Reminder: License plates must be visible in all University Park parking areas

September 15, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Transportation Services is reminding the University Park community that parking in all campus parking areas now requires vehicles to be parked with the license plate facing the drive aisle located closest to their parking space.

This means that head-in parking will be required in these areas except for vehicles with a valid front license plate. This does not apply to vehicles with a valid Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking placard or license plate parked in designated ADA parking spaces or to motorcycles.

Head-in parking is already required at the East, Eisenhower, Nittany and West parking decks, and all surface parking lots with angled spaces.

Requirements are posted on the signage located at the entrance to each parking area.

Transportation Services has been working over the past year to transition to a license plate recognition (LPR) system to manage campus parking facilities. Already employed by universities and municipalities across the country, the LPR parking management system employs cameras attached to Transportation Services vehicles that scan license plates and compares them to a permit database to validate whether a vehicle is authorized to park in each campus parking facility. For this to work, all vehicles must be parked so that the license plate faces the drive aisle immediately adjacent to each parking space.

The LPR system will allow campus parking areas to be monitored with much greater efficiency, which helps to ensure that permit holders have access to their assigned spaces. It also will allow for a transition to virtual parking permits over the next several years, which will have a number of benefits for the University, including:

  • Enhanced customer service through the expansion of online permit registration and the eventual elimination of the need to display a physical permit.

  • Support of the University's sustainability goals by reducing the need to print, inventory and mail physical permits.

  • Prevention of permit loss, theft and forgery.

The majority of campus parkers already utilize head-in parking, but recognizing that backing into spaces is preferred by some drivers and that Pennsylvania does not issue front license plates, Transportation Services is offering a special front license plate that when installed will allow for vehicles to back into nonangled spaces. The front plate may be purchased at the Transportation Services Office at 1 Eisenhower Parking Deck (open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for a one-time fee of $20. The license plate fee is not intended to generate revenue, but to cover production costs and staff time related to the issuance of this item.

For questions, email or call 814-865-1436.

Last Updated September 17, 2021