In the United States, where does a no-parking zone start when there is a simple no-parking sign? Assume the sign is the first such sign on this stretch of road.

Can I park immediately at (before) the sign? Or does the zone extend back before the sign, perhaps to some range from where it can be seen?

For example, is this car parked legally, assuming the nose of the car is not past the sign? enter image description here

  • In what jurisdiction? Sep 6, 2020 at 19:36
  • 2
    In the U.S., there are a huge number of acceptable signs for "No Parking" according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Each sign type has a different meaning. What type of "No Parking" sign are you asking about? Were the words, "No Parking" the only words on the sign with no additional symbols?
    – Dave D
    Sep 6, 2020 at 19:45
  • Yes, exactly. A simple no parking sign. Sep 6, 2020 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


This "No Parking" sign is the sign the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) has designated R8-3. According to the MUTCD, to which all states are required to adhere, section 2B.47 paragraph 18, this sign would indicate that any parking is prohibited along a given highway:

In rural areas (see Figure 2B-25), the legends NO PARKING ON PAVEMENT (R8-1) or NO STOPPING ON PAVEMENT (R8-5) are generally suitable and may be used. If a roadway has paved shoulders, the NO PARKING EXCEPT ON SHOULDER sign (R8-2) or the NO STOPPING EXCEPT ON SHOULDER sign (R8-6) may be used as these signs would be less likely to cause confusion. The R8-3 symbol sign or the word message NO PARKING (R8-3a) sign may be used to prohibit any parking along a given highway. Word message supplemental plaques may be mounted below the R8-3 or R8-3a sign. These word message supplemental plaques may include legends such as EXCEPT SUNDAYS & HOLIDAYS (R8-3bP), ON PAVEMENT (R8-3cP), ON BRIDGE (R8-3dP), ON TRACKS (R8-3eP), EXCEPT ON SHOULDERS (R8-3fP), LOADING ZONE (with arrow) (R8-3gP), and X:XX AM TO X:XX PM (with arrow) (R8-3hP).

These are the R8-3 and R8-3a signs to which the regulations refer:

R8-3 and R8-3a No Parking Signs

There are other "No Parking" signs that indicate the beginning, end or continuation of prohibited parking zones.

  • 1
    This road very obviously allows parking well before the sign, and there is no other sign indicating the start of the zone. What then? Sep 6, 2020 at 21:33
  • 1
    You can ask the governing authority what the sign means, I can only provide you with what the uniform traffic regulations indicate. The governing authority is required to follow the MUTCD and their definition says that parking is prohibited along the given highway.
    – Dave D
    Sep 6, 2020 at 21:46
  • 3
    @PatrickSzalapski In most jurisdictions, the no parking sign is in effect for as long as the "curb remains unbroken" by another intersecting street (not a driveway), in both directions (essentially, the lack of arrows indicating direction is interpreted as synonymous to bidirectional arrows). Unless the specific jurisdiction interprets them differently, that car is parked illegally.
    – animuson
    Sep 6, 2020 at 23:18
  • "..in effect for as long as the "curb remains unbroken" by another intersecting street (not a driveway), in both directions." Thanks, that's quite helpful. Do you have a written source for that? Sep 11, 2020 at 16:07

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