License Plate Recognition

Your License Plate Is Now Your Permit with New License Plate Recognition Software (LPR)

California Plate

This is your new permit.

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) has implemented license plate recognition software to more efficiently manage traffic flow and parking patterns throughout campus. Starting fall 2019, physical permits are no longer necessary and your license plate is now your permit. All students, staff and faculty can access and update information in their parking account online as well as purchase permits, pay or appeal citations, and update account and vehicle information. To remain compliant, log into your parking account to ensure all information is accurate.

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How to add a car to your portal How to add a car to a permit How to delete a car


How it works

  • What is LPR?

    License Plate Recognition (LPR) is an advanced parking software 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.

  • How does LPR work?

    Individuals will register their license plate, vehicle make and model 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.

  • How will this be enforced by parking services?

    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 location. If the license plate is not associated with a valid virtual permit or the vehicle is parked in an unauthorized location, then the vehicle will be subject to a citation.

  • How will LPR benefit me?

    Consumer Benefit:

    • Simplify/streamline the permit renewal process – no extra trips to pick up permit, no concerns with lost/stolen mail, no waiting in line, and no extended processing time
    • Eliminates the need to display physical permits and the need to move permits from vehicle-to-vehicle
    • 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
    • When purchasing a permit at campus pay stations, pay stations will be paperless and returning to your vehicle to display a paper permit will no longer be necessary

    Environmental Impact/Sustainability:

    • Reduced waste in support of Cal Poly's commitment to zero waste and campus sustainability:
    • Eliminates plastic permit production – manufacturing impacts such as fossil fuels, carbon footprint of factory/facilities
    • Eliminates paper receipts at campus pay stations
    • Eliminates disposal of expired and unused plastic permits
    • Eliminates delivery (fossil fuel, emissions, vehicle/road wear and tear)
  • How can I verify that the license number I have on record is correct?

    Your information can be viewed and updated via your online parking account. You will be asked to login through the Cal Poly portal with your ID and password.

  • How will patron parking be handled for campus events?

    At this time, event permits will not be virtual. Staff/faculty with a long-term campus permit will continue to be allowed to park in event lots at no additional cost.

  • How will my license plate information be used?

    The license plate information collected in this process will only be referenced against the parking database for the purpose of verifying Cal Poly parking (permits, meters, pay stations) on campus. The enforcement rules will not change because of this new technology, including the process to appeal a citation.

  • How will motorcycle permits be handled?

    The new LPR system will read motorcycle license plates in the same manner as vehicle license plates. Please ensure your motorcycle information is listed correctly in your online parking account.

  • Will there be a permit that designates staff member?

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

  • Will I receive a citation if my license plate is dirty or if I have a decorative cover?

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

  • Where can I find my online parking account to register my vehicle information?

    Students, faculty and staff can access the online Cal Poly parking account to add vehicles from their account by following the steps listed below. Here you can add or delete vehicles that should be correlated with your parking permit.

    1. Visit the online Cal Poly parking account
    2. Login via the Cal Poly portal with your Cal Poly ID and Password
    3. The “Permits” tab is located at the top of the Cal Poly parking account page
    4. Click "View Your Account Permits"
    5. Click on your "Active" Permit
    6. Review the "Associated Vehicles"
    7. Verify those listed are the vehicles you want on your permit
    8. Click on "Add Vehicles to Permit" if you want to link a vehicle to your permit
    9. After you have added your vehicle, view your permit to ensure all vehicles are linked
    10. If you have multiple vehicles listed on your permit, you may delete a vehicle that you want to disassociate with your permit. Vehicles with outstanding citations will not be removed until all citations are paid or appealed
  • Where is a vehicle with "E" plate designation valid?

    Vehicles owned or leased by the US Government, state agencies, cities and counties or special districts that display E Plates or Exempt Vehicles are valid in all state vehicle spaces.

  • What if I am concurrently employed by Cal Poly and another CSU campus at the same time?

    Cal Poly and other CSU campuses will continue to honor Cal Poly permits based on respective collective bargaining agreements (CBA’s). Cal Poly has no jurisdiction over another campus’s decision to honor Cal Poly permits beyond the requirements outlined in CBA provisions. Cal Poly has never had permit “reciprocity agreements” with other institutions.

  • What if I get a new license plate?

    It is important that your license plate and vehicle information is current and correct in order to avoid an unnecessary citation. Please visit your online parking account to update your information immediately after any change in license plate number. It is also important to delete all old or unused vehicle listings from your account. Vehicles with outstanding citations will not be removed until all citations are paid or appealed.

  • What if I have a personalized plate or special characters/symbols?

    If you have a personalized plate with less than 7 characters, or if you have a special character within your plate (heart, star, etc.), skip the special character when entering the number into the system and simply include the remaining characters on the plate.

    For example, the license plate below would be entered as: HUG938

    Personal Plate
  • What happens if I do not have a virtual permit when I park? Will I receive a citation?

    A short grace period is provided to all non-permitted vehicles upon arrival to allow individuals time to add a vehicle to a campus parking account, purchase a virtual permit from a nearby pay station, start a Parkmobile session, or to pay a meter.

  • What happens if I don't have access to a computer or phone?

    Pay stations are available in order to purchase short-term parking. The Visitor Information Center (VIC) and Public Safety Reception Center are available to provide additional information as needed.

    Customer Service Hours:
    Visitor Information Center: Bldg. 134 7am-4pm, Monday through Friday Map Link
    Public Safety Reception Center: Bldg. 36 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday Map link

  • What if I do not have a front license plate?

    The State of California 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 only so that our officers can see your registered license plate

  • What if I have two vehicles listed on my virtual permit?

    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 Short-Term parking permit or has a paid meter session.

  • What if I own more than one vehicle?

    Staff/faculty may register more than one vehicle and a maximum of five (5) vehicles on your parking account. Students can only register one vehicle per permit.

  • What if I have a brand new vehicle without a license plate?

    LPR has the ability to recognize new vehicles without state-issued license plates. If you have a new vehicle with a temporary paper license, 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.

  • What if I have a loaner vehicle or a rental car?

    Individuals are allowed to add vehicles to their parking permit; this includes loaner vehicles and rental cars. It is important that you remove vehicles from your parking account as soon as your use of the temporary vehicle has ended. Vehicles with outstanding citations will not be removed until all citations are paid or appealed.

  • What if two people have both purchased virtual permits, but also share the two vehicles?

    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.

  • Can I allow another person to use my virtual 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 or in violation of Cal Poly Parking Regulations.

  • As an Emeritus, will I have a virtual or physical permit?

    Emeritus permits will remain physical permits at this time. Hangtags will continue to be issued to eligible emeriti and can be picked up at the Cashiers Office or at Public Safety Reception Center: Bldg. 36 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. When Emeritus permits expire in 2020, permits will be renewed virtually and physical permits will be eliminated.

LPR policy copies available upon request at Transportation & Parking Services, Building 36 805-756-6654

LPR Policy
LPR Usage & Privacy Policy