Transportation Tomorrow Forum:
Introducing License Plate Recognition Technology

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Transportation Tomorrow Forum. We appreciate your time, engagement and questions. See below for a summary of the forum as well as a link to a recording of the presentation.

  • TOPIC - Introducing License Plate Recognition Technology
  • ORIGINAL DATE - November 12, 2021, 3:30-5p
  • DISCUSSION TOPIC - Parking compliance on campus is currently managed by Transportation Services Compliance Officers, surveying campus parking areas and seeking valid (and invalid) parking permits on vehicles. Using personnel to visually scan parking lots vehicle-by-vehicle for parking violations is inefficient, given the number of parking stalls on campus.  

    In late 2020, Transportation Services plans to install a License Plate Recognition system on select enforcement vehicles. This technology will increase efficiency, allowing Compliance Officers to quickly scan the license plates of any vehicle parked on campus, determining which vehicles are compliant, and issue citations accordingly. We will immediately see a decline in people who are parking without paying. Further, no more hangtags as your license plate number is your permit!
    • Perry Eggelston, Executive Director, Transportation Services
    • Brian FavelaAssociate Director, Parking Services, UC San Diego
    • Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, Transportation Services
    • Ryan Jones (Moderator), Engagement Coordinator, Transportation Services 


Click Here to Review Recording of Forum

If you have any issues accessing this recording or have questions, please email


Commute Poll
Participants of the Transportation Tomorrow Forum were asked on November 12, 2020 about their current commute to campus, if any. Breakdown of those surveyed: Total responses 80, 4% Academics, 7% Student/Graduate, 89% Staff

Plans and Funding for License Place Recognition Technology

ArrowNOTE: Plans to introduce LPR to campus are part of a larger vision that came from Transportation Tomorrow, a comprehensive case study intended to create greater mobility and connectivity for campus.

Funding for this project was earmarked in early 2019, prior to COVID-19 and orders to shelter-in-place. Our commitment to sustainable transportation is only temporarily eclipsed by the current public health guidance and budget challenges. 

FAQ: Daily Rates 

  • What are the daily rates?
  • Please click here to see our Types and Rates page for a breakdown of all parking rates.
  • How did you decide on the daily rate prices?
  • We looked at how to balance the needs of our affiliates to have an affordable rate, the financial needs for our department, and maintain a sufficient price difference between the rates to reduce congestion and balance demand.
  • When are the daily rates taking effect?
  • Daily C and Daily L rates opened to all students and employees who want to opt-in as of January 1, 2021. Daily A is available to staff and faculty as of March 1, 2021.
  • Will monthly parking permits still be available for students?
  • No. Beginning January 1, 2021, monthly parking permits will no longer be available for students to purchase.
  • Will monthly parking permits still be available for employees?
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, payroll-deducted monthly parking permits will no longer be available for employees to purchase. However, we do offer a Level Rate Parking Program with a monthly rate for those with a staff code.
  • Who is eligible for the campus affiliate daily parking rates?
  • Staff and students are eligible for the (lower) affiliate daily rates.
  • Why was I charged $12 to park and not the cheaper rate?
  • In some cases you may be charged the Visitor rate ($12/day) because you are not an affiliate of UC Davis or set up your ParkMobile with a non-UC Davis email. Visitors (non-affiliates) are not eligible for the lower daily rates. If none of these cases apply to you, and you feel you were charged $12 in error, please contact
  • Will there be an option for employees to use pre-tax payroll deduction to pay for parking?
  • We do not currently have a payroll deduction option for employees as we are working to onboard a new vendor. We will have more information in Fall 2021. 
  • Are graduate student employees considered students for the daily rate structure?
  • Yes, graduate students are students first, as it applies to parking rates. 
  • If I pay in one zone and need to move to another zone later in the day, do I need to pay a daily fee each time I re-park?
  • No, you will only need to pay once a day to park. Before 5 p.m. just be sure to park in the same zone level or a less expensive zone. For example, if you park/pay for a Daily C, then move your car, be sure to park in another Daily C or Daily L area when you return. After 5 p.m, you may re-park in any zone. For example, after 5 p.m., if you park/pay for a Daily C, you may move your car to any open A, C or L Zone. Limited time zones, such as 70-minute and 35-minute areas, are not included. 
  • With daily rates for parking, how will it work if a department currently has a shared permit for employees to borrow so they can occasionally pick up and load items closer to the building?
  • Transportation Services is developing alternative e-permits (promo codes) for these needs. 
  • How will the daily rate structure impact dorm and privatized housing residents?
  • Campus housing residents historically have not been able to have their vehicles on the main campus. However, this January-June 2021, Transportation Services will extend the affiliate rates (i.e. $3 or $2/day) to campus residents who wish to bring their vehicles to the campus. The planned expiration date is July 1, 2021, after which campus residents who choose to park on campus will need to pay the visitor (non-affiliate) daily rate ($12/day).
  • How with the daily rate structure impact Resident Advisors of dorm housing?
  • Transportation Services will work with Student Housing to offer affiliate rates to Resident Advisors.
  • How do daily rates affect parking reciprocity with other UC campuses?
  • If you need to park on another UC campus, you will need to contact their campus to see if they would honor your daily payment. If so, we can provide you with a courtesy cardstock permit to display on their campus. Email Transportation Services to set up an appointment:
  • Will departments get refunds for existing pads of permits that executive offices have? Will campus guest passes still be valid?
  • We will offer validation codes (for use on ParkMobile) and will issue the department an equal number of codes for pre-purchased cards (only if undated or marked). We will continue to honor the light purple cardstock permits until further notice.
  • How will campus guests pay for parking during special events?
  • Event organizers decide if they want to pre-pay their attendee parking or have Transportation Services collect it from them.
  • West Village currently has special pricing for parking. What level of parking will staff working at West Village be charged for parking there?
  • These facilities are public/private partnerships operated by a private company. The facilities choose their own parking rates and will continue to charge residents via their rent portal. 
  • Will those who carpool need to pay for a daily rate?
  • Yes. Members of the carpool will need to determine amongst themselves who will pay each day. If using ParkMobile to pay for parking, passengers may input the driver's vehicle license plate number into their ParkMobile account, and share the cost by alternating paying for parking through the app. (You do not need to own the vehicle to list its license plate on your ParkMobile account.)
  • Will there be a daily rate discount for registered carpools?
  • No, we will no longer be offering discounts for carpools. Additionally, those who carpool do not need to register with Transportation Services. 
  • Will A zones, which are typically reserved for staff and faculty, remain staff lots once we switch to daily rates?
  • Yes, however, if the demand for A spaces increases, we would adjust the inventories for each rate level to accommodate the shifting demand.  
  • Will time limits still apply to permitted spaces that only allow 1 hour or 2 hours?
  • Yes, these spaces with limited time, and no meter, are paid for by sponsoring departments. Each year we talk with these departments about their reserved time-space needs and costs.
  • Will there still be goClub complimentary parking passes for use?
  • For now, no. With the loss of revenue to fund various subsidies within the goClub, commuter incentives are something we hope to continue. 
  • How will daily rates affect parking for those who drive electric vehicles?
  • Electric vehicle drivers may pay the posted daily rate for EV vehicles. The daily rate includes the time to charge (up to 4 hours) as well as daily parking access in either a C or L zone. No need to pay twice.
    Note: If a charging stall is not available when you need to pay for parking and you pay through ParkMobile, you will see a 4-hour timer. Until further notice, you may ignore this timer and park in a C or L stall until a charging stall becomes available. 
  • How will daily rates affect disabled people who drive to campus?
  • Vehicles displaying a disabled placard do not pay for parking and may continue to park in distinguished disabled spaces, or any non-restricted space provided the driver/vehicle has a placard or disabled plates.
  • Can we use an EasyPark unit to pay for daily parking?
  • We will honor the EasyPark units through the fiscal year (ending on June 30, 2021) in the C or L zones. On July 1, 2021, we will no longer support these units. Once you have used the time remaining on the unit you may return it and receive a refund on your unit deposit.

  • What if I don’t use a smartphone and can’t pay for parking using the ParkMobile app?
  • If you don’t use a smartphone you may pay for parking using the instructions available here.
    Note: If you pay for parking at one of our permit dispensers, you will pay the visitor rate and not the daily affiliate rate. 

  • I don't have a calling plan on my smartphone. Will there be wi-fi access in the parking lots?
  • Wi-fi access to the parking facilities is being assessed and enhanced where possible.
  • Where will the permit dispensers be located to pay for daily parking? 
  • We are currently updating our maps, and Cosmo machines are located:
    Pavilion Garage N/W and S/E
    Quad Garage S/W
    Gateway Garage S/W
    - Lot 1
    Lot 5
    Lot 15
    Lot 25
    Lot 47
    Lot 56
    Please note affiliate rates are not available when using the COSMOS (permit-dispensers) machines. 

→ go to FAQ main 

FAQ: ParkMobile App

  • What is ParkMobile?
  • ParkMobile is an app that allows you to locate and pay for parking from your phone. Watch video below to get acquainted with ParkMobile.
  • Where can I find the ParkMobile app?
  • You can download the ParkMobile app from your Apple or Android device, visit for more information, or ask that ParkMobile Text Me a Link to the App.
  • What are the rates to park on campus using ParkMobile?
  • Please visit Types and Rates for is list of our updated parking price structure. 
  • Why was I charged the visitor rate to park and not the cheaper, affiliate rate?
  • In some cases you may be charged the Visitor rate ($12/day) because you are not an affiliate of UC Davis or set up your ParkMobile with a non-UC Davis email. Visitors (non-affiliates) are not eligible for the lower daily rates. If none of these cases apply to you, and you feel you were charged $12 in error, please contact
  • Who is eligible for the campus affiliate daily parking rates?
  • Staff and students are eligible for the (lower) affiliate rates. 

  • Will everyone need to download the ParkMobile app in order to pay for parking?
  • Using the ParkMobile app is the most convenient method to pay the daily rate for parking, and in order to use it, we recommend you download it. However, you can go to the ParkMobile website to set up your account and complete your transaction.
  • What should I do if I’m trying to pay for parking and ParkMobile isn’t working?
  • If you experience issues with ParkMobile you have a few options to troubleshoot:

    • Please park in a regular space as you would normally and try payment on the app later in the day. Sometimes, the WIFI signal is weak in the lots and payment cannot go through.
    • See if the ParkMobile app needs updating. We have seen with some devices that the issue is with the version of the app running on customer phones.
    Pay online by clicking here to visit the ParkMobile site.
    • Send an email to and let us know what is going on. Sending an email will also ensure your issue is documented. If you do happen to receive a citation for regular permit space, email and we can assist with retroactive permit purchases and/or a dismissal of your cite. 

  • What if I don’t use a smartphone and can’t pay for parking using the ParkMobile app?
  • If you don’t use a smartphone you may pay for parking using the instructions available here.
    Note: If you pay for parking at one of our permit dispensers, you will pay the visitor rate and not the daily affiliate rate. 

  • I don't have a calling plan on my smartphone. Will there be wi-fi access in the parking lots?
  • Wi-fi access to the parking facilities is being assessed and enhanced where possible.
  • Can you switch between vehicles you drive to campus? Can I register more than one license plate?
  • You control which vehicles you want on your ParkMobile account and choose which vehicle you want the permit to belong to on each transaction. If you need to switch between parking a vehicle you have registered and normally drive to a vehicle that is not registered--such as a loaner when your car is being repaired, or if you live in a multi-vehicle family and need to switch cars for the day--you may update the license plate and vehicle information in your ParkMobile account.
  • When you drive to campus and pay for parking, can you switch cars without having to pay again?
  • No. When you pay to park, you select the vehicle you are parking for the day and the payment is assigned to the license plate of that vehicle. In the same day, if you switch vehicles and park you will need to pay for parking for that different vehicle.
  • How will ParkMobile work if I carpool to campus?
  • Members of carpools are responsible for working out how to split the costs of driving/parking. One way to split carpool pricing using ParkMobile is, if you share a ride, each rider can input the license plate of the person driving. You don't have to drive the vehicle (or own it) to put add the license plate number to your ParkMobile account. When your carpool arrives to campus and parks, a designated passenger (or whoever) can open the ParkMobile app and click on the license plate of the vehicle parking for the day. Carpoolers can simply alternate paying for carpools from day to day.
  • What happens if a person who commutes cannot (will not) use their cell phone to pay for parking? Will they still be able to park? How will they pay?
  • Anyone who does not wish to use the ParkMobile app may pay for parking at one of our pay-on-foot permit dispensers or the toll-free number but will not receive the affiliate rates. You can also set up your account via the ParkMobile website (instructions are available here) and receive the affiliate rates.  
  • What happens if someone forgets to use the ParkMobile app for the day and parks their vehicle anyway?
  • You may receive a citation if you have not paid for parking, or Compliance Officers find no evidence you have paid for parking on the day in question. 
  • What if I park on campus and plan to stay for an hour, but then have a change of plans and can’t get back to my car for 4 hours?
  • Parkers paying by the hour may set up their ParkMobile or Cosmo setting to receive smartphone notifications that your time is expiring and offer you the ability to extend your time.  
  • If I always come to work M-F and park in the same lot, can I register my parking for the week all at once?
  • You will need to complete your transaction each day you park on campus. However, once your ParkMobile account is set up you can "favorite" certain lots within the app, which will serve a bookmark for quick payment. 
  • Can only one account be associated with ParkMobile? For instance, do I need to register with my UC Davis email and can I also have an account with my personal email?
  • You can decide how you want to set up your accounts. However, you will need to use your UC Davis email account to receive the reduced daily rates.
  • Do you have to have the GPS turned on on your phone in order to use the app?
  • No. However, you will not receive information about the local zones that are available through the app. Turning on your GPS will allow you to see which zones are available through ParkMobile. 
  • What protections will ParkMobile have to protect my credit card information from cyber hacking?
  • ParkMobile went through a rigorous review process by the UC Davis IT Security team. They met all the required PCI compliance needs. Please check their website for more information about their security protections.
  • When events return how will campus guests use ParkMobile? Will they need to download the app? 
  • Yes. ParkMobile is one system, and we are looking at another that would allow the attendee to purchase their parking when they obtain their event tickets in a single basket transaction. 

→ See ParkMobile FAQ (external link)

→ go to FAQ main 

FAQ: License Plate Recognition (LPR)

  • What is License Plate Recognition (LPR)?
  • License Plate Recognition, sometimes abbreviated as LPR, is an advanced parking technology that provides virtual permits through a vehicle’s license plate instead of paper permits or plastic hangtags. LPR increases parking efficiency, provides convenience for the parking customer and greatly reduces the amount of paper and plastic waste produced.
  • How does License Plate Recognition technology work?
  • Individuals will register their vehicle plate information into the ParkMobile App. 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. When a vehicle parks on campus, the rear 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 lot location. If the license plate and vehicle information are not associated with a valid virtual permit or the vehicle is parked in an inappropriate zone, then the vehicle may be subject to a citation.
  • Why is Transportation Services investing in new parking technology?
  • Transportation Services is investing in technology that will allow us to do our jobs more efficiently and provide solutions for the new intermittent parking needs in the “new normal”. We anticipate that the benefits of the upgrades will bear out in relatively short return on investment. Further, long-term planning efforts to implement LPR on campus have been in the works for many years as a result of a comprehensive transportation study, Transportation Tomorrow. Funding to pay for this technology was earmarked in 2019, prior to COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place mandate.
  • How can LPR benefit me?
  • - LPR eliminates the need to display physical permits and the need to move permits from vehicle-to-vehicle
    - Increased cost effectiveness with the reduction of printed permits and postage fees
    - Upgraded paperless pay stations on campus located along the direct paths of travel away from each lot and the 1st floor of each parking structure
    - Returning to your vehicle to display a paper permit will no longer be necessary
    - 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
    - Option of adding credits to your parking meter remotely via the Parkmobile app.
  • How will my license plate information be used? 
  • Your license plate information will be used to check for a valid permission to park on campus. Campus Police 320-45 and California Law restrict the uses for this data. 
  • Will LPR be used for off site campus locations, such as Research Park Drive?
  • Yes. Anywhere Transportation Services checks compliance, we will be using the LPR system to scan vehicles parked on campus.  
  • If UCPD requests license plate data, will I receive notification that my license plate/data was accessed?
  • We are checking with University Campus council on notification requirements. Please check back here for updates.
  • How would it work if I back into my parking spot and do not have a front license plate?
  •  A front license plate is mandatory for California registered vehicles. For those vehicles registered in states where only a rear plate is required, we will sell a plate you can place on your dash for a nominal fee. 
  • I use a car cover which might cover the license plate. Will this be a problem? 
  • We would ask that you keep your license plate exposed. However, the officer can manually enter your license plate information by lifting the cover.

→ go to FAQ main