Miami Drops Parking Hang-tags and Stickers for License Plate Recognition

By Jarred Kappers

Miami University announced a new parking registration system on Thursday that will affect every student, faculty or staff member who has a car on campus.

Those buying annual parking passes will no longer have color-coded hangtags dangling from their rearview mirrors. Instead, their license plate numbers will be in a university database, and officers with special scanners will be able to cruise the lots and parking spaces on campus and see who is properly parked, according to a notice sent out Thursday by Miami’s office of parking and transportation services.

When permission to park is purchased for the 2019-20 school year, students, as well as faculty and staff, will need to verify that license plates are correct in their Miami parking accounts.

License plate recognition may be new to Miami but it is not new to the Oxford Police Department. According to OPD officer Angela Schatzle, the city police have been using a similar system to enforce parking fines on city streets. Scanners mounted on enforcement vehicles recognize license plates with unpaid tickets. Enforcement officers then immobilize the offending cars with parking “boots.”

The scanners also allow enforcement officers to determine how long a car has been parked at a meter or other time-limited spot, she said. The city and university have separate parking meter systems and enforce their parking restrictions independently.

Miami University’s 2019-20 parking permits are now available for sale online. Students will pay $100 a semester for their parking permission in yellow holding lots. Miami faculty and staff will pay $125 per year for their parking permission in what had been known as red tag areas. Up to four vehicles can be connected to an annual permit. Visitor passes can be purchased by campus guests for $3 a day.

According to the Miami parking and transportation services office, signage around campus will remain unchanged; which means the same restrictions will apply in terms of where various permit holders can park.

Since license plates now act as parking permits, parking and transportation services said students, faculty and staff that have vehicles without a front license plate will need to present their rear license plate to the driveway of a lot. They should not back-in or pull-through parking spots.