Loading Zones

Business Planning StageZoning StageLicensing StagePermitting StageAdditional Requirements


For commercial vehicles making deliveries to businesses

Loading zones are designated areas in the parking lane for the loading and unloading of deliveries to buildings. These zones are for commercial vehicles or vehicles that have a valid Non-Commercial Loading Zone Permit only. These zones are not designated to reserve parking for business patrons or employees. Any commercial vehicle may park in any loading zone to load and unload for up to thirty minutes.

Loading zones are usually requested by merchants or building owners through your Alderman’s office. When requesting a loading zone, please consider:

1) If possible, loading should be done from the alley if one is available. If this is not an option, the location and length of the zone, and the hours of use must be determined. If parking is in high demand, the hours when the zone is active will be limited.

2) Given the cost on parking spaces throughout the city, a delivery schedule or invoice detailing delivery volume and how often deliveries are made is needed. An understanding of the delivery volume/how often they are made for a particular business will help determine the level of need for loading zones. This will also help to make sure that parking spaces are set aside only for those businesses requiring them and are not being misused.

For non-commercial vehicles to do business (drop off, pick up, etc.) - 15 Minute Standing Zones

Standing zones are designated areas in the parking lane for temporary parking. Vehicles parking in standing zones must have their hazard lights flashing while the driver is away from the vehicle. The process for determining a standing zone and approval is similar to that of a loading zone. Active hours of the zone will be limited to your hours of operation. Note: Even though the standing zone is placed next to your business, vehicles standing in the zone for the allotted time are not obligated to visit your business.

Application Process

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installs and maintains standing zone and loading zone signage. This program provides business and residents with access to portions of the street for loading of goods and temporary standing of an unattended vehicle for a short period of time with flashers left on. New standing zones and new loading zones require aldermanic input and further review by the Department of Transportation. Initial installation fees and annual maintenance fees are based on the distance of the zone.

For an overview of the process, download a new standing zone or new loading zone application, determine the applicable fees, or for a list of frequently asked questions, please go to CDOT's Loading Zones And Standing Zones page.



Valet zones are special loading zone areas in the parking lane of the road that can be used for the operation of a valet service.  The process to gain approval for a valet zone is similar to the process to get approval for a loading zone. Hours when the valet zone will be considered an active valet zone are limited to the hours of operation of your valet service. If your business establishment wishes to conduct valet services independently on an incidental basis, you must obtain a valet parking service license from Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). Otherwise, you must contract a licensed valet operator. Valet operating procedures are outlined in the Municipal Code of Chicago.

Application Process

The whole process takes a minimum of nine months.

  • Application from the Alderman’s office is required
  • Business must have a valid and current loading zone
  • Valet company provides letter from business and proof of current permit to BACP
  • Valet company pays additional fee and is issued a sign for that particular location from BACP
  • Fees collected by BACP

Related Pages
Commercial Driveway Permits
- Instructions and fees for Commercial Driveway Permit applications

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