Virtual Permits

Beginning with 2021-2022 Tampa Parking Permit sales in July, parking permits will be virtual. You will no longer be provided with a physical permit and instead your license plate will become your parking permit. With that in mind, USF Tampa campus will now require all vehicles to be parked with their plate facing out. Additionally, you will need to confirm that your license plate and vehicle information is up-to-date on the parking portal to avoid receiving a citation.  

Why is USF changing to virtual permits?

USF Tampa campus is embracing the trend of utilizing Virtual Permits in our parking operations. Virtual permits have numerous benefits including efficiency, sustainability, and cost. For example, our valued customers will immediately have access to park on campus upon purchasing online compared to waiting for a physical permit to arrive in the mail. It is also a more sustainable process as permits don’t need to be printed and then mailed. Finally, PATS can more efficiently check lots and garages for violations, which will help to ensure only valid permit holders are parking on campus freeing up more spaces for you.

How will enforcement officers know that I purchased a permit?

Ensure your vehicle information is up-to-date when you buy your permit as PATS will utilize License Plate Recognition (LPR) for enforcement in our facilities. This is why USF Tampa campus will require all vehicles to “Park Plate Out.” Enforcement officers will be able to see whether the vehicle associated with your license plate is authorized to park on campus. If you haven’t purchased a permit and you attempt to park on campus, you may receive a citation.

Can I still back in to a parking spot?

The only requirement is that your license plate is facing out towards the aisle so it can be read by our LPR technology. If you have a front facing license plate you can still back in to a spot. For those wishing to back in, but who don’t have a front facing plate, you can purchase a vanity plate through PATS. Failure to follow the “Park Plate Out” policy will result in a citation.

When will this new policy take effect?

2021-2022 Tampa Parking Permits will go on sale in mid-July. These will be the first virtual permits issued. The “Park Plate Out” policy will take effect on August 12 for the Fall Semester, as all active permits will only be virtual on this day.

Why did I have a notice on my car because I was backed into a parking spot on campus?

Starting in Spring 2021, PATS enforcement team has begun placing notices on cars that currently park where their plate isn’t visible. This notice informs you of the upcoming change to our policy where vehicles will be required to “Park Plate Out” and where to find more information. This is part of our communication efforts to inform the USF community of the change. This notice is not an official warning and isn’t placed on your parking account. Warnings and citations will not be issued until the policy takes effect on August 12.

How will I purchase my permit?

The process to purchase your parking permit has not changed. Simply visit, choose your permit type, and check-out. The only difference is that you won’t receive a sticker in the mail. You will receive email confirmation of your purchase and be cleared to park on campus immediately.

What if I drive a different car to campus than the one that is on my account?

Any vehicle that you intend to drive to campus must be listed in your account along with its license plate number, otherwise you will receive a citation. Please ensure your account vehicle information is up-to-date or you may receive a citation. You can register up to three vehicles to your permit, but only one can be on campus at a time.

What about daily visitor parking on the Tampa campus?

As is already the case, visitors will either use the permit pay station in the parking lot or the ParkMobile app to purchase their permit. ParkMobile requires you to put in your license plate, which will then register with our License Plate Recognition technology. 

Does this apply to disabled parking spots?

Virtual permits will still be required, but the park plate out policy does not apply to disabled parking locations throughout the Tampa campus. Vehicles parked in disabled parking should park as they traditionally do to accommodate the person with a disability. 

What if I need to back in to charge my electric vehicle?

Vehicles actively charging at one of the electric vehicle charging stations on campus are exempt from the park plate out policy. 

How do I use my virtual permit on another USF campus?

After purchasing your virtual permit through the parking portal, you can print proof of your permit for use on the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses. Refer to the Parking FAQ for details on where your type of permit is valid on the other campuses.