University of Illinois Parking Department

License Plate Recognition (LPR)

Frequently Asked Questions




How does LPR work? 

LPR works like a supermarket scanner with your license plate instead of a barcode. The numbers enter our database to verify your vehicle has been registered with the Parking Department. If a license plate and vehicle information are not associated with a valid permit in the lot in which a vehicle is parked, the enforcement officer will write a citation.

How does it benefit me?

  • - This will be a tremendous benefit to University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana faculty, staff, and students because it allows renewal and registration to be done entirely online.
  • - Enforcement will become much more efficient and streamlined. As such, vehicles that are out of compliance will be quickly located, cited, and brought into compliance. Improved compliance allows us to control your parking costs.
  • - LPR technology is cheaper than printing and mailing permits and more “green” because we create no waste.
  • - LPR will empower the parker to manage her/his account based on individual transportation choices. You simply need to keep your license plate(s) up to date in your parking account.
  • - Lost or stolen permits and the associated replacement fees, police reports, and processing are a thing of the past.
  • - You will never again have to fret about not remembering your permit, a permit falling off your rearview mirror, or having a permit displayed improperly.

Can I park in any lot now that there isn’t a hanging permit?

No, you must park in your assigned lot. Your registered license plate with the Parking Department identifies your virtual permit. The lot assignment process has not changed.

If I can register two /three vehicles to my account, does that mean I can park both/multiple vehicles at the same time using that virtual permit?

No, you may only park one vehicle in your assigned lot on campus at one time. Individuals who park more than one vehicle in the same lot associated with only one virtual permit are subject to citations.

Will I still receive two courtesy cards if I forget to update my permit information when using another vehicle?

Yes, annual permit holders will be assigned two virtual courtesy cards. We will discontinue paper cards in consideration of the environment. Please contact our office at 217.333.3530 or email to request the use of one of your two annual virtual courtesy cards within 60 days of the issuance of the citation. These cards will be tracked on your account. Please remember that you are responsible for maintaining your parking account.  Citations will be issued to vehicles not currently linked to a valid virtual permit.


What if more than two people share more than two vehicles?

The LPR system has difficulty accommodating users who have the same plate associated with more than one account. To avoid confusion, we strongly recommend that you register one car to one permit and then add the second or third plate to your account temporarily if you need to bring it to campus. To register a plate temporarily, please go online or call 217.333.3530. All you will need is the make, model, and plate number. Remember, a vehicle and plate should only be registered to one account at any given time.

What if I have more than one vehicle?

Faculty, staff, and students may register multiple license plates under their name with an annual permit purchase. Those who park two or more vehicles in the same lot assigned to only one virtual permit are subject to citations.

What if I am a student and I share a vehicle with a university employee/affiliate?

Please choose a primary account to register each vehicle. If you need to use an additional vehicle, you must register it on a temporary basis. To register a car temporarily, please go online or call 217.333.3530. Later, you should return to your account or call the office to remove it.

What if I need to use a rental car or another unregistered vehicle temporarily?

All you need to do is go online to add and delete this vehicle or call 217.333.3530. Please remember only one of your registered vehicles can be parked in your assigned lot as this rule has not changed. Once your business with this temporary vehicle is complete, you will then need to return to your account or call the office to remove it.

What if I want to use my family member’s/friend’s registered vehicle?

Not a problem! Just remember to park in the lot that your friend’s vehicle is registered in. If you are the one loaning the vehicle, keep in mind that you will be responsible for any citation issued to your vehicle.

What if I get a new vehicle/license plate?  

It is imperative that your license plate number and vehicle information is current and remains up to date. Please go online to update that information today.


Will I get a ticket if my license plate is dirty or if I have a decorative cover?

As long as your plates are legal for driving, our system can read them.

What if I have a stacked character plate? 

Please see the example below for clarification of the correct format.


       Correct Format for number:  MFR36J


            Example Plate

       A license plate

What if I do not have a front license plate?

If your vehicle is registered in the State of Illinois, the state requires two plates to be displayed, one in front and one in back of the vehicle. If you have a back facing plate only, please park head-in so our officers can see your registered license plate. Failure to park head-in may result in a citation.


What information do I need to register or renew?

  • - You will need your license plate number and vehicle information for the vehicle you plan on driving to campus.
  • - Your registered license plate number with Parking Department associates your vehicle with your virtual permit.
  • - You will NOT receive a hanging permit.
  • - Annual Faculty/Staff permits are valid July 1 – June 30. Annual Student permits are valid August 1 – July 31.Your license plate information will need to be up to date prior to the start date.
  • - If the license plate and vehicle information is not in our parking database and associated with a valid permit for the lot in which you park, you may receive a citation.

What if I have outstanding tickets?

 All fines still must be paid and pending balances settled prior to renewal.


How does LPR impact my privacy and what happens to my information?

  • - LPR is linked only to the Parking Department database. No outside agencies or other internal departments have access to LPR generated data.
  • - Just as it always has been, the only data warehoused in the Parking Department database is from citations issued. Data from vehicles that are scanned which are not associated with a citation is later purged. This data will also assist us to accurately audit lot usage and therefore maximize permit sales to better serve the campus community.
  • - Information within the Parking Department database will continue to maintain the broad protections as associated with departmental policy and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • - For more details on how this information is used and stored please see the License Plate Recognition Privacy Notice: Privacy Notice