Storage Container and Residential Dumpster Permits

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone or e-mail.


Within Seattle, portable containers for moving and storage and dumpsters placed in the public right-of-way require a Street Use permit before they're delivered and placed. Please note that the guidelines below are for residential use. Containers and dumpsters for construction projects require a different type of permit. 

Examples of residential use include:

  • Storing - such as temporary storage for furniture during a remodel
  • Moving - using a portable container to facilitate a move
  • Improving - staging a dumpster to contain debris while cleaning or remodeling

You do not need a permit for moving trucks. If your moving truck will be in a restricted parking area, you may need to establish a Temporary No Parking Zone and/or obtain a Hooded Meter Truck Permit which are issued by the Transportation Operations division. if you have a trailer and hitch parked in the right-of-way, it must be attached to a vehicle. 

NOTE: A Construction Use permit is required:

  • If another use is required to perform the work (e.g. stage materials or equipment, booming over the traveling public etc.)
  • If a construction container is proposed on any arterial street or non-arterial street in an Urban Village or Urban Center
  • If work will close pedestrian, bicycle or vehicle travel 

Step 1 - Decide if you need a container in the right-of-way

Since there are fees involved with this type of permit (we talk more about this below!), it's a good idea to make sure that you will need a portable storage container or dumpster for your project. 

Step 2 - Review guidelines on where it can go

Before applying for your permit, you will need to figure out where you can place the portable storage container. To help you with this, we've established some guidelines:

  • Portable containers should be placed in legal parking spaces and must be free-standing
  • Portable containers should be placed in the parking lane in front of your property
    • If the only available space is in front of property that is not yours, you must notify the potentially affected property owners before placement
  • To maintain safe lines-of-sight, place the container at least 30 feet (9.14 meters) from intersections, 10 feet (3.04 meters) from driveways, and 15 feet (4.57 meters) from hydrants
  • If you would like to officialy reserve a parking space for your container, you will need to establish a temporary No Parking Zone
    • Note: if your container will be located in an on-street paid parking area, you must establish a temporary No Parking Zone.

Neighborhood street with cars parked along curb  Neighborhood street with cars parked overlaid with callouts indicating the features you'll want to be aware of when placing a portable container

Step 3 - Apply for your permit!

Ready to get started? Click the Seattle Services Portal button on the right to begin your permit application.

When you apply, you'll need to submit a ROW Impact Plan with your proposed location for the storage container or dumpster. Click the thumbnail below to download a blank copy! 

The Right-OF-Way Impact Plan Template

Step 4 - Pay for your permit and print it!

Storage containers and residential dumpsters use the ROW Management - Simple Review base permit fee. Additional charges related to location, duration, and impacts to mobility and safety factors apply. 

Please review the current fee schedule and consult with Street Use permit staff to determine the exact fees. 

Once you've finished your application, you can pay for your permit online through the Seattle Services Portal and print your permit!

Step 5 - Set up a temporary No Parking zone

To establish a temporary No Parking zone, you will need to:

  1. rent "no parking" easels from a traffic control vendor
  2. attach a confirmation form to your easels
    • for non-metered parking areas, complete the Self-Verification of Temporary No Parking Zone and then print and attach the confirmation form
    • for metered parking areas, you will need to visit our Traffic Permits Counter in person on the 37th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower
  3. place the easels 72 hours in advance of the no parking period

Temporary No Parking zones are enforced by the Seattle Police Department's Parking Enforcement at (206) 386-9012. Without adequate advance placement of no parking easels, Parking Enforcement may be unable to enforce your no parking zone.

Visit the temporary No Parking zone page to learn more about how to set one up. 

Step 6 - Start your project!

With the easy stuff out of the way, you can get started on your project! 

Neighborhood street with cars overlaid with callouts and a diagram of where you can place your portable container