Visitor Parking Help Center

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What is the easiest way to find visitor parking at UW-Madison?

Garage parking is the easiest way to park on campus as a visitor. Paid hourly visitor parking may be available in several parking garages on campus:

  • Helen C. White Garage (Lot 6)
  • Grainger Hall Garage (Lot 7)
  • Engineering Drive Ramp (Lot 17)
  • University Avenue Ramp (Lot 20) 
  • Nancy Nicholas Hall Garage (Lot 27)
  • North Park Street Ramp (Lot 29)
  • Observatory Drive Ramp (Lot 36)
  • Linden Drive Garage (Lot 67)
  • University Bay Drive Ramp (Lot 76)
  • Union South Garage (Lot 80) 
  • Fluno Center Garage (Lot 83)
  • University Hospital (Lot 75) 
  • American Family Children’s Hospital (Lot 63) has hourly parking available for hospital patients and visitors

Find these locations and real-time visitor parking availability at map.wisc.edu

Visitor parking space may be available unless a lot is closed for construction, or posted signs indicate that the lot is reserved for a special event (like Badger Football).

For complete information on visitor parking, go to our visitor parking page.

How do I pay for visitor parking at UW campus parking garages?

All visitors must pay for parking or use a validation ticket. When you pull a ticket to enter a parking garage on the UW campus, make sure to hold on to it. When you are ready to leave, you may pay or scan your validation at a kiosk in the garage, or at the exit gates. 

  • Pay-on-foot stations are usually located near stairwells, elevators, or pedestrian entry points in campus parking garages. Scan the QR code on the parking ticket and follow the payment instructions on the screen. Keep the ticket after you pay the charge: you will scan it on your way out of the garage.
  • Alternatively, drive up to the exit gate, scan the QR code on the parking ticket, and follow the payment instructions on the screen.

Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express are accepted at parking garages on campus. Checks and mobile payment methods (such as Apple Pay) are not accepted. 

We recommend paying at pay-on-foot stations whenever possible, as this can help reduce wait times at garage exit lanes.

What are the options for visitor parking at UW Hospital and Clinics?

UW Hospital and Clinics visitor parking is available at Lot 75 (UW Hospital Ramp) and Lot 63 (Children’s Hospital Garage). For lot locations, go to map.wisc.edu

Lot 75 is connected to UW Hospital and Clinics. Pull a ticket to enter the garage and either pay the ticket on exit or get the ticket validated at the hospital. Hospital staff at the information desk will answer your questions about validation.

Valet services are available at Lot 75 from 5:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. When arriving at Lot 75, follow the signs to the valet parking lane. Staff also offer golf cart assistance during operating hours and can provide wheelchair assistance.

Lot 63 is connected to the American Family Children’s Hospital and the Emergency Services department. It follows the same ticketing procedures as Lot 75.

If you need assistance to park in these locations, please press the silver “Help” button when you pull up to the entry gate to speak with a dispatcher.

For complete information on visitor parking, go to our visitor parking page.

If Lot 75 is full, or if you prefer to park in a less crowded location and are able to walk, visitor parking is often available in nearby Lot 76 (University Bay Drive Ramp).

How do I pay for visitor parking at UW Hospital and Clinics?

The UW Hospital Ramp (Lot 75) has pay-on-foot stations and exit lanes where you can pay for parking with a credit card when you exit the lot.

If you don’t have a credit card, you may pay a parking attendant at a staffed booth with cash or check. 

Booth attendants can accept most payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, cash, and checks. Booth attendants cannot accept mobile payments, such as Apple Pay.

If a booth is unstaffed, you can only pay with a credit card: unstaffed lanes cannot accept cash, checks, or mobile payments.

What should I do if the "Lot Full" sign is lit?

If the “Lot Full” sign is lit, that means there is no available space for visitors in that garage. You may look for parking in another garage where public parking is available.

If the lot is full but you’ve already pulled up to the gate, press the “Help” button and explain the situation to the dispatcher. They will be able to assist you.

Find public parking locations at map.wisc.edu

Can visitors park in surface lots?

Some surface lots have short-term ParkMobile stalls available for visitor parking. Time limits at ParkMobile stalls range from 25 minutes to three hours and payment is required through the third party vendor, ParkMobile.

Find ParkMobile stall locations on the timed parking stall map (PDF) or the lot stall types page.

Vehicles must be in paid status during the lot’s hours of control. Check the sign at the lot entrance for enforcement hours. 

You can also purchase a daily parking permit in Lots 34, 41, 44, 59, 60, 91, 130, or 131 (depending on availability). Purchases must be made in person at a Transportation Services office location. Call Customer Service at (608) 263-6667 to check availability.

How do I pay with ParkMobile at a surface lot?

First, create a ParkMobile account. There are three ways to create an account:

To start ParkMobile session, you’ll need:

  • Your license plate number
  • Credit card information
  • The amount of time you want to park
  • The 5-digit ParkMobile zone number located on the parking sign

ParkMobile reference guides (PDF downloads):

Need help with ParkMobile? Call their customer service phone number at (877) 727-5457.

Unlike timed parking on City of Madison streets, you cannot add more time to an expired (or soon-to-expire) ParkMobile session on the UW campus.

How much does visitor parking cost?

In parking garages, the daytime visitor rate is:

  • $1 per 30 minutes – first 3 hours
  • $1 per hour thereafter
  • $15 daytime session maximum

The evening and weekend visitor rate in garages is:

  • $1 per hour
  • $5 evening session maximum

There is no charge when a rate schedule is not in effect. For rate schedules in specific garages, go to our rates page.

In surface lots, timed ParkMobile stalls are $1.50 per hour during the lot’s hours of control. Outside the lot’s posted hours of control, there is no charge for parking. Refer to the parking lot sign for hours of control.

Is accessible parking available for visitors?

The university has designated State of Wisconsin disabled parking stalls where a state-issued disabled placard/plate or disabled veteran placard/plate is valid.

Accessible parking in ramps/garages. Accessible parking is available at the visitor parking rate in campus parking garages where visitor parking is available. Pull a ticket upon entry and display your valid, state-issued disabled permit when parked in a State of Wisconsin disabled stall.

Accessible parking in surface lots. State-issued disabled permits are valid in State of Wisconsin disabled stalls and timed ParkMobile stalls.

Payment is not required while parked in a State of Wisconsin disabled stall with a valid, state-issued disabled permit displayed.

If you park in a ParkMobile stall while displaying a state-issued disabled permit, please note:

  • Payment is not required while parked in timed ParkMobile stalls with a limit of 30 minutes or more with a valid, state-issued disabled permit displayed.
  • Payment is required while parked in timed ParkMobile stalls with a time limit of 30 minutes or less, even with a valid state-issued disabled permit displayed.

Visitors may also purchase a half- or full-day accessible parking permit at a Transportation Services office. UW daily accessible permits give you additional options by allowing you to park in any stall where UW-Accessible permits are valid.

For more information, go to the accessible parking page.

How can I get my parking ticket validated?

Parking validations are sometimes provided by individual departments or event organizers. Transportation Services does not validate parking.

UW Hospital and Clinics validates parking for visitors at their discretion.

Other UW departments may also validate parking for visitors. Check with the department or event organizers to find out if they offer parking validation. 

Validations work in all UW-Madison parking garages, except if the garage is reserved for a special event (such as Badger Football).

In some cases, a validation may only cover a portion of your parking session. You must pay any outstanding balance that appears on the touchscreen at the exit column.

Validation reference guide (PDF download):

What are the parking options for longer-term visitors, such as researchers or traveling health care workers?

If your visit to the UW-Madison campus will last longer than a day, it’s a good idea to make parking and transportation plans in advance.

Public transit, bicycling, and bikesharing are excellent ways to access campus. 

Daily visitor parking is an option, but availability can fluctuate and is not guaranteed. These alternative options guarantee parking space will be available during your visit:

  • Value permits provide guaranteed parking in a specific lot, even if the lot is reserved for a special event. They must be ordered two weeks in advance. Order online or by calling 608-262-8683.
  • Monthly permits allow daily parking in a specific lot. Availability is limited. To inquire about monthly permits, call customer service at 608-263-6667 or email customerservice@fpm.wisc.edu.

For complete information on visitor parking, go to our visitor parking page.

Is there free parking on campus?

Parking permits are not enforced in certain surface lots from 4:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. This means you do not need a permit and do not need to be in paid status to park in regular permit parking stalls or ParkMobile stalls in these lots after hours:

West campus (west of Willow Creek): Lots 59, 60, 64, and 82.

Also in the west campus area:

  • 130 – Lot is closed 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.
  • 131 – Free after 3 p.m. weekdays & all day Saturday/Sunday. Closed after 10 p.m.

North-central campus (from Willow Creek to Charter Street, north of University Avenue): Lots 4, 26, 34, 35, 37, 39, 40, 57, and 58.

South-central campus (from Willow Creek to N. Park Street, south of University Avenue): Lots 19, 41, 45, and 54.

East campus (east of Charter Street): Lots 45, 56, 86, and 94.

The lots listed above are the green lots located on the campus parking map. Also find these after-hours lots by searching for a specific lot number on the interactive campus map at map.wisc.edu. Always refer to the lot entrance signs and individual parking stall signage to confirm enforcement rules.

Please be aware of these exceptions to after-hours parking when a permit is required:

  • If a lot is reserved for a special event, the lot may be restricted to event permit holders. In some cases, you may pay the event rate to park in the lot. Signage will be posted at lots reserved for special events. To find out which lots are reserved for special events, go to our events calendar.
  • UW-Disabled stalls require a UW-Accessible permit at all times. Wisconsin DOT Disabled stalls require a UW-Accessible permit or state disabled permit to be displayed at all times.
  • Reserved stalls require a special permit at all times. These stalls are marked with a sign.
  • Service/vendor stalls may require a permit after hours. Check the service/vendor stall signage for specific enforcement hours.

Some parking garages do not charge for parking on Saturday and Sunday, except if they are reserved for special events. Visitors must pull a ticket to enter the ramp, but there will be no charge upon exit.

  • 17 (Engineering Drive Ramp)
  • 20 (University Avenue Ramp)
  • 36 (Observatory Drive Ramp)
  • 76 (University Bay Drive Ramp) 
  • 7 (Grainger Hall Garage) – no charge on Sundays only

For complete information on visitor parking, go to our visitor parking page.