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University Transportation & Parking Services California State University, Sacramento

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Virtual Permits FAQ

A virtual permit is ……

Sac State uses virtual permits and License Plate Recognition (LPR) on campus. Your license plate now functions as your parking permit.

NOTE: You will be asked to provide your license plate information when purchasing parking online or at a campus pay station. It is important that your license plate information be entered in correctly or you may receive an unnecessary citation.

Full instructions are on our Register Your License Plate page.

How does it work?

License Plate Recognition (LPR) is an advanced parking technology that provides virtual permits through a vehicle’s license plate instead of paper permits or plastic hangtags. LPR increases parking efficiency on campus, provides convenience for the parking customer and greatly reduces the amount of paper and plastic waste produced.

Individuals will register their vehicle’s license plate information into the online parking system when purchasing their virtual permits. The LPR software then combines this information with the individual’s payment and generates a virtual permit linked to that vehicle’s license plate number.

When a vehicle parks on campus, the license plate is captured by cameras mounted on enforcement vehicles. LPR works similar to a supermarket scanner with your license plate functioning as the barcode. When read, the numbers of your plate are automatically referenced against the parking database to verify a valid permit and the proper parking privileges for the lot location. If the license plate and vehicle information are not associated with a valid virtual permit or the vehicle is parked in an inappropriate lot (Employee vs. Student), then the vehicle will be subject to a citation.

  • Eliminates the need to display physical permits and the need to move permits from vehicle-to-vehicle
  • Increased cost effectiveness with the reduction of printed permits and postage fees
  • Returning to your vehicle to display a paper permit will no longer be necessary
  • Lost or stolen permits and the associated replacement fees, police reports, and processing times will be eliminated
  • No more forgetting your permit, a permit falling from a rearview mirror or being displayed improperly
  • Option of adding credits to your parking meter remotely via the PayByPhone app
  • Reduced waste in support of Sac State’s commitment to zero waste and campus sustainability:
    • Reduced paper, plastic, envelopes and ink used in permit production and distribution
    • Reduced waste and litter in all campus lots

The license plate information collected in this process will only be referenced against the campus database for the strict purposes of verifying Sac State parking permits on campus. The enforcement rules will not change because of this new technology, including the process to appeal a citation.

Permits

New parking pay stations that integrate with LPR have been installed. These new pay stations will not dispense paper permits, but instead will allow you to use your license plate number to generate a virtual permit for your vehicle.

Individuals will be able to purchase virtual permits online (weekly, semester, etc.). Daily and 2-hour parking may be purchased at the nearest parking pay station to your vehicle or with the PayByPhone app.

A small grace period is provided to all non-permitted vehicles upon arrival to allow individuals time to purchase a virtual permit from a nearby pay station.

Pay stations are available in most student parking lots. The UTAPS office at the Welcome Center building offers permit sales as well.

LPR will automatically verify Employee virtual permits via your license plate. Vehicles parked in areas on campus not associated with their virtual permit type will be subject to citation

Emeritus permits are virtual permits as well. You can continue to receive your emeritus permit as usual by visiting the UTAPS office and completing your Emeritus parking permit request.

Exempt license plates are valid in any legal parking space without a parking permit.

You may visit the UTAPS office to request a daily employee parking permit whenever you need to park at Sac State.

If you are simply attending events or activities at another CSU campus, please contact the coordinator for that event for more specific visitor parking procedures.

Sac State honors all valid CSU Employee permits from other CSU campuses. You may visit the UTAPS office to request a daily employee parking permit whenever you need to park at Sac State.

The new LPR system will read motorcycle license plates in the same manner as vehicle license plates.

License Plates

It is imperative that your license plate and vehicle information is current and correct in order to avoid an unnecessary citation. Please visit our Register Your License Plate page for more information.

If your vehicle is registered in the State of California, the state requires that two plates be displayed, one in the front and one in the back of the vehicle (California Vehicle Code 5200). If you have a back-facing plate only, please park head-in so that our officers can see your registered license plate. Failure to park head-in will result in a citation.

As long as your plates are legal for driving, our system will be able to read them.

LPR has the ability to recognize new vehicles without state-issued license plates. The new paper plates with the license plate number clearly visible should be sufficient. If you do not have a license plate with a number visible, then please type in the last 7 digits of your vehicle’s VIN number in place of the license plate number when registering your vehicle online. Once your DMV-issued license plates have arrived, you will be required to immediately update your information on your online parking account. Failure to add the new vehicle license plate information may result in an unnecessary citation.

Your information can be viewed and updated via your online parking account. You will be asked to login with your Sac State ID and password.

Multiple Vehicles and Temporary Vehicles

You are allowed to register up to two vehicles under the same permit. The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle on campus as valid, but any additional vehicles found on campus at the same time, under the same virtual permit, will be subject to citation.

Two vehicles listed under the same virtual permit may be on campus at the same time if the second vehicle purchases a daily or 2-hour parking permit.

Individuals are allowed to add/remove vehicles to their parking permit at any time; this includes loaner vehicles and rental cars. It is important that you remove vehicles from your account as soon as your use of the temporary vehicle has ended. Please visit our Register Your License Plate page for more information.

Individuals are allowed to add/remove vehicles to their parking permit at any time; this includes loaner vehicles and rental cars. It is important that you remove vehicles from your account as soon as your use of the temporary vehicle has ended. Please visit our Register Your License Plate page for more information.

The LPR system has difficulty recognizing vehicles listed on multiple virtual permit accounts. To avoid being cited in error, we recommend only listing your vehicle on your own virtual permit. If the vehicle has a valid virtual permit, listing the vehicle on another account is not necessary. To register a second vehicle to your virtual permit temporarily, please visit your online parking account.

The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle on campus as valid, but any additional vehicles under the same virtual permit on campus at the same time will be subject to citation. Two vehicles listed under the same virtual permit may be on campus at the same time if the second vehicle purchases a daily or 2-hour parking permit.

All permits are non-transferable and can only be used by the individual who purchased it. Permit privileges will be revoked for any individuals found sharing virtual permits.

Data Privacy Information

The university uses license plate recognition (“LPR”) in place of physical permits to ensure vehicles are authorized to park on campus. University Transportation and Parking Services uses vehicle mounted cameras to scan license plates as valid permits and issue citations to vehicles without university permits.

Vehicle information is routed to secure servers and is not shared with other agencies, including law enforcement. No personal information is shared outside the university in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and driver information is protected under the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act 18 U.S.C. §§2721-2725 (DPPA). Vehicle information is stored as long as the permit is valid or if a citation is issued. All other license plate data is considered a transitory record and is retained on secure servers for thirty (30) days and then deleted.

  • The vehicle license plate is the permit, and anyone who parks on campus must purchase annual, semester, daily, hourly, or overnight rights.

  • A parking right is referred to as a permit in the context of Sacramento State policy.

  • The purchaser is responsible for the accuracy of the license plate at the time parking rights are obtained.

  • License plates must face the drive lane to be scanned for compliance. A vehicle may be cited if its plate cannot be scanned.

  • Vehicles with only one license plate are not authorized to back in or pull through spaces and may be cited.
  • Citations issued due to inaccurate plate information or the inability to scan a plate are the responsibility of the vehicle owner.

  • Refunds are not issued if license plates are entered inaccurately.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)