No more parking tags: license plate recognition software to replace physical tag

Ethan Hunt, Reporter

Students can expect yet another post-pandemic change in the fall: physical parking tags are now a thing of the past. 

App State announced July 2 in an email that license plate recognition software will replace physical parking tags for students purchasing on-campus parking permits. The email stated students would no longer need to use a parking tag during the 2021-22 academic year. Instead, their license plate will be their permit. 

The university found that license plate recognition software was cheaper than replacing the current card readers and gates which are in “poor condition,” said John Eckman, associate vice chancellor for Campus Services.

The switch to LPR technology will save the university $500,000 in equipment and installation costs and it is expected to reduce the number of citations given to students, faculty and staff, Eckman said. 

Students can no longer back in or pull through parking spaces due to the limitations of the software. The email from the university warned that students who back in or pull through parking spaces would receive a citation. 

However, students, faculty and staff can purchase a front plate from the university if they wish to back in or pull through into parking spots, Eckman said. 

Revenue from parking citations is not kept by the university. The money, Eckman said, is transferred to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and utilized for public education. 

Permit registration is conducted throughAppalNet, and registration times are based on credit hours. Freshman registration opened July 22, sophomore registration July 19, junior registration July 15, and senior and graduate student registration July 12. Annual permits cost $276 with the exception of permits for Rivers Street Parking Deck and Stadium Parking Deck which cost $576. 

Resident assistant and graduate assistant registration opens July 26. GAs and RAs must register their vehicles in person. Parking near the center of campus is limited for GAs. 

Students also have the opportunity to purchase a carbon-neutral offset for $8 with their parking permit. The money from the student purchases funds the carbon-neutral commuter program, which works to counteract the carbon footprint of App State drivers. In the 2018-19 academic year, App State drivers, including bus users, had a carbon footprint of 9,145.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the App State Parking and Transportation Department.  

Students can register for permits online or in person at the parking and transportation office in Rivers Street Parking Deck.