Parking Department shifting to use license plates as permits

Published 2:45 pm Monday, April 25, 2022

The fall 2022 semester will bring changes for some parking permit holders on the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus. Besides restructured parking options for commuters, some permit holders no longer will need to keep a hangtag or decal on their car when parking on campus.

Commuters, faculty/staff and Pavilion Garage permit holders soon will be able to use only their license plate as their parking permit, instead of maintaining a hangtag or decal. This change is made possible by license place reading, or LPR technology that will scan license plates.

“We’re hoping these updates will make finding and paying for parking more convenient,” said Sam Patterson, director of parking and transportation. “Our goal is always to increase the flexibility and ease of parking on campus.”

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The university’s Department of Parking and Transportation has used license plates for parking enforcement since 2019 and is beginning to phase into using them exclusively for these three categories of permit holders.

Residential permit holders will continue to use parking hangtags or decals, as will those who fall in the parking categories of reserved, exempt, annual visitor, vendor and Purple Heart.

For permitted vehicle owners who prefer to back into or pull through a parking spot, the department is introducing a unique, Ole Miss-branded vanity plate for the front of the vehicle. Those will be available for purchase when permits go on sale this summer.

LPR technology also will allow faculty and staff permit holders to register up to two cars to an account so that they may avoid switching the hangtag when they use another car. Patterson noted that it will be important to make sure that vehicle and license plate information is correct when purchasing a parking permit through the Ole Miss parking website.

Additionally, updates to commuter parking will be implemented in fall 2022. First, commuter parking categories will be divided into lots close to the middle of campus, known as Commuter Blue lots, and lots further away, known as Commuter Red lots. Different pricing structures will reflect their proximity to campus.

More parking lot options also will be available for commuter parking, with the addition of parking at the Manning Center, Village North, Jeanette Phillips, Gillom/Tuohy and Insight Park lots. Any vehicle with a UM parking permit may park in Commuter Red lots, which are near Oxford University Transit stops to help commuters get to the heart of campus more quickly.

Over the next two years, a modest increase in the prices of all categories of parking permits will be implemented to pay for upkeep and improvements to the parking lots, garages and transportation services.

More information about pricing, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, will be posted soon on the DPT website.

Parking registration will begin July 5 for faculty and staff. Student permit holders will be able to apply beginning July 11-21, depending on their permit category.