Parking on Campus

Have a car and want to drive on campus? Driv­ers and owners are responsible to know all campus regulations for cars, motorcycles, mopeds, and other motorized vehicles. Get the facts here.


The use of a motor vehicle at Northwestern is a privilege with accompanying responsibilities. The purpose of all traffic and parking regulations is to maximize safety on campus for motorists, pedestrians, and university property. Drivers and owners are responsible to know all campus regulations for cars, motorcycles, mopeds, and other motorized vehicles.

Driver’s License Requirements

According to state law, anyone driving a motor vehicle on public roads within the state of Minnesota must carry with them a valid driver’s license from Minnesota, another state or another country.

Vehicle Registration and Parking Permits

All vehicles driven on campus by community members must be properly registered with the owner’s state of residence and also registered with Public Safety. Registration of a motor vehicle belonging to another person with intent to defraud the university is prohibited. Community members may not have a motor vehicle at Northwestern without personal liability and property damage insurance. Freshmen (students with less than 30 earned university credits) living in university housing are not permitted to have a vehicle on Northwestern property. Appeals are available but are only accepted for extreme circumstances. Vehicle registration information can be found within the Public Safety page on myUNW. Community members who register their vehicles and pay the permit fee are issued a vehicle permit. The cost for fall 2023/spring 2024 parking permits are:

  • $185 per semester for resident parking (this includes residents of Akenson, Knutson, Knuha, Hartill, Moyer, and Ramseyer residence halls).
  • $155 per semester for commuter parking.
  • $50 per semester for motorcycle and scooter parking.
  • $0 for Adult and Graduate program parking.

Visitor Parking

Visitors to campus may obtain a visitor permit at no charge from the Public Safety Office in Riley Hall 1617 or the checkpoint. This allows them to park in any visitor space on campus or general parking Lots. Visitor parking spaces are intended to be available for visiting prospective students, guests of the college and parents of current students. Students and employees are restricted from parking in these spaces.

Other Parking Information

Handicapped Parking

Handicapped parking zones are indicated by signs in each of the lots. Only cars with official, state-issued handicap permits are allowed to park in these designated spots.

Residence Hall Visitors and Overnight Guests

All residence hall visitors and overnight guests are required to obtain a free visitor parking pass from Public Safety. Overnight residence hall guests can park their vehicles in the residence lot with a visitors pass.

Community Parking Regulations

Find more information about Northwestern’s parking regulations.