FAQs: Parking Regulations

This list is designed to be a quick resource to answer commonly asked questions about parking on and around the SPU campus. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of rules and regulations for parking issues at SPU. For complete information on any parking issue, see the Parking Regulations section.

Why do I have to register my car?

Registering your vehicle with the Safety and Security Office is a requirement of both the City and the University. This type of registration is free. The City’s concern centers mostly on transportation management issues. SPU is required to monitor the number of vehicles brought to the campus, as well as provide information and services that allow people to use other avenues of commuting, like the METRO buses or rideshare system. The University requires that vehicles be registered so that we can easily locate owners, should there be an emergency. It also assists with lot assignments and quick identification. There is a $35 fine for unregistered vehicles, which we can determine by obtaining information from the Department of Licensing.

When are the lots available for free parking?

During the school year, from the day classes begin in the Fall, to the last day of classes in the Spring, all Commuter parking lots (with the exception of the S lot), are free to park in from 4 p.m.–7 a.m., Monday through Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. During the summer, the lots are open and we do not make assignments. We only require that people do not park in handicap, fire lanes, or Reserved spaces (any numbered space), which are enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why do I need a street decal?

While it is true that street parking is free, people parking on the street MUST register their car. We issue decals to these people to identify their vehicle with SPU, for the benefit of Security and the Seattle Police Department. Possession of a street decal has prevented a number of cars from being impounded, since the owners could be quickly contacted.

What if I have to drive a different car to campus?

If you are driving a different vehicle than the one you have registered with our department, you must notify the office of Safety and Security. By doing this, our Parking Patrol can avoid ticketing the new car, and we can locate you, should the need arise. If your regular car is out of commission, due to mechanical problems, a temporary permit will be issued, once it has been verified that you have purchased a valid permit for the current quarter.

How and when do I pay for parking?

If you are a student, you cannot pay for parking assignments or citations in the Security Office. All charges will be placed on your account in Student Financial Services. You will not be charged until you are issued a decal. Faculty/Staff will receive decals approximately one week after their request is received, and they can pay in the Office of Safety and Security. Employees can choose to pay by means of cash, check, or a payroll deduction.

What do the bars on the decals mean?

The bars on the decal indicate which quarter they are valid for. Students and employees paying for parking quarterly receive new decals each quarter. For Fall Quarter, both of the bars are cut off of the decal, leaving only the maroon portion. For winter, only the bottom bar is removed, leaving the maroon and one colored bar. For Spring Quarter, the decal with both bars attached is issued.

Students in the resident lots receive one decal for the year, with no bars removed, but are charged quarterly. Employees paying for parking annually, also receive a decal with both bars attached. The colors of the bars are changed yearly.

How are parking assignments determined?

Currently, SPU uses a priority system for deciding the parking assignments since the demand for permits cannot always be met by available space:

  1. Year in school. Post-Bacs (Graduates) are first, then seniors, then juniors, etc.
  2. The date the application is received in our office.
  3. Special considerations (medical reasons, off-campus job, etc.)

According to the priority system, we will assign people to the lots accordingly. Anyone not receiving a permit in the beginning moves onto a waiting list and will be assigned as soon as spaces become available according to the waiting list. After the cut-off date on the registration, first priority will be changed to the date the application is received.

Where do I place my decal?

Decals must be placed on the rear window on the driver’s side of the vehicle (rear bumper is allowed for convertibles). If placing it in the rear window, make sure the decal is fully visible and that the bars and year it is valid for can be clearly seen. A vehicle will not be considered registered unless the decal is in one of these locations and the owner will assume responsibility for any citations received for “No Decal.”

I don’t deserve this citation. What do I do?

If you feel a citation was unfairly issued, you can petition the violation. This requires you to fill out a petition form. One way to fill out a form is to come to the Office of Safety and Security. An online petition form is also available. You must fill out the form entirely and then wait for a response from the parking coordinator. The ticket isn't automatically voided by submitting the petition.

When will I know what space I have received?

Decals are sent the week before each quarter starts. If this time has come and gone, and you haven’t received notification, stop by the Office of Safety and Security to check your parking status.

The Loop

Find Your Way

Get directions to SPU, and find your way once you’re here with the campus map and campus accessibility map.