FAQs: Parking Regulations

This list is designed to be a 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 more information on parking policies, see the Parking Regulations.

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. Unregistered vehicles are subject to fines.

Are there times I can park in SPU lots even without a parking decal? 

During the school year (i.e., from the day classes begin in the Fall to the last day of classes in the Spring), SPU students, employees, and guests may park in Commuter parking lots (with the exception of the S lot) without a parking decal from 6 p.m.–7 a.m., Monday through Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. During the summer, the lots are open, but long-term summer parking is not available. At no time may any person park in a disabled space, a fire lane, or a reserved space (i.e., any numbered space) without permission—these restrictions 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 still register their vehicle with SPU. SPU issues decals to these people to identify their vehicle with SPU, for the benefit of security and the Seattle Police Department. For example, 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 call 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 (please email the Transportation Manager), once it has been verified that you have purchased a valid permit for the current quarter. 

How and when do I pay for parking?

For Students, 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 see monthly deductions begin the following month on their payroll, once they have received their decal.

What do the bars on the decals mean?

The bars on the decal indicate which quarter the decal is 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 and Faculty/Staff that pay annually receive one decal for the year, with no bars removed. 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. The date the application is received in our office
  2. Residence (for residential students only)
  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. Please 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, and the owner will be subject to fines, unless the decal is clearly visible.

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

If you feel a citation was unfairly issued, you can petition the citation. This requires you to fill out a petition form. An online petition form is also available. You must fill out the form entirely. The ticket isn't automatically voided by submitting the petition.

  • SPU Faculty, Staff and Students may submit a petition at spu.edu/parkingpetition.
  • Guests, Visitors and Vendors: log into the SPU Nupark  portal and fill out the online parking petition form, or pay your citation there.

When will I know what space I have received?

Once your parking application has been processed, our Transportation Manager will email you. Your assigned space and lot will be in your parking packet, which will include your decal at time of pick up. If after one week you have not heard about your application, please contact the Transportation Manager.

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