Guide to Parking Credentials

Ungated/Uncontrolled Parking Lots


If a parking lot does not have a gate, a hangtag is required to park at that location. Hangtags are directly associated with contracts when contracts are created and must be claimed at the PTS office before parking in the contract location.

If a contract holder forgets the hangtag:

  1. Park in any gated/controlled parking facility with available public parking access by taking a ticket.
  2. Submit the Request Validation Form with the ticket number.
  3. Once your contract has been verified, the ticket will be validated.
  4. When exiting, if the gate does not automatically raise, insert or scan the ticket.

Replacements for lost hangtags can be purchased at the PTS office with a credit card or cash for $20.

Stolen hangtags can be replaced for free if a police report is provided. If there is no police report, a replacement can be purchased at the PTS office with a credit card or cash for $20.

Gated/Controlled Parking Facilities

View our contract parking guide video

If none of the access credentials listed below seem to work at a contract facility upon entrance, take a ticket. When exiting, press the help button. If credentials don’t seem to work upon exit, press the help button.

close-up photo of the intercom button on the parking paystations
Press help button for assistance.

U Card & PTS Parking Card (PPC)

  • U Cards are the primary access credentials for University students and employees.
  • A PPC is an additional card that can be used to access contract parking facilities and can be purchased at the PTS office for $20 with a credit card or cash. A maximum of two PPCs can be linked to one contract.
  • UMP employees and departmental contracts do not have U Card access and must use a PPC.

Scan your U Card or PPC at the reader at a gate by holding it near the card reader. Do not wave the card.

Photo of parking pay station with the contract reader circled in red
Scan your parking credential against the bar in the red circle.  The help button is in the top right section.

License Plate Recognition Technology

Use of License Plate Reader (LPR) technology can reduce idle time during entry for contract holders and during exit for both contract holders and public visitors.

LPR should be considered a secondary access credential. U Cards and PPCs are the primary credentials.


Most individual student and faculty/staff contracts are eligible for the optional LPR feature. Shared contracts, such as departmental contracts, are not eligible for LPR.

How to Use

Contract holders can link a maximum of two license plates to their contract using the LPR form. A license plate can only be linked to one contract.

Register, Update, or Remove a License Plate in the LPR System

If you can’t access the form, email

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How does LPR technology work?

Cameras mounted at the entrances and exits capture images of front license plates as vehicles pause at the gate. The images are processed by optical character recognition (OCR) analytics to produce license plate characters which are then checked against the PTS database of license plate numbers submitted voluntarily by contract holders. If the characters match a license plate in the database, the system checks for an associated contract. If the associated contract grants access to the facility, the LPR system raises the gate. Photographic images of license plates stored by the LPR system are deleted after 24 hours.

LPR does not work if the vehicle lacks a front license plate or if the plate is obscured to the point that the OCR cannot interpret the plate’s characters. Current LPR technology has accepted industry standard failure rates. Challenges we continue to address include how variations in plate design and fonts as well as some letter-number combinations can cause the OCR to incorrectly interpret license plates. Snow, ice, grime, etc. can also cause issues.

How do public parkers use LPR?

When a visitor enters a public parking facility, cameras capture an image of the front license plate which is then linked to the visitor’s ticket. When the visitor approaches the exit, the camera again captures the front license plate and the OCR searches for the related ticket. If the ticket has been validated in full, the gate opens, allowing the visitor to exit. If the ticket has only been partially validated or not validated at all, the gate remains closed, requiring the visitor to pay any outstanding charges in order to exit.

Who has access to license plates?

PTS and HUB Parking Technology employees can access license plates in the PTS database.

The University will not share license plate numbers with any party unless required to do so by law.