Parking Regulations

The following regulations have been formulated to:

  • Familiarize users of campus facilities with the University’s expectations regarding parking
  • Provide all participants of the University community with an explanation of the rules governing the registration and use of motor vehicles
  • Assure that emergency vehicles will have unimpeded access to the campus at all times


The following definitions are specifically for use with the Seattle Pacific University parking regulations.

  • Abandoned vehicles: Any motor vehicle that has not been driven for 10 consecutive days, and the owner of which cannot be immediately identified or contacted. Vehicles left abandoned will be impounded at the owner’s expense.
  • Academic year: The period of time between the first day of Autumn Quarter and the last day of Spring Quarter.
  • Emergency vehicles: Fire equipment, ambulances, paramedic vehicles, police vehicles, and Campus Security vehicles.
  • Motor vehicles: All vehicles that are self-propelled (trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, motor scooters, and mopeds).
  • Service vehicles: Commercial and University vehicles engaged in the service and maintenance of campus buildings or grounds.

Vehicle Registration and Parking Application

All students and employees who bring a car to campus must register their vehicle with the Office of Safety and Security via Nupark, regardless of whether the vehicle is parked on the street or in an SPU parking lot. SPU does not charge for vehicle registration, but SPU does charge for parking, and also issues fines for vehicles that are not registered. Vehicles must be registered within 10 business days of the start of a quarter (for students) or of the start of employment (for employees). If a student or employee wants to park on campus, they need to both register their vehicle and complete a parking application. 

Registering vehicles and applying for on-campus parking permits can be done on our NUPARK website. Once you have applied and once your application has been processed, a decal will be issued to you and you will be emailed with instructions. If you have campus mail, your decal will be sent to you. If you do not have a campus mail, your decal will be held for you for pick up at the Safety and Security office.

Permit (decal) placement: A vehicle will not be considered registered unless the decal is attached to the driver’s side of the rear window.

Parking permits and privileges

SPU’s zone parking system consists of four types of parking areas:

  • Residential student parking lots
  • Faculty/Staff/Student Commuter parking lots
  • Visitor parking areas and timed zones (30–60 minutes)
  • Service vehicle parking areas, Fire Lanes and Disability Accessible areas

Resident student parking (assigned spaces)

Spaces in the parking lots of Emerson Hall, Ashton Hall, Hill Hall, Arnett Hall, and campus apartments are reserved for students living in the corresponding areas. Level two of the Dravus lot is also reserved for on campus residents. On-campus student residents who register their vehicle and receive a space will be assigned a numbered space for the academic year.

Some parking lots have limited spaces. Space assignments will be issued based on application status and waitlists, depending on the building of residence. Students who have applied for a space but have not received one will be added to the waiting list compiled during the application process. Until a resident receives a space, their vehicle must be parked on the street.

Vehicles authorized to park in one of the above lots are not authorized to park in any other campus parking lot. Any unauthorized car parked in an assigned residential space is subject to ticketing and impoundment. Assignments to residence hall or apartment parking lots are based on:

  • Date application is received by the Office of Safety and Security
  • Living area of the student
  • Need of the student

Commuter and resident students can apply for a commuter decal, which means they can park in any of the commuter lots.

Faculty and staff parking

Faculty and staff who wish to purchase a parking permit will receive a permit that is designated “Fac/Staff.” With this permit, a vehicle may be parked in any commuter lot as long as it is not an assigned space in one of those lots.

Carpool Parking

The designated permit for vehicles in carpool lots is “Carpool.” Faculty or staff participating in a carpool with three or more riders may receive a free reserved parking space by completing a Commute Trip Reduction form and registering their vehicle in Nupark. Students need to have the primary driver register their vehicle in Nupark and apply for all riders including their SPU ID numbers. To sign up for carpool, log into SPU NuPark and sign up with the other rider’s information and follow any other instructions online.

Those participating in a carpool with two riders may also receive a reserved parking space and will be charged half of the annual amount of a parking permit. For all carpools, participants will receive a permit valid only in their space. In the event that one carpool member is unable to participate, he or she must park on the street. Parking in a lot, other than in the reserved carpool space, may result in a parking citation. All participants in carpools must register with the Office of Safety and Security to receive these preferred spaces.

Day Parking Passes

Students, faculty and staff may purchase a one-day pass to park in a commuter lot for the day. Day passes can be purchased either online at, or directly at the Safety and Security office with cash or check.

Guest parking permits

All visitors are welcome to the campus and may park in any of the commuter lots by purchasing a day pass for $5 from Office of Safety and Security to place on the dashboard of their vehicle. There are also limited Visitor parking spaces in the lower Dravus lot, which visitors can park and can call the Office of Safety and Security to register their vehicle for the day. Visitor permits are not required on weekends, holidays, during quarter breaks, and summer quarter. Visitors may not park in any reserved spaces. As noted below, there are also 30 minute parking spaces available on campus.

Disability Accessible Permits 

Accessible parking areas are designated in each commuter parking lot on the University campus. Designated accessibility areas require a University issued “D” permit in addition to a State-Issued pass. Please follow the regular Parking Registration process through SPU NuPark portal to obtain an accessible parking permit.

Service parking permits

Service Zones are designated throughout the campus for use by any University department vehicle. Authorized, off-campus service vehicles are also permitted to use these specially designated areas.

Bank and bookstore parking area

Customers of the bank or campus bookstore may park in this parking area for a period not to exceed 30 minutes. No permit is necessary. Vehicles parked in these stalls longer than the allotted time period will be cited.

30-minute and 60-minute parking zones: There are several 30–60 minute parking zones located around campus. These locations may be used without a permit for up to the allotted time by any visitors, as well as students, faculty and staff. Vehicles parked in these stalls longer than the allotted time period will be cited.

Other things you should know

Expiration dates: The expiration of all decals is indicated by the colored bars on each decal. A decal without bars expires at the end of fall quarter; one bar on the decal indicates the decal expires at the end of winter quarter; and two bars indicates the decal expires at the end of spring quarter. Residents are issued one decal for the academic year, but are charged the quarterly fee at the beginning of each quarter. Assignments are automatically renewed quarterly unless the student cancels his or her assignment. Commuter students who have received parking lot assignments are also automatically renewed each quarter, unless written notice to cancel is given to the Office of Safety and Security. Faculty and staff members purchase an annual permit, which is good through the entire year. If a Faculty/Staff member needs to cancel their permit early, a written notification is required to the transportation manager.

Fees: A fee schedule for parking privileges is documented on the parking application form.

Finals week: Parking rules and regulations are enforced during finals week.

Summer classes: During the summer, active visitors and students may park in any lot on campus, provided they park legally and do not park in any loading zone, reserved or an Accessible space (unless they have a D permit or state-issued permit), or in a fire lane. There is no long-term summer parking, as we do repaving, re-striping, and other construction during the summer.

License plate and address changes: These must be updated in NuPark or reported to the Office of Safety and Security within 10 days of the change. A new permit is required for each new vehicle, as decals are non-transferable. Please contact the Transportation Manager.

Vehicles sold or traded: If a registered vehicle is sold or traded, the permit should be removed and returned to the Office of Safety and Security for a free replacement decal. Unreturned decals are subject to a fee. Otherwise, the person who originally obtained the permit will be held responsible for any and all citations that the vehicle receives as long as the permit is valid. 

Falsification or forgery: Any falsification of information used in obtaining a permit or a decal renders the decal or permit invalid and subjects the offender to disciplinary action from the University. Any falsification, forgery, or alteration of any permit issued by the University also subjects the offender to disciplinary action from the University.

Unattended vehicles/engine running: Vehicles may not be left unattended while the engine is running. The ignition key must be removed from all unattended vehicles.

Possession of stolen decals: Decals obtained without the knowledge of the Office of Safety and Security will be considered stolen. Any person found to be in possession of stolen decals will be immediately fined the full annual cost and could face criminal charges.

Open parking: Open parking, except for reserved and Accessible spaces, is allowed in the Dravus, Crawford, Ross, OMH, McKenna, and Sixth Avenue West lots between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. Persons living off campus but attending night classes at SPU, either for credit or for audit, are permitted to park in these lots during these times as long as their vehicle is registered with the Office of Safety and Security, which is free of charge.   

Places on campus to never park

Illegal parking: Any vehicle or any part of a vehicle that is not authorized to park in a fire lane, loading zone, service zone, reserved space, visitor parking, or on a lawn or sidewalk will be subject to fines, towing, or both. Any vehicle that is double-parked or outside the parking stall is subject to a citation. Any vehicle that is parked in a manner which obstructs the flow of traffic or is parked in an unmarked space or alleyway will be subject to towing.

Towing policy: The owner of a vehicle that receives five parking violations will receive a letter as warning that the next citation will result in the immediate impoundment of the vehicle, without further warning at the owner's risk and expense. Under the following circumstances, owners of vehicles will not receive a letter of warning:

  • Fire lane: Any unattended vehicle parked with any part of the vehicle extending into a fire lane area will be impounded if not moved within one hour from the time the citation is issued.
  • Service zone: Service areas are designated as 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week tow-away zones, and are restricted to vehicles with special designations or authorization. Any unauthorized vehicle in a service zone may be towed or impounded at any time.
  • Accessible spaces: Accessible spaces are designated as 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week tow-away zones, and are restricted to vehicles with special State decals and valid purchased Accessible permits. Any unauthorized vehicle in an accessible space may be towed or impounded at any time.
  • Residential spaces: Residential students with assigned spaces may, through complaint to the Office of Safety and Security, arrange to have violators parked in their assigned spaces either ticketed or towed at the expense of the owner of the vehicle. Any vehicle parked in a reserved residential space without authorization may be towed or impounded at any time.
  • Obstructing: Any vehicle which is obstructing an access route to a parking lot or building shall be impounded if not moved within one half hour from the time the citation is issued. 
  • Ignoring direct warning: If the owner or driver of a vehicle ignores a request to move the vehicle by a Campus Security officer, the vehicle may be towed or impounded without further warning.Emergency Situations: Any vehicle which experiences parking brake failure, thus posing a hazard to vehicles and to people in the vicinity, or any vehicle which is leaking gasoline, may be towed immediately, unless the owner can be located to assist in the situation.
  • Special events or construction areas: Occasionally, there may be the need to have vehicles cleared from an area of campus in order to prepare for a special event or to secure a construction area to provide access for construction vehicles. In such a situation, all attempts will be made to locate the vehicle's owner. If signs were posted, and if the owner is not located, the vehicle will be impounded at the owner's expense. If circumstances require that cars must be towed without warning, towing will take place at the University's expense.

What happens if I violate parking regulations?

Responsibility for citations

Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for any citations issued to their vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is registered with the Office of Safety and Security. If a visitor receives a citation in a vehicle registered to a person affiliated with the University, the person to whom the vehicle is registered is responsible for the citation. It is the responsibility of the students or faculty/staff members to instruct others who drive their vehicle as to where they may park.

Parking citations

Citations will be issued to any vehicle parked on University property that is in violation of the Parking Regulations, or when the vehicle displays no valid SPU parking permit or guest permit. If, after the Office of Safety and Security has issued five citations and a warning letter, a vehicle is found again in violation of the Parking Regulations, it will be subject to impoundment at the owner’s risk and expense, without further warning. Payment of any towing and storage fees does not preclude the payment of the citation for failure to register or of any monies due on the issued citations.

Schedule of fines

  • 1st offense: Warning
  • 2nd offense: $30
  • 3rd offense: $35
  • 4th offense: $40
  • Each additional offense: $45
  • Accessible space: $45
  • Fire lane: $45
  • Failure to register: $45

Where to pay parking fines

University Faculty/Staff: Employees of SPU will be billed to their SPU SFS account for all citations and parking violations issued. Failure to pay fines may result in suspension of all parking privileges. Information about Faculty/Staff accounts is available in Student Financial Services.

Students: Charges for citations and other violations are assessed against the student's account in Student Financial Services. Information about Student accounts is available in Student Financial Services and in the SPU catalog.

Guests/Visitors/Vendors: Guests of the university or Vendors may pay their citation on the new NuPark parking website at

How to appeal a parking citation

All appeals must be initiated within 10 days of the citation being issued or risk losing the right to appeal. Appeals will be reviewed by the Transportation Manager, who will communicate the decision via email.

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

Accidents and Collisions 

It is the responsibility of any person involved in any traffic accident on Seattle Pacific University property to report the incident immediately to the Office of Safety and Security, either in person at 601 W Emerson or by calling 206- 281-2911.

Private Property 

The Seattle Pacific University campus is private property. The University reserves the right to deny any person permission to operate or maintain a motor vehicle thereon. Failure to heed such a denial may constitute a trespass. The University reserves the right to inspect any unidentified motor vehicle parked on University property in order to learn the identity of the owner or operator, and to remove, by impoundment, any vehicle that violates these regulations, is improperly parked, or constitutes a hazard to the health or property of others.

The University assumes no responsibility for the care of, protection of, or damage to, any motor vehicle or its contents at any time it is operated on, parked on, or removed from University property.

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