Skip to main content

Parking Regulations

The parking regulations have been adopted by Northwestern University. Persons who operate a vehicle on Northwestern University property are responsible for knowing and complying with these regulations. The university assumes no liability for loss or damage to a vehicle or its contents.

Jump to a section:

Permit Guidelines

University permits are needed to park in all Evanston-campus lots year-round Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. University Police and Central Utility Plant lots require a permit 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Vehicles may not be stored in main campus lots for periods of longer than 48 hours (no re-entry within 24 hours). Vehicles may not be stored in Ryan Field remote lots for more than five (5) consecutive days (no re-entry within 24 hours), and must be removed for all home football games.

Unless posted, permits are not needed:

Review Permits for costs associated with campus parking.

Walking Zone

Faculty, staff and commuting students must live outside the walking zone to be eligible for main campus annual permits: 

See the Walking Zone webpage for map.


Faculty and staff who live outside of the walking zone  are eligible for annual Evanston campus parking permits. Faculty and staff with non-appealable, unpaid assessments are not eligible.

Students with senior standing or above who live on campus are eligible for parking permits. All graduate and commuting students who live outside of the walking zone are also eligible. Chicago campus students are eligible if they have Evanston campus classes during enforcement hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (subject to verification by class schedule).

Students who are not eligible for permits include:

Personally owned (non-University) trucks over "B" class are not eligible for parking permits and are prohibited from parking on campus.  Personally owned (non-University) motorized vehicles that are not eligible for licensing in the State of Illinois (golf carts, go carts, mini-bikes, etc.) are not eligible for parking permits and are prohibited from parking on campus.

Registration Procedure

Faculty and staff are required to present a valid Wildcard and driver's license.

Students are required to present, in addition, their vehicle registration and current housing contract or lease. Persons who provide false information are subject to referral to Student Affairs, loss of any future permit privileges, forfeiture of permit fee, and may be subject to criminal charges. An additional fine may be assessed for a fraudulently obtained permit. Parking Services reserves the right to request additional documentation to verify address, affiliation and vehicle registration. 

All information is subject to verification.

Permit Display

Permits must be displayed correctly and license plate number(s) must be on file with the Parking Services Office. Display only the current year permit and remove old permits after they expire.

The sticker must:

Temporary permits (hang tags) must be displayed hanging from the rear view mirror, facing out.  Temporary permits must also have the expiration date indicated (scratch-off type).  One day temporary permits must be indicated with the single date that the permit is used.  Pay and Display (kiosk) permits must be displayed face up in full view on the dashboard.

Full Lots/Garages

Purchasing a permit does not guarantee a space. Lots in the center of campus and the North Garage are in particularly high demand during the week. Permit holders working in these areas should prepare to park on the west and south ends of campus where lots rarely fill. See Maps for lot locations.

There may be times such as concerts, sporting events and during student move-in and construction projects when you will be directed to park in other areas of campus. This is a condition of your acceptance of the parking permit.

Intercampus Parking

The Chicago campus full time permit (purple sticker) is valid in all faculty/staff lots on the Evanston campus. It is the only permit that is valid on both campuses. The Chicago campus part time permit (green sticker) is not valid on the Evanston campus. 

No Evanston campus permit is valid on the Chicago campus.

Permit Denial & Revocation

The Parking Committee and Parking Services have the authority to deny or revoke parking privileges. Those persons having their permits revoked forfeit the permit fee and must surrender the permit to the Parking Services Office. Any permit obtained using deceptive practices will result in revocation.

Permit Cancellations

It is your responsibility to return all permits to Parking Services if you no longer wish to park on campus or if you terminate employment. Refunds are only issued upon return of a permit.

A razor blade scraper works well to remove permits. It is ok if the sticker is in pieces. 

Annual parking (12 months) refunds: Three quarters of the purchased price will be refunded until the fifth day of winter quarter. Half the purchased price will be refunded from the fifth day of winter quarter through the fifth day of spring quarter.

Academic year parking (9 months) refunds: Two thirds of the purchased price will be refunded until the fifth day of winter quarter. One third of the purchased price will be refunded from the fifth day of winter quarter through the fifth day of spring quarter. 

Replacement & Temporary Permits

A $7.00 fee will be charged for replaced permits.

If you bought a new car or decided to purchase a car pool/multi-car permit: You must scrape off the old permit and bring the pieces into Parking Services. If you have a car pool/multi-car permit, you must return both permits and the car pool hang tag. We will issue you a new set.

If you sold your car and didn’t retrieve the permit: If you have a car pool/multi-car permit, scrape off the remaining and bring it, along with the car pool hang tag, into the Parking Services Office. If you had a single car permit, you must come in and fill out an affidavit before receiving a replacement.

If your car is in for service and you have a loaner: You can obtain a temporary permit at the Parking Services office. You will need to present your Wildcard. There is no charge to an annual permit holder.

Special Permits/Spaces

Contractor Parking

All capital project contractors, subcontractors and their employees are prohibited from parking in main campus parking lots and garages and are required to park off the main campus in identified locations and/or private (non-Northwestern) parking lots or garages.  Contractors, subcontractors and their employees are encouraged to utilize provided shuttles, car pools, ride share services, or public transportation.  Contractors, subcontractors and their employees are subject to ticketing, immobilization and/or commercial towing if found in violation of this policy.

ADA (Accessible) Parking 

Daily visitors with ADA license plates or placards from a government agency may park in designated ADA spaces or at parking meters. University parking permits are required in non-ADA spaces.

Faculty, staff (including permanent non-university staff, contractors, vendors, etc.) students and other long term parkers with ADA license plates or placards must purchase a main campus permit.

Faculty, staff and students requesting main campus parking for medical reasons must possess valid ADA registration.

Citations, Towing & Immobilization 

See Tickets for assessments and how to pay tickets.

Vehicles may receive tickets for:

Any area not designated as a parking space should be considered a no parking zone.

Vehicles may be towed or immobilized for:

If your car is booted, contact Parking Services immediately. In order to get a boot removed, all tickets, fines and boot fees must be paid. Once payment is accepted, the boot will be removed. Failure to make arrangements to have immobilizer (boot) removed will result in the vehicle being commercially towed. 

If your car is towed, contact North Shore Towing in Evanston to claim it. You will be responsible for paying the towing fee and any storage fees to North Shore Towing.

Violation Appeals

Parking violations may be appealed to the Parking Committee , an independent body of faculty, staff and students.

To appeal a ticket, you must complete the form on the Ticket Appeals webpage within 10 days of the violation date. Appeals received after the 10-day appeal period will not be accepted. Appeals received not on the online appeal form will not be accepted.

Snow Removal Policy

Certain lots can be designated as "No Parking" to accommodate snow removal after two inches of snowfall. When enforced, parking is prohibited between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the following lots:

The snow removal plan is in effect from December 15 through March 30. Vehicles found in the above lots while the plan is in effect are subject to ticketing and towing at the owners expense.

Emergencies or Special Events

The Chief of the University Police Department or Director of Transportation and Parking may establish and enforce temporary parking restrictions deemed necessary for the safety and convenience of the University.  Parking lots may occasionally be closed for special events, lot maintenance, etc.  Any vehicle remaining in a closed lot is subject to removal (tow) at the owners expense.