The University of Wisconsin has limited parking space available to students. Most students walk, bike, or take the bus. The best advice to students regarding parking on campus is don’t bring a car.
Students are eligible for the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) bus pass, which provides unlimited access to all city bus routes. The campus bus routes (80, 81, 82 and 84) are jointly funded by UW Transportation Services, UW Housing, and ASM and are free for anyone.
Students are strongly encouraged to walk, bike and use the campus/city bus system. Please refer to these webpages for more information:
Student Parking Options
Need to apply for parking? Limited parking is available for approved student commuters on a space available basis. Please see the student parking permit policy and Student Parking FAQ (PDF) for details.
Who is eligible for student base lot parking on campus?
- Commuting students from outside Madison (beyond one mile of the city transit system).
- 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.
- Students with a state DOT disabled placard or plate – see the “Student Accessible Parking” tab.
- Students with unusual or unique needs (must provide justification).
If you qualify, complete and submit the student parking permit pre-approval application. The pre-approval application is not a permit application, but is a way to determine if you qualify to apply for a permit. All citations or other unpaid fees due to UW Transportation Services must be paid prior to receiving a parking permit.
If you don’t qualify:
Most UW graduate students and professional students are eligible for reduced cost annual base lot permits and semester permits. Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply for reduced cost parking permits.
Graduate and professional students with a UW or UW-affiliate appointment:
- Apply in the permit application system (PAS) to be considered for a reduced cost annual base lot permit. Read more about how to apply for parking.
- If you have not applied for parking before, you must be entered into the permit application system (PAS). To be entered into PAS, contact your department’s unit transportation coordinator (UTC).
- Eligible graduate and professional students who are awarded a reduced cost permit will see the reduced cost price at time of purchase, and not during the application process.
- Permit availability may be limited.
Graduate and professional students without a UW or UW-affiliate appointment or whose employment is classified by HR as “student help:”
- Submit the student pre-approval parking application. If you are eligible to apply for a reduced cost parking permit, the student parking unit transportation coordinator (UTC) will enter you into the permit application system (PAS), enabling you to apply for an annual base lot permit.
- When applying for an annual base lot permit in PAS, you must select only those lots where reduced cost permits are available for students without appointments: Lots 46, 67, 75, 76, and 83.
- To receive the reduced cost rate, you must be awarded a permit in a facility where reduced cost permits are available. If you apply for parking in a lot where reduced cost permits are not available for graduate and professional students without appointments, you may receive an offer for a parking permit at the regular rate.
- Eligible graduate and professional students without appointments who are awarded a reduced cost permit will see the reduced cost price at time of purchase, and not during the application process.
- Permit availability will vary and may be limited.
- UW graduate students and professional students may purchase a semester permit depending on availability, regardless of appointment type.
- Fall 2023 semester permits are now available to purchase in-person at a Transportation Services office starting August 22, 2023. Fall semester permits are valid September 1 – December 31.
- Spring 2024 semester permits will be available to purchase in-person starting December 6, 2023. Spring semester permits are valid January 1 – August 31.
- Availability will be limited in lots 17, 29, 36, 46, 67, 75, 76, and 83
Students are eligible to purchase an afternoon permit, which provides access to specific parking lots on campus from 2 p.m. – 7 a.m., Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. For a list of lots where afternoon permits are valid, please reference the afternoon permit policy.
Afternoon permits are not valid in lots controlled during special events. In the case of a special event, permit holders will be notified of alternate parking locations. See more afternoon permit details on the permit types and information page.
Students are eligible to purchase a night permit, which provides access to specific parking garages and lots on campus. There are two types of night permits available for purchase on the Transportation Services eBusiness portal:
- Night – Garage Specific: valid for the assigned ramp or garage only
- Night – Surface Lot: valid in a specific set of surface lot locations
For a list of offered lots and enforcement hours, refer to the night permit policy. Night permits are not valid in lots controlled during special events. In the case of a special event, permit holders will be notified of alternate parking locations. See more permit details on the permit types and information page.
Students with a state Department Of Transportation (DOT) tag may purchase a UW Disabled parking tag at any Transportation Services office OR must complete a student parking pre-approval application each year.
A two month temporary UW Disabled permit is also available for sale at an office with a doctor’s note.
For additional resources regarding student academic accommodations on campus, contact McBurney Disability Resource Center at (608) 263-2741, text (608) 225-7956. McBurney Disability Resource Center website
Motorcycle and moped parking
A motorcycle permit (or proper timed parking stall payment) is required to use motorcycle parking areas. Motorcycle permits are available for purchase through our eBusiness portal. More motorcycle permit information is on the permit types and information page. Visitor motorcycle parking information can be found on the visitor parking page.
Please see the motorcycle permit policy for complete information on motorcycle parking on campus.
Any moped on campus must park in a designated moped parking stall with a moped permit, in a timed parking stall with payment and within posted time constraints, or in a vehicle stall with a valid temporary permit displayed. Parking anywhere but within an appropriate stall (as defined above) will result in a citation.
Note: online permit sales are restricted based upon university residence hall contracts. Residence hall contract holders will be restricted to select moped lots adjacent to their address of record. Non-residence hall occupants will not be able to select moped lots adjacent to residence halls. University apartments (Eagle Heights) contract holders are not included in this restriction. As of Sept. 1, 2017, residence hall moped lots are enforced 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays to ensure spots are available to residents.
Visit the moped page for more information.