CMU to introduce new digital parking system next semester

Cars sit parked in Lot 22 on Washington Street Feb. 10

Central Michigan University is gearing up to change its parking permit system to associate license plates with permits – no longer requiring windshield stickers.

With the new system, license plate recognition (LPR) technology will allow Parking Services to scan a license plate to determine if the vehicle has an active parking permit or any violations.

The university is testing the technology this semester and expects to launch in Fall 2022.

The LPR system would alleviate start-of-semester stress by no longer requiring individuals to wait for permits to arrive in the mail, pick up permits at the parking services office, or risk losing physical permits, according to a March 3 press release.

However, license plates will always need to be visible from the driving lane in parking lots – meaning those who park on campus will no longer be able to back into parking spaces. 

Parking enforcement will "investigate and potentially issue a citation" for vehicles that do not have a visible plate, according to the press release.

Students will be able to purchase their permits through an online portal.

The new system is also expected to save CMU $70,000 annually in operating costs. Additionally, it will allow for immediate and easy online permit access and reduce waste from the delivery and disposal of unused and expired permits.

The new system will also foster a partnership that allows CMU Police to identify stolen vehicles or vehicles that may have been involved in a crime.