Skip to main content
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.
    • Students: Contact the Student Affairs Office of your individual school.
    • Faculty and Staff: If you do not know your departmental parking administrator, contact us at (312) 503-1103.
  3. Your parking administrator will submit an approval form 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. Faculty and staff may renew their annual parking permit online. A link to the online renewal site will be emailed to annual permit holders each September.
  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.
    • Students: Parking permits can be purchased with cash, check or student account billing (in which case the charge will appear on the current quarter's tuition statement); credit cards are not accepted. 
      • Parking is available on an annual, academic year, or quarterly basis. Annual permits begin October 1 and are not available for sale after December 31. Quarterly permits are not prorated; students must pay the entire quarterly parking fee regardless of when that permit is purchased.
    • Faculty/Staff: Parking must be paid through payroll deduction; fees are deducted pre-tax from an employee's paycheck each month.
  6. Your Wildcard/Keycard will be activated within 48 hours. Your Wildcard/Keycard will be programmed to your assigned 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

 Parking is available on an annual, academic year, or quarterly basis. Annual permits begin October 1 are not available for sale after December 31.

  1. Complete the parking application
    • Faculty and Staff: fill out the Online Parking Application or download the Faculty & Staff Parking Application
    • Students: fill out the Student Parking application
    • Online Parking Applications: Once the form has been processed, your Wildcard/Keycard will be activated and you will receive your parking receipt and decal via U.S. Mail.
    • Printed Parking Application: See a sample  of a completed form.
      When you are completing the form, please note: 
      • Vehicle plate information and proof of registration (or insurance) must be included with the application. New parkers must include proof of insurance (photocopies of insurance are acceptable).
      • Enter the Evening and Weekend parking rate for which you are applying.
      • Print legibly when completing the form.
      • Return the completed form to the Chicago Parking Office:
        710 N. Lake Shore Dr.
        Abbott Hall, Room 100
        Chicago, IL 60611-3078
        Fax: (312) 503-9243
  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.

Back to top