Parking System FAQs

General FAQs (SMU Students, Employees and Visitors)

Updated as of July 27, 2023

Q. I am an SMU student or employee. How do I get a virtual parking permit?

A. The University issues virtual parking permits to SMU students, faculty and staff. SMU uses license plate recognition software to validate permits in the system. The Parking Portal is your one-stop shop for all things parking, including ordering virtual parking permits, appealing and paying citations and managing your vehicle information.

Q. When is parking enforced on University-owned property?

A. Permit parking will be enforced between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters.

Q. When is parking enforced on University-owned property during the summer months? Where can I park during the summer and break periods?

A. During the summer (May 15 - August 11, 2023), permit parking will be enforced between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. While permit parking will be enforced, vehicles with a valid permit will also be allowed to park in the designated yellow resident or orange commuter areas on campus during the summer and break periods. Permit parking will not be enforced when the University is officially closed.

Q. What after hours parking options during the week are available to SMU faculty, staff and students with valid parking permits?

A. While permit parking is enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters, SMU faculty, staff and students with valid parking permits may park in any available employee surface lots (blue areas on the parking map)  after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends (except Lot H adjacent to the Meadows School of the Arts). The employee parking areas in the Meadows and Daniel parking centers are also available after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, space permitting. 

Q. I have a virtual SMU parking permit. What if there is no space available in my assigned lot or parking center? Where do I park?

A. Overflow parking for SMU faculty, staff and students is available on the East Campus. Employees should park in the W4 lot, and students should park in the W6 lot.

Q. I work on the main campus and have several meetings every week across Central Expressway on the East Campus. Will I be able to drive my car and park on the East Campus?

A. No. Due to the high demand for parking, we can no longer accommodate the flexibility to allow SMU students, faculty and staff to park in multiple locations during normal business hours. Employees may only park in their assigned lot or parking center. Faculty and staff who have become accustomed to driving across campus to attend a meeting or event should use the SMU Express shuttle service or walk.

Q. Where are the accessible parking options for SMU students and employees?

A. Accessible spaces on campus require an SMU parking permit and a state-issued disabled placard or plate or an SMU temporary handicapped accessible parking permit.  Individuals with short-term accessible parking needs should contact their physician for a doctor’s note. The doctor’s note can be emailed to or faxed to 214-768-7678 for completion, and the permit can be picked up in the Parking and ID Services office once it is processed.  A short-term temporary accessible permit can be obtained from the Parking and ID Services office for a maximum of six (6) weeks for on-campus use only. Drivers with longer than expected recovery periods should file with the state for the state disabled permit.

Q. I have a mobility impairment. Where can I park?

A. A map of the accessible parking spaces available on the SMU campus is available online.

Q. I like to work out at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. How does the new parking system impact my ability to park near that facility?

A. During the fall and spring academic terms, SMU faculty and staff with a virtual parking permit may park in Level One of the Meadows Parking Center after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, space permitting. During the summer, SMU faculty and staff with a virtual parking permit may park in any available orange commuter or yellow resident parking area.

Q. What are the visitor parking options?

A. Campus visitors should park in designated visitor parking areas only. Visitor parking information is available online.

Q. Can students, faculty, and staff park in designated visitor spaces?

No. Students, faculty, and staff must park in their assigned parking lot or parking center. Violators are subject to ticketing.

Q. Where can retired SMU employees (Emeriti) park on campus?

A. SMU retirees may park in any available commuter (orange) parking lot or center on campus. The updated parking map is online here. Please make note of the designated commuter (orange) levels in the various parking centers as detailed on the parking map.

Q. How are arrangements made for event or guest parking?

A. As is the case today, every effort will be made to accommodate event and guest parking requests, space permitting. SMU employees with event and guest parking requests, including for Bishop Blvd., should submit them using STABLE

Q. What is the University policy related to the use of SCUVs (i.e., golf carts) on campus?

A. Many departments across campus are utilizing Sub-Compact Utility Vehicles (SCUVs) to quickly maneuver around campus. Vehicles such as Gators, Metros, Club Cars, Toros, etc. are relatively inexpensive and take much less room to park than conventional vehicles. While the increased convenience may be time-saving, the SCUVs bring a new risk to occupants, pedestrians, and persons with disabilities. In addition, the cost to repair damage to hardscape and turf areas is considerable. Therefore, to reduce risk and unnecessary cost, the following procedures are to be followed.  SCUV’s, unless they are street legal, cannot be used to cross to and from the main campus and East Campus.

SCUV’s should only be parked and stored in designated areas only and NOT be parked in a parking space assigned to students, employees, or visitors, or on sidewalks that are not designated areas. Violators will be subject to ticketing.

Q. If I need to rent a car, or use a different one that’s in the parking system, do I still need to park in my assigned lot?

A. Yes, a driver simply adds the license plate and vehicle description of the rental or loaner vehicle to their current permit by logging in to their Parking Portal and selecting "Permit" and then "View Permits" and double-clicking on the permit and scrolling down to the prompt.

Q. Are there plans for SMU to build additional parking lots or parking centers in the near future?

A. There are no current additional parking lots or centers planned, but SMU will continue to identify and create new parking areas to help meet current and future parking demand when possible.

Q. What is the City of University Park ordinance regarding street parking adjacent to the SMU campus?

A. The City of University Park has established residential-only parking districts throughout the neighborhoods adjacent to the SMU campus. Street parking within established residential parking districts is restricted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. University Park residents are allowed to park on city streets within the established residential parking districts with a displayed resident parking or guest permit issued by the City of University Park. Do no park on residential streets or at commercial establishments in areas surrounding the SMU campus.

Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EV) icon

Q. Is SMU reviewing electric vehicle (EV) options and locations for the SMU campus?

A. Yes. The University is reviewing EV options and locations for our community to use. SMU invites feedback and comments from faculty, staff and students as part of its EV review process. Please send any comments to

Q. I am an SMU student or employee and drive an electric vehicle (EV). What EV charging options are currently available on campus?

A. While SMU is reviewing commercial EV charging options on campus, there are no immediate plans to expand charging locations to additional parking centers. Given the limited number of available EV charging options on campus, SMU students and employees should charge their EV at home or use available commercial EV charging stations in the DFW area.

Q. Where can I charge my EV on campus, and are there any rules for using these locations?

A. SMU students and employees with valid parking permits may use the EV charging locations on a first come, first serve basis. You must bring your own charger to plug into the wall outlet, and you are subject to ticketing if your vehicle is fully charged and you do not return the vehicle to your assigned location.

Currently, EV wall outlets (240 volt, 20 amp) are available in the following locations: Binkley Parking Center (level two, west); Moody Parking Center (level one, south); Hillcrest Parking Center (level two, south); and Mustang Parking Center (level one, east).