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. Learn more about how on-street parking is being managed at this time.

Overview

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 ROW 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

This permit is for short-term work that supports residential construction and moving containers. 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 - Prepare Your Plan

To apply for a Storage and Construction container permit, you will need to prepare a Right-of-Way (ROW) Impact Plan (ROWIP) that shows the approximate location of the residential dumpster or storage container. You can use one of our small project plan templates on our template and checklist website to draw the location of the residential dumpster or storage container.

Step 4 - Apply for your permit!

Storage and Construction Container applications must be submitted through the Seattle Services Portal.  Once in the Seattle Services Portal:  

Login:

If this is your first time applying for a permit online, click on Register for an Account located in the upper right hand section of the Seattle Services Portal page.  Information on how to create and activate a new account can be found in the Getting Started section of the Help Center. If you have issues with your account, you can email seattleservices_ithelp@seattle.gov for assistance.

Under Create New, click Permits-Street Use 

Select ROW Maintenance under the ROW Construction section:

Page describing ROW Maintenance

Click on the Continue Application button.

Follow the step by step instructions to complete the application process. When you get to the Attachments section, upload the Right-of-Way Impact Plan (ROWIP) that you prepared in step 3.   

Once you are on Page 5 - Use Information of the application, select the Dumpster/Storage Use Type.

Page describing Dumpster/Storage Container

Click the Continue Application button

Follow the step by step instructions to complete the application process. When you get to the Attachments section, upload the Right-of-Way Impact Plan (ROWIP) that you prepared in step 3. 

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

Step 5 - 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 may apply. 

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

Fee information can be found on our How to Estimate and Pay Permits website.

Step 6: Reserve Your Curb Parking Space

To ensure a space is available to stage the storage container or residential dumpster, you must apply for follow the below steps:  

  1. Arrange to have No Parking easel(s) delivered to your location
  2. Apply for a Temporary No Park permit
  3. Print out the Public Notice to attach to your No Parking easel(s) at least 72 hours in advance of placing the storage container or residential dumpster

  Instructions on how to do each of these steps can be found on our Temporary No Parking Permits website

Step 7 - 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