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.

Because of the significant demand for parking on campus, the university has adopted a policy of strict enforcement to better protect the parking privileges of those who observe the regulations. All vehicles on campus are subject to Washington University’s parking regulations. Each operator is responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

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

Parking on the Washington University Danforth Campus is either designated for visitors or requires the display of a permit.

Permits are only valid when issued by Parking & Transportation Services.

Permit ownership is nontransferable.

Due to limited parking on campus, 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 & Transportation 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 parking permit 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.

Legal Parking Spaces

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.

Violations Eligible for Vehicle Towing

Some violations to parking regulations could result, in addition to a citation, in the vehicle being towed from campus without prior notice.

Such violations include:

  • Vehicles parked in a fire lane or restricted zone. Campus fire lanes must always be kept clear to allow appropriate response from emergency teams if necessary. All fire lanes on the university campus will be designated in one or more of the following ways:
  • A traffic sign indicating fire lane.
  • “Fire lane” being painted on the pavement.
  • A yellow curb.
  • Diagonal yellow lines on the pavement.
  • Vehicles not parked between two white lines, including unmarked curbs on campus.
  • Vehicles parked in areas not specifically designated for parking.
  • Vehicles parked illegally in a space designated as accessible.
    Only those with state-issued accessibility plates or placards and a paid Washington University permit or pass may use the accessible spaces on campus. Permit holders needing accessible parking should register with Parking & Transportation Services.
  • Vehicles displaying a lost, stolen, invalid or fraudulent annual or short-term pass.
    In addition to the $500 fine for displaying a lost, stolen, invalid or fraudulent annual, monthly or daily permit, the car will be towed at the owner’s expense. The violator could also have his/her parking privileges revoked, and the owner may be referred for criminal prosecution.

Areas of Enforcement

The following areas are strictly enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Residential areas
  • Meters in residential areas
  • Loading and service zones
  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Fire lanes
  • 24-hour RED spaces
  • “No Parking” areas

First-Year Students

First-year students are not permitted to bring a vehicle to the Washington University campus. Violation of this and other university policies could be a violation of the Student Judicial Code. Starting Fall of 2017, sophomore students will no longer be permitted to bring a vehicle to campus.

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.