City officials are looking to put the brakes on illegal use of resident parking stickers, and it will mean a major change for residents as they will now have to renew their parking stickers.
All stickers will lapse at the end of February, but the City has extended the deadline until the end of March as a courtesy. Residents must renew their stickers to keep them, as they will no longer be automatically renewed. The City will begin ticketing for out of date stickers on April 1.
“This is a big change for a lot of residents,” said Bernabe Rodriguez, of the City Manager’s office. “For the past two or three years, we’ve been automatically renewing stickers so people wouldn’t have to come to City Hall and wait in long lines. This year, we’re changing that for multiple reasons.”
One of the major reasons for the change is to keep stickers out of the hands of non-residents who often take up valuable parking from actual residents. The new method could help increase resident parking, and also help the City get an accurate count of the numbers of cars registered in Chelsea.
“One very large issue we found was that when residents would move out of the city they would fail to cancel their sticker with the city or properly change their address with the registry,” he said. “This would increase the number of stickers issued out and skew our number of people who are actually still residents in Chelsea. With this year’s renewal we will be able to accurately verify which cars are correctly registered to the City of Chelsea and are resident owned.”
The change will mean that residents have to renew by either going to City Hall, dropping their renewal application in the mail, or going online. The stickers will remain free, but residents will need to show a valid driver’s license, ID or utility bill issued within the last 60 days. Those proofs of residency will have to display a Chelsea residential address. Those requesting the renewal will also need a valid vehicle registration with a Chelsea residential address on it as well.
Stickers will be mailed out to residents at the address, and residents are encouraged to put them on as soon as possible. The new stickers are available now, and Rodriguez suggested that residents take action early to avoid lines or backlogs. He added that online applications can take between seven and 10 days to complete.
“It’s a new year and we are hoping for a fresh start with a new, correct number of vehicles,” said Rodriguez. “It’s always good to know how many cars are on the streets so we can plan. The better we track of them, the better it is for everyone.”
To apply for renewal online, go to www.chelseama.gov/parking-permit-online.
The City is also maintaining a detailed Frequently Asked Questions page that can be accessed online at this address: https://www.chelseama.gov/city-clerk/faq/faqs-2020-residential-parking-sticker.