SDSU to cease issuing physical parking permits to campus commuters, visitors


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Parking and Transportation Services will begin using license plates to verify parking permits.

by Daniel Guerrero, Staff Writer

Changes to the student parking system at San Diego State will be in effect for the 2019-20 school year.

Physical parking permits will not be issued through campus parking pay stations, the “PayByPhone” app or parking passes purchased through the Aztec Parking Portal. 

Parking will now be verified by running a vehicle’s license plate to show there is a valid permit registered to it, Parking and Transportation Services Director Debbie Richeson said in an email. 

“When we are enforcing parking, we are able to run the license plate and see if a permit is associated to the vehicle and whether it is valid or not,” Richeson said in her response. 

Richeson said the current registration process for parking permits will remain the same. 

“The parking portal has always required you put vehicle information to tie to your permit,” Richeson said in an email. “This was in part due to our plans to remove the need for a physical permit.” 

The elimination of physical permits was a concern to some students who may use different vehicles to drive to campus. But Richeson said the lack of a parking permit does not prevent students from being able to add up to two vehicles per permit, a rule that has existed in the past.

“Only two vehicles are authorized to be tied one permit,” Richeson said in an email. “We understand most of our students are commuters and may need to drive another family vehicle on occasion.” 

Richeson said SDSU began the process of fully eliminating parking stickers in 2015 when it implemented a virtual vehicle registration system. The system enables Parking and Transportation Services to verify valid permits without the need to search each vehicle’s dashboard for a physical copy.

Richeson said sustainability is a benefit to the elimination of physical permits. 

“We are being more environmentally friendly by not making permits and not requiring paper permits being printed,” Richeson said. 

Fifth-year psychology major Brandon Lim said he supports the changes to eliminate physical permits in an effort to be environmentally friendly.

“(SDSU) is eliminating paper and plastic waste, and I support that,” Lim said.

Lim also said the change to the parking permit system isn’t much different from the past. 

“I don’t think it’s necessarily different from the previous system,” Lim said. “They’re achieving the same goal.”

Richeson said more information on the new changes to the parking permit system will be coming in an email, however, the parking page on SDSU’s website currently features a brief description of the change.