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Northwestern University

Application Process

First-time Permit Applicants: We recommend that you stop by the Chicago Parking Office to receive parking information and complete instructions.

Commuter Parking

1. Make sure you meet the parking eligibility criteria.

2. Contact your parking administrator.

3. Your parking administrator will submit an approval form (pdf) if parking is available.
The form will be submitted to verify that you may purchase one of their allocated parking spaces. Once the form has been processed, you will receive your parking application via email.

4. Bring the following items to the Chicago Parking Office:

  1. A valid driver's license
  2. A valid Northwestern identification card (WildCARD)
  3. Current vehicle registration or insurance card

5. Pay for your permit. 

6. Your WildCARD/Keycard will be activated within 48 hours.
Your WildCARD/Keycard will be programmed to an assigned NU parking lot. To access your designated parking lot, place your WildCARD/Keycard in the swipe reader at the lot entrance. Swipe the card left to right with the picture facing down and the wide magnetic stripe in the reader. Follow the same procedure when exiting the parking structure.

Evening and Weekend Parking

1. Complete the Online Parking Application or download the Parking Application (pdf).  Parking is available on an annual, academic year or quarterly basis. Annual permits begin October 1 are not available for sale after December 31.

2. Pay for your permit.

3. Your WildCARD/Keycard will be activated at Erie Ontario (321 E. Erie St.) within 48 hours.
Parking access is available from 4:00 pm to 8:00 am, Monday through Friday; and 24 hours on the weekend and University holidays. Please keep your permit receipt in your vehicle at all times.

To access Erie Ontario, place your WildCARD/Keycard in the swipe reader at the lot entrance. Swipe the card left to right with the picture facing down and the wide magnetic stripe in the reader. Follow the same procedure when exiting the parking structure.

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