City Departments & Offices

As City of Cambridge buildings, departments, and services plan for a safe and limited reopening to the public, the following is the most up-to-date information about each department and how to get in touch with them. When visiting a City building for an appointment, you should wear face coverings, maintain 6 feet for social distancing, and wash your hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the building. City staff will also be wearing face coverings and washing their hands frequently.

Remember that while departments are resuming certain services by in-person appointment on limited days, most services can be provided online or over the telephone Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can contact the departments below before making an appointment, to see if the services you need can be provided electronically. A complete listing of City Departments and their contact information can be found here.

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Traffic, Parking + Transportation

The Traffic, Parking, and Transportation will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for select services. Details about how to access these services online or book an in-person appointment are available on our street occupancy permit (moving vans, moving crates, and tool trucks), parking ticket, and parking permit (residents and visitors) pages. Call 617-349-4700 (voice), 711 (relay), or email tpt@cambridgema.gov for assistance.

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City Clerk's Office

The City Clerk’s Office is accepting applications to marry by appointment, and appointments for other services, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments to marry can be made by calling 617-349-4260. Please be aware that due to social distancing requirements, only the parties to the marriage will be allowed in the office during their appointment. Appointments for other Clerk’s Office services can be made online, by phone or by email at cityclerk@cambridgema.gov. All appointments will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule for another day.

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Library

Contactless holds pickup is available at the Main Library. Request items and schedule pickup appointments online, by phone at 617-349-4040 or by email at library@cambridgema.gov.

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Department Information

Don't see what you're looking for? Call 617-349-4300 or email 311@cambridgema.gov

Animal Commission

The Animal Control Office will be open to members of the public by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to obtain a dog license, answer other regulatory questions, or provide general assistance. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4376 or by email at animalcommission@cambridgema.gov. Appointments will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule for another day.

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Cambridge Arts

The Cambridge Arts Council will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4380 or by email at cambridgearts@cambridgema.gov. Cambridge Arts will continue to provide regular weekly community check-ins and office hours virtually. To join the virtual office hours on Thursdays between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., please contact Kirsten Swartz, Community Arts Administrator at kswartz@cambridgema.gov.

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Assessing Department

The Assessing Department will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available for residential exemptions, personal exemptions, excise tax abatements, and other services. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4343 or by email at assessors@cambridgema.gov.

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City Clerk's Office

The City Clerk’s Office is accepting applications to marry by appointment, and appointments for other services, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments to marry can be made by calling 617-349-4260. Please be aware that due to social distancing requirements, only the parties to the marriage will be allowed in the office during their appointment. Appointments for other Clerk’s Office services can be made online, by phone or by email at cityclerk@cambridgema.gov. All appointments will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule for another day.

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City Manager's Office

The City Manager's Office will be open to the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4300 or by email at citymanager@cambridgema.gov.

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Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship

The Commission on Immigrant Rights & Citizenship (CIRC) will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-9718 or by email at twabeto@cambridgema.gov.

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Community Development

CDD is open to the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available for affordable housing, zoning, business and entrepreneurship, Cambridge Energy Alliance, or general planning matters. If you need to meet with a specific person, please contact them directly to schedule an appointment. Housing appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4622 or by email at housing@cambridgema.gov. Appointments for all other CDD matters can be made by phone at 617-349-4600 or by email at CDDat344@cambridgema.gov.

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Consumers' Council

The Consumers' Council will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments can be made online, by phone at 617-349-6150, or by email at consumer@cambridgema.gov. Appointments by phone or email are strongly encouraged to ensure you are connected with the appropriate services.

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Election Commission

The Election Commission will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available for voter registration, resident letters, Annual City Census and all other election related matters. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4361 or by email at elections@cambridgema.gov. Appointments will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will need to reschedule.

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Finance Department

The Finance Department will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available for tax title services, refund processing, registry hold releases, and other matters. Appointments can be made online, by phone at 617-349-4220, or by email at treasurer@cambridgema.gov.

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Fire Prevention Bureau

Beginning Monday, June 29, the Fire Prevention Bureau will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. to conduct plan reviews and other Fire Prevention related matters. Appointments are also available for on-site project completion inspections on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 617-349-4921 or emailing fprev@cambridgefire.org.

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Historical Commission

The Historical Commission will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for permitting and other regulatory questions, limited research assistance, and other general assistance. Appointments can be made online, by phone at 617-349-4683 or by email at histcomm@cambridgema.gov. Please provide the property address related to your appointment request or the nature of your regulatory question so that we can make arrangements with the appropriate staff person. Research questions that would require an appointment time longer than 30 minutes will continue to be handled by phone and email.

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Human Rights Commission

The Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC) will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4396 or by email at crosa@cambridgema.gov.

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Inspectional Services

Inspectional Services will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available with building inspectors, sanitary inspectors, housing inspectors, and East and West Cambridge Trade Inspectors, as well as for general administration and zoning services (researching building files, submitting payment or documents, etc.). Appointments can be made online, by phone at 617-349-6100, or by email at isd@cambridgema.gov.

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Library

Contactless holds pickup is available at the Main Library. Request items and schedule pickup appointments online, by phone at 617-349-4040 or by email at library@cambridgema.gov.

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License Commission

The License Commission will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments are available for: new hackney, jitney or livery drivers; people who have to pay license or application fees in cash; or other matters. Appointments can be made online, by phone at 617-349-6140, or by email at license@cambridgema.gov. Appointments by phone or email are strongly encouraged to ensure you are connected with the appropriate services.

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Personnel Department

The Personnel Department will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are available for job inquiries, seasonal lottery processing, benefits questions, or other matters. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4332 or by email at employment@cambridgema.gov.

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Police Records Unit

Beginning Monday, June 29, the Cambridge Police Records Unit will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for License to Carry (LTC) renewals and general assistance. Please note that fingerprint services for new LTC applications are not yet available. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-3336 or by email RecordsE-Mail@cambridgepolice.org.

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Police Review & Advisory Board

The Police Review & Advisory Board (PRAB) will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-6155 or by email at crosa@cambridgema.gov.

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Public Works Department

DPW offices at 147 Hampshire St. are open to the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4800 or by email at theworks@cambridgema.gov. Individual staff are also available for appointments outside of these hours as needed; please contact the office with the details of your issue, and we will coordinate with the appropriate staff member. Many DPW services can be provided online, and DPW phones are staffed 24/7 to respond to urgent concerns.

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Purchasing Department

The Purchasing Department will be open to the public, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4310 or by email at purchasing@cambridgema.gov. Appointments outside of these hours are available as needed to meet vendor-specific needs or deadlines. Please note that all bids will continue to be submitted through the lock-box at the rear entrance of City Hall, and bid openings will continue to be conducted over conference call as required by the state.

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Traffic, Parking + Transportation

The Traffic, Parking, and Transportation will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for select services. Details about how to access these services online or book an in-person appointment are available on our street occupancy permit (moving vans, moving crates, and tool trucks), parking ticket, and parking permit (residents and visitors) pages. Call 617-349-4700 (voice), 711 (relay), or email tpt@cambridgema.gov for assistance.

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Veterans Services

The Veterans Services Department will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for various services. Please note that Veterans Life and Recreation Center workshops, public meetings, and networking events are not yet available. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4760 or by email at veterans@cambridgema.gov, and will be scheduled in 30-60 minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will need to reschedule. Veterans in crisis should call 911, the SAVE Team at 800-273-8253, or go to their nearest emergency department.

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Water Department

The Cambridge Water Department will be open to members of the public, by appointment only, on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for various services. Details about Residential Water Testing, Water Construction Permits, Hydrant Use Permits, Backflow Permits and Water Meter Replacement are available on our website. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4770 or by email at CWD@cambridgema.gov.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't see information about the department I need?

Don't see appointment or in-person contact information about a department you need to do business with? With the safety of residents and City staff our top priority, the City is moving forward with a phased reopening approach and more departments will begin reopening to the public once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, a list of City Departments and their contact information can be found here. Many services can be provided online or over the telephone. You can also call 617-349-4000 or email 311@cambridgema.gov and someone will get back to you.

What should I do before arriving for my appointment?

Before you arrive – Self-Screen for COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure

If you answer "yes" to any of the following four questions, do not come to our offices. Contact us to let us know that you cannot make your appointment.

  1. Have you had flu-like symptoms, signs of a fever, a measured temperature above 100.3 degrees or greater, a cough, or shortness of breath within the past 48 hours?
  2. Have you had “Close Contact,” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting flu-like symptoms in the past 48 hours? (The CDC defines “Close Contact” as: a) being within 6 feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or b) having unprotected direct contact with secretions or excretions of a person with confirmed COVID-19.)
  3. Are you currently under any instructions/request to self-isolate or quarantine by your doctor or a local public health official?
  4. Within the past 14 days, have you traveled to a different country or a state other than Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York or New Jersey?

What do I do when I arrive for my appointment?

When visiting a City building, you should wear a face covering, maintain 6 feet for social distancing, and wash your hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the building. Hand sanitizer stations will be available. City staff will also be wearing face coverings and washing their hands frequently.

Please do not arrive early. When you arrive, the Police Officer or a staff person at the building entry desk will let you in. They will verify that you have an appointment in the building, log your contact information, and direct you to where you need to go. 

Who can come to my appointment?

Please be advised that due to social distancing requirements, only the person with the appointment will be allowed in the office during the scheduled appointment (unless for a Marriage License where both parties must be present at the City Clerk’s Office).

Those with appointments who may have children they need to bring with them, or special needs requiring assistance from a family member/caregiver to ensure they can safely attend their appointment, should notify the department they are visiting in advance so that appropriate accommodations can be made to ensure proper social distancing practices.

How do I access City Hall?

The front entrance of City Hall is currently closed.  If you have an appointment at City Hall, please enter and exit the building through the accessible entrance at the rear of City Hall, off Dorothy “Dottie” Doyle Way. 

Page was last modified on 6/25/2020 2:07 PM
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