours advance posting is required at metered parking spaces in commercial areas.
  • All signs must be removed immediately upon completion of work.

full list of temporary occupancy events


Most conditions depend on the work or event requiring the occupancy permit that you are applying for. To view a full list of conditions, please click on the link below. All "Emergency No Parking" and "Reserved Parking" signs must be posted 72 hours prior to occupancy in residential neighborhoods and 24 hours prior in business districts where there is metered parking. You must remove all signs immediately upon completion of work.

Temporary Occupancy Permit Conditions

Processing Time

Many of the event types can are approved automatically, such as Wedding, Funeral, Moving Truck or container; provided the permitted location is on a local street. Additionally, if there is a possible conflict with another permit, a special road restriction, or the location is an arterial street, permit office staff will need to review the application and resolve any conflicts. Once a permit is approved, you can pay online using Credit Card / Debit Card / eCheck. Once payment is received, the permit is automatically issued by TOPS and available for printing from your home or office computer.

Permits that require review may take up to 20 business days to process, based on the complexity. However, many of the applications are processed for next business day pickup.

Any permit that requires Public Space Committee (PSC) approval will generally require at least 6 weeks to process and most involve a public hearing. Public Space Committee Meeting Dates

Kiosk Locations

There are 7 kiosks at MPD police stations, and 2 at the Permit Office. Occupancy signs can only be printed from Kiosks or obtained at the Permit Office.

Kiosk Locations


Some Occupancy permit applications, such as construction staging areas, require that appropriate documentation be uploaded to the application. A list of documents can be found using the “Find” button below. You are encouraged to upload documentation during the application process, but TOPS also provides the option to submit the documentation at the permit office counter.

Your application will not be assigned for review until the documentation is received by permit office staff. Applications having a "pending documents" status will lapse automatically after 20 business days. The system will accept pdf, tif, jpg, png, gif and svg for photos and only pdf, tif for all other types of documents. The maximum size for one document is 20 MB.

Document Requirements


Application Fee

There is a $50 application fee for certain types of Occupancy Permits that require a permit office staff review. This permit application review can only begin after the application fee is paid. To avoid delays, the application fee must be paid prior to submitting the application.

Permit Fee

The base fee for most Temporary Occupancy Permits is $50. There will be additional fees if more than one block face or block will be involved in the work or for the extended temporary occupancy of public space beyond the first 30 days. For a detailed list, please click on the "Public Space Fees" link from the menu bar.

Public Inconvenience Fee

The public inconvenience fee is charged for the extended temporary occupancy of public space in excess of a one-time thirty (30) calendar day grace period per permit.

Meter Fee

If your permit authorizes the occupancy of metered parking, a meter fee will be charged based on the meter hours and their rates.

Technology Fee

There is a 10% technology fee in addition to the permit fee.

Payment Options

Once the online application is approved, payment can be made online using MasterCard or Visa - or by submitting a check or money order made payable to "DC Treasurer". Payment by check or money order must be accompanied by the TOPS generated payment vouchers. The DC Treasurer is located at 1101 4th Street, SW in Washington, DC.

Please Note: If the application fee is required, it must be paid prior to submitting the application. The application cannot be assigned to a technician until the application fee is paid.

Application Status

A permit application starts with an "Incomplete" Status. Once submitted, it becomes "Pending Assignment" and then moves through several pre-defined statuses before the permit can be issued.

full list of Permit Application Statuses


Some event types, such as Construction Staging Area, Roll Off Debris Container, Manhole Access 1 Yr, and Steel plate- Single location, can be renewed online within a period of time between 30 days before and 30 days after the permit expiration date. The permit renewal application requires an office review and permit renewal fees.

Permit renewal is not an option outside the "30 days before/30 days after" renewal window.

Some event types that can NOT be renewed are - City Event, ENP For DDOT Contractors, Funeral Service, Manhole Access 11 days, Marathon, Mobile Crane Work Zone, Moving Storage Container, Moving Truck, Other Reserved Parking, Other Special Events, Other Work Related Occupancy, Parade, Steel plate- Rotating plate Program, TV & Film and Wedding.