For campus return parking information, please refer to our return to work web page.

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Parking Essentials for Incoming Freshman

With fall quarter just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about transportation and parking options.  We understand there is a lot of information to process, so we’ve consolidated everything you need to know as a new student on this page.  There are different procedures for those living on campus and those commuting to campus, however it’s important to know that all vehicles parked on campus must have a valid parking permit. 

Undergraduate commuter parking permits are sold online only beginning August 20, 2021 and can be purchased with a credit card or billed to your Student Business Account.  Be sure to have your vehicle information on hand when purchasing your permit.  You will need year, make, model, color, state and license plate number.  You can register more than one car on your permit, however, only one vehicle can be parked on any day.  Permits are linked to your license plate as part of our license plate recognition system.  Physical permits are not distributed.  View our website for current rates.

Resident Parking:

Due to limited parking availability on campus, freshman residents are NOT allowed to bring a vehicle to campus unless they are approved for an exemption.  Exemptions are based on a documented, compelling need for campus parking such as for having an off-campus job or the need to travel for medical reasons.  Information on how to file for an exemption will be included in your housing assignments.  You may purchase a resident parking permit only after receiving an approved exemption.  Once approved, your parking lot assignment will be located near your residence hall.

It’s been our experience that most freshman residents don’t have a need for a personal vehicle due to that fact that UCR provides for most everything you need right on campus. If you do need to travel off campus, there are many alternative choices of transportation listed further below.

Commuter Parking:

Students living off-campus should know that the demand for parking is high.  You should explore your options ahead of time and consider sustainable methods of transportation when possible.  Undergraduate commuters have the option of purchasing Orange, Gold or Gold Plus permits. View our website for current rates and maps.  Anyone with a valid Orange, Gold or Gold Plus permit are allowed to move their car after 6pm to select Blue Lots located in the center of campus. 

  • Orange permits are the least expensive option and can only be used in Lot 62 located just outside of campus.
  • Gold permits are valid in any of the four Gold Lots (26, 30, 32, 50) located around the perimeter of campus.
  • Gold Plus lots are located within the center of campus and are sold on a limited basis.  Gold Plus lots vary each quarter based on parking availability and demand, therefore they don’t show up on the parking map.

Alternative Transportation:

Whether you are a resident without a car looking for ways to travel, or are a commuter student looking for alternative means to get to campus, there are options available, including:

  • RTA UPASS – All students can register for a free bus pass, good on all RTA fixed-routes for unlimited travel.
  • Metrolink – Southern California’s regional rail service.  Metrolink provides a 25% student discount when showing a valid student ID.
  • Zipcar – rent cars by the hour or day with a Zipcar membership.  Rental fees cover the cost of gas, insurance and mileage up to 180 miles per day.
  • Biking – Register and license your bike for free at Transportation Services.  With over 3,000+ bike rack spaces on campus there are plenty of places to park your bike.  There are also free self-service fix-it stations for small repairs.
  • Waze Carpool – An app based ride match system to help you find a carpool partner.

For more details about alternative transportation or parking at UCR, visit Transportation Services’ website or call (951) 827-8277.