Rules & Regulations

The parking rules and regulations at Washington University in St. Louis are enforced at all times, including periods when classes are not in session.

All vehicles on campus are subject to Washington University’s parking regulations. Each operator is responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules. Because of the significant demand for parking on campus, the university follows a policy of strict enforcement to better protect the parking privileges of those who observe the regulations. To ensure parking regulations are uniformly applied under the new zoned parking strategy, the campus community should expect increased enforcement starting July 2017.

Firearms (concealed or otherwise) are prohibited on all university-owned property. Firearms may not be stowed in vehicles parked in university parking lots, garages, or metered spaces.


Parking Permit Rules

The new parking strategy is a zoned approach. You may only park in the zone that is indicated on your Washington University issued permit. In addition:

  • Parking on the Washington University Danforth Campus is either designated for visitors or requires the display of a permit.
  • Permits are valid only when issued through Parking & Transportation Services.
  • Permit ownership is nontransferable. Because parking on campus is limited, permit holders may have only one vehicle on campus and occupy only one space at a time. Commuters who use additional vehicles must register all vehicles with Parking Services and can then move the valid permit between the registered vehicles.
  • Campus parking is allocated by zone. Vehicle operators should park only in areas and at times allowed by the permit displayed.
  • The parking map shows the zones in their approximate size and location.
  • Classification of zones and lots may be changed at any time as necessary.
  • All operators must refer to signs displayed to determine where parking is allowed.
  • Barricades, roped-off areas, and signs indicating parking for special events take precedence over general parking designations.
  • The responsibility for finding a legal space rests with the motor vehicle operator. Inability to locate a convenient parking space is not an excuse for violating university parking regulations.
  • Motorcycles are required to park in areas designated solely for that purpose. Bicycles are required to park in areas designated solely for that purpose.
  • All vehicles that belong to the immediate family of a university faculty, staff, or student, will be considered the responsibility of that individual, whether the vehicle is registered with the university or not. Any parking violations charged against that vehicle will be the responsibility of the individual.

Violations Eligible for Vehicle Towing

The following are violations to parking regulations that, in addition to a citation, could also result in the vehicle being towed from campus with no prior notice:

  • Vehicle is parked in a fire lane or restricted zone. Campus fire lanes must always be kept clear to allow appropriate response from emergency teams when necessary.
  • All fire lanes on the university campus will be designated in one or more of the following ways:
    • Traffic sign indicating fire lane
    • “FIRE LANE” painted on the pavement Yellow curb
    • Diagonal yellow lines on pavement
    • “Authorized Vehicles Only” signage
    • Vehicle not correctly parked between two white lines, including unmarked curbs on campus.
    • Vehicles parked in spaces reserved for departments, Bearly Drivers, or for special events.
    • Vehicle is parked in an area not specifically designated for parking.
    • Vehicle is parked illegally in a space designated as ADA or accessible parking for those who need to park close to buildings.
  • Only those with state-issued disabled plates or placards and a paid Washington University permit or pass may use accessible spaces.
  • Vehicle is displaying a lost, stolen, invalid, altered, and/or fraudulent annual permit or short-term pass.

In addition to a fine of up to $1,000 for displaying a lost, stolen, invalid, altered, and/or fraudulent annual permit or short-term pass, the car will be towed at the owner’s expense, the violator could have his/her parking privileges revoked, and the owner may be referred for criminal prosecution.


Areas of Enforcement

Please note that these regulations will be enforced at all times, including periods when classes are not in session. In addition, the following areas are strictly enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Residential areas
  • Meters serving residential areas
  • Loading and service zones
  • Disabled parking spaces
  • Fire Lanes
  • 24-hour red spaces
  • “No Parking” areas

Freshman and Sophomore Students

First year and sophomore students are not permitted to bring a vehicle to the Washington University campus. Violation of this and other university polices could be a violation of Student Judicial Code.

In rare cases, the Office of Parking and Transportation will consider exceptions to the rule that first-year and sophomores are not allowed to park a vehicle on campus. To be considered, please submit your request, in writing, to Elisa Comer in the Office of Parking and Transportation. Please consider the following alternative transportation options for Metro Transit U-Pass and CarShare before submitting your request. In the event that the university grants an exception, the exception will likely be for a west campus, ParkSmart permit.