Changes coming to campus parking as ECU moves to plate-to-permit system


ECU sign

GREENVILLE, N.C. — A new parking permit system is coming to East Carolina University’s campus this summer, with simple, online registration and payment for parking.

Once registered, vehicles parking in university lots will no longer require a parking decal. Temporary hangtags will also no longer be needed. Beginning July 1, parking privileges will be identified by license plates rather than a decal or hangtag.

Following the lead of several UNC System schools and many large cities, ECU Parking & Transportation will implement license plate recognition (LPR) software. The permit-by-plate system is intended to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of parking enforcement. There will be no fee increase for parking zones for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Students, faculty and staff will still be able to register up to six vehicles per permit. If an alternate vehicle is being parked on campus, owners can update license plate information online.

Where a hangtag was once needed for temporary or visitor parking and part-time employees, the license plate can be registered and the fee paid online. Permission is granted immediately without a trip to the parking office. Event planners will be able to register participant vehicles with no need to provide visitor permits.

LPR cameras mounted on ECU parking enforcement vehicles will scan license plates to identify registered vehicles. Control officers are alerted when the system identifies a vehicle without a valid permit, displaying the information on a dashboard screen. The control officer can then verify the information and alert an enforcement officer if a citation is needed, ensuring ample parking for those with permits.

The recognition technology needs a clear view of the license plate. Unless a vehicle is registered in a state that issues both front and rear plates, individuals will no longer be able to park forward-facing (backed in) without risking a citation. However, for those who have a rear-only plate and backing in or pulling through a space is preferred, ECU Parking will soon offer an optional front plate for purchase that the plate recognition system can read.

Cost savings and operational efficiencies include the elimination of decals, shorter patrol times and improved reporting of vehicle counts in specific lots. Parking lot use data helps determine space allotment for various lots and zones so adjustments can be made as needed.

To learn more about the new plate-to-permit system, visit

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