Parking Permits & Accounts Help Center

Applying for Parking

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When should I apply for parking?

When you apply for parking depends on the yearly application cycle. Each parking year runs from September 1 through August 31, and current-year parking permits are valid during this time frame.

  • Parking applications for an upcoming parking year open in May. You will know when it’s time to apply when Transportation Services announces the application opening date in campus newsletters and direct emails to current permit holders.
  • On September 1, the new parking year starts and current-year permits become valid. Applications for that current parking year are accepted on a rolling basis until May.
  • Between May and August 31, applications for the current parking year are no longer accepted, but there may be permit options available for on-demand purchase for summer parking.

Example scenarios:

  • If you are hired between September 1 and May and want to park on campus, you can apply for a current year permit. 
  • If you are hired between May and August 31 and want to park on campus, you may obtain a current parking year permit through on-demand purchase for the rest of the summer, and you may submit an application to get ready for the upcoming parking year.
  • If you are a returning employee who already has a current year permit, you may apply for the upcoming parking year between May and August 31.
  • Contact Transportation Services if you need more information about application date and deadlines.

It is always important to have an alternative commute plan in place while Transportation Services processes your application. On-campus parking is limited and applying for a permit does not necessarily guarantee you will receive one. Contact us for free, one-on-one commute planning assistance.

Click for more information on how to apply for parking.

How do UW employees apply for parking?

Find resources and detailed instructions to apply for a parking permit at the “how to apply” webpage.

Here are the basic steps to apply for parking:

Step 1: Explore and research your parking options.

Step 2: If you want an annual base lot, Flex, UW-Accessible, or park and ride permit, apply in the Permit Application System (PAS). Carpool permits require the completion of a web-based form.

Other permit types do not require an application and can be purchased online or in person at a Transportation Services office, depending on the product.

Step 3: Make temporary commuting arrangements while your application is processing. Applications for the upcoming parking year are processed three times between June and September, and every two weeks between September and May after the new parking year begins.

Step 4: Wait for an email notification from Transportation Services with information about your parking assignment. Keep in mind that applications may be placed on a waiting list, and waiting lists can be very long.

Step 5: If you receive an offer, follow the instructions to purchase your permit.

Step 6: Check your purchase receipt for instructions on how to get your permit.

How do UW Health employees apply for parking?

Find resources and detailed instructions to apply for a parking permit at the “how to apply” webpage.

Here are the basic steps to apply for parking:

Step 1: Explore and research your parking options.

Step 2: If you are a new employee or have never applied for a parking permit before, complete an application request form to become eligible to apply for parking.

Step 3: If you want an annual base lot, Flex, UW-Accessible, or park and ride permit, apply in the Permit Application System (PAS).

Carpool permits require the completion of a web-based form.

Other permit types do not require an application and can be purchased online or in person at a Transportation Services office, depending on the product.

Step 4: Make temporary commuting arrangements while your application is processing. Applications for the upcoming parking year are processed three times between June and September, and every two weeks between September 1 and May after the new parking year begins.

Between May and September, current-year permits may be available for direct purchase in the eBusiness purchasing portal.

Step 5: Wait for an email notification from Transportation Services with information about your parking assignment. Keep in mind that applications may be placed on a waiting list, and waiting lists can be very long.

Step 6: If you receive an offer, follow the instructions to purchase your permit.

Step 7: Check your purchase receipt for instructions on how to get your permit.

Can undergraduate students apply for parking? If so, how?

Find resources and detailed instructions to apply for a parking permit at the “how to apply” webpage.

Some undergraduate students may be eligible to apply for and purchase an annual base lot permit or UW-Accessible permit.

Undergraduates may also purchase moped, afternoon, and night permits without having to go through an approval process: these permit types are available for direct purchase in the eBusiness purchasing portal.

Undergraduate students must meet at least one of these criteria to be eligible to apply for daily, on-campus parking:

  1. Students with a valid, state-issued disabled placard or plate.
  2. Students commuting one mile beyond the limits of the Metro Transit system. 
  3. Working students using their vehicle at least three times a week for employment off campus. A signed letter from the employer listing scheduled work hours on business letterhead is required.
  4. Students with unusual or unique needs (must provide justification).

If you meet at least one of these criteria, you may be eligible to apply for parking. Here are the basic steps to apply:

Step 1: Explore and research your parking options.

Step 2: Assess your eligibility to apply for an annual base lot or UW-Accessible permit.

Step 3: If you are eligible for an annual base lot or UW-Accessible permit, submit a student parking pre-approval form.

Other permit types do not require you to submit a student parking pre-approval form.

Step 4: Apply for an annual base lot or UW-Accessible permit in the Permit Application System (PAS).

Other permit types do not require an application and can be purchased online or in person at a Transportation Services office, depending on the product.

Step 5: Make temporary commuting arrangements while your application is processing. Applications for the upcoming parking year are processed three times between June and September, and every two weeks between September 1 and May after the new parking year begins.

Step 6: Wait for an email notification from Transportation Services with information about your parking assignment. Keep in mind that applications may be placed on a waiting list, and waiting lists can be very long – especially for student parking applications.

Step 7: If you receive an offer, follow the instructions to purchase your permit.

Step 8: Check your purchase receipt for instructions on how to get your permit.

How can graduate students apply for parking?

Find resources and detailed instructions to apply for a parking permit at the “how to apply” webpage.

Most graduate students with an employment appointment with the University – such as a teaching or research assistantship – are eligible to apply for an annual base lot, Flex, UW-Accessible, park and ride, or business alternate permit. 

  • To get started, refer to the “How do UW employees apply for a parking permit?” tab on this page. 

Graduate students without an employment appointment with the University, or with an appointment classified as “Student Help” must go through the student parking process.

  • To get started, refer to the “How do undergraduate students apply for a parking permit?” tab on this page. 

Graduate students are eligible for the reduced cost parking program.

Graduate students may also purchase semester, afternoon, night, motorcycle, and moped permits without going through the application process.

If you have questions about your employment appointment status, contact your department administration.

Why do I have to display my permit? Don't you have my license plate on file?

Our enforcement program is based on the visible display of a permit. It is not based on license plates. This is because there are multiple types of permits – such as UW Service permits and department permits – that may be transferred among multiple vehicles and are not associated with a specific vehicle. As long as these permit types are used on campus, we cannot enforce based on license plate numbers.

Payroll Deduction

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How does the payroll deduction option work for permit and bus pass purchases?

When accepting a parking permit offer, eligible employees may choose to pay with payroll deduction. The other option is to pay for the permit in full. 

Payroll deduction amounts are determined by the cost of the permit or product and prorated by the remaining payments left in the permit year.

Deductions for parking permits are taken from your paycheck after all other voluntary payroll deductions, so please make sure you leave enough to pay for parking when adjusting your voluntary benefit contributions during open enrollment. For questions about this, contact your HR representative.

Refunds. There are no refunds for products purchased via payroll deduction or for products from previous fiscal or parking years, unless there was an administrative error as determined by Transportation Services. Products must be returned to avoid additional charges.

I received a notice about a missed payroll deduction. What does that mean?

Missed payroll deductions for parking permits can happen for multiple reasons – for example, if you go on leave (FMLA) without making arrangements with Transportation Services, or if you don’t have any funds left over after other payroll deductions are taken.

If you miss a payment, you will receive a missed payroll deduction notice. Missed deduction payments must be made within 10 days from the date of the missed deduction. Missed payroll deductions can be paid by credit card over the phone at (608) 263-6667 or by mailing a check to:

UW Madison Transportation Services
Attn: Business Manager
610 Walnut St.
Madison WI 53726

Missing two consecutive deduction payments may result in the cancellation of the permit. Missing three or more deduction payments may result in the revocation of the payroll deduction eligibility.

Sabbatical, Leave, and Ending Employment

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I'm going on leave. Can I keep my parking permit?

Yes, but you do need to plan in advance. Parking is not automatically arranged for you by the Human Resources department. Contact Transportation Services Business Services at tsbilling@fpm.wisc.edu before your leave begins.

Employees going on leave may keep their parking permit, but must continue making payments while on leave. Employees on FMLA will be off the payroll system, so arrangements must be made with Transportation Services to pay any remaining permit costs in full or by the first of each month.

If your leave will extend past July, you may also need to make arrangements with Transportation Services to have an application on file for the following parking year and/or make sure any parking offers for the following year are accepted. 

I'm going on sabbatical. Can I keep my parking permit?

Yes, but you do need to plan in advance. Parking is not automatically arranged for you by the Human Resources department. Contact Transportation Services Business Services at tsbilling@fpm.wisc.edu before your leave or sabbatical begins.

Transportation Services can hold a parking permit for faculty going on sabbatical. Payments on the permit are not required during the sabbatical. Submit a signed letter from the Chancellor along with your permit to Transportation Services. The permits office will hold your permit for you. When you return to campus, notify Transportation Services before coming to the office to retrieve your permit.

If your sabbatical will extend past July, you may also need to make arrangements with Transportation Services to have an application on file for the following parking year and/or make sure any parking offers for the following year are accepted. 

Alternatively, you can cancel your permit and reapply when you return. 

How can I cancel or return my permit if I no longer need parking?

If your employment is ending before your permit expires, or your circumstances have changed, you must return your permit to Transportation Services. Follow the cancellation instructions on our exchanges and cancellations page.

Please note that the Human Resources department does not automatically cancel parking on your behalf if you terminate employment or no longer want or need your parking permit. You will continue to be charged until you return the permit to Transportation Services.

Flex Permits

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How do I pay for Flex parking?

The Flex permit is a pay-per-use permit.

Flex permit holders who are assigned to gated parking facilities must add value to their permit online before arriving on campus to park. Value is deducted from the permit when permit holders exit the garage.

Flex permit holders who are assigned to surface lots must pay with ParkMobile via app, website, or phone at the beginning of each parking session.

All Flex permit holders can use ParkMobile to pay for parking sessions in additional surface lots across campus during off-peak hours – 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 a.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday.

For detailed instructions to add value and use ParkMobile, go to the Flex parking page.

Service Permits

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How do I use a UW Service permit?

UW departments sometimes make UW Service permits available to employees for occasional, short-term parking to conduct official university business. Acceptable uses of service permits include attending meetings or training sessions; conducting business in different areas on campus; or delivering items across campus. For detailed rules and restrictions, read the policy.

You can display a service permit to park in any open service/vendor stall on campus. Service/vendor stall locations can be found on the service/vendor stall map.

If no service stalls are available in the lot of your choice, move to another available service stall in a different lot. 

Please be aware of these restrictions when parking with a UW Service permit:

  • Service permits are only valid in signed service/vendor stalls. They are not valid in regular (unreserved/unsigned) permit stalls. 
  • Do not park in a service/vendor stall for more than a few hours at a time. Warnings and citations may be issued to vehicles found continuously parked in a service/vendor stall for extended periods. 
  • If you also have an annual parking permit (base lot, Flex), you may not use a service permit in or near the lot where your annual permit is assigned. For example, if you have a personal base lot permit in Lot 91, you may not use a service permit to park in a service/vendor stall in Lot 91 or surrounding nearby lots.
  • You may not use a UW Service permit to park in a lot closer to your primary work location than where your personal parking permit is assigned.
  • UW Service permits may not be used by employees in lieu of purchasing an annual parking permit.