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License Plate Recognition (LPR) FAQ

Users are allowed a maximum of two vehicles per virtual permit. Full instructions are listed at How To Maintain Your Parking Account [PDF].

How it works?

What is LPR?

License Plate Recognition (LPR) is an advanced parking technology that provides virtual permits through a vehicle’s license plate instead of paper permits or plastic hangtags. LPR increases parking efficiency on campus, provides convenience for the parking customer and greatly reduces the amount of paper and plastic waste produced.

How does LPR work?

Individuals will register their vehicle plate information into the online parking system when purchasing their virtual permits. The LPR software then combines this information with the individual’s payment and generates a virtual permit linked to that vehicle’s license plate number.

When a vehicle parks on campus, the rear license plate is captured by cameras mounted on enforcement vehicles. LPR works similar to a supermarket scanner with your license plate functioning as the barcode. When read, the numbers of your plate are automatically referenced against the parking database to verify a valid permit and the proper parking privileges for the lot location. If the license plate and vehicle information are not associated with a valid virtual permit or the vehicle is parked in an inappropriate lot (Employee vs. General), then the vehicle will be subject to a citation.

How does LPR benefit me?

  • Eliminates the need to display physical permits and the need to move permits from vehicle-to-vehicle
  • Increased cost effectiveness with the reduction of printed permits and postage fees
  • Upgraded paperless pay stations on campus located along the direct paths of travel away from each lot and the 1st floor of each parking structure
  • Returning to your vehicle to display a paper permit will no longer be necessary
  • Lost or stolen permits and the associated replacement fees, police reports, and processing times will be eliminated
  • No more forgetting your permit, a permit falling from a rearview mirror or being displayed improperly
  • Option of adding credits to your parking meter remotely via the Parkmobile app 
  • Reduced waste in support of CSULB’s commitment to zero waste and campus sustainability:
    • Reduced paper, plastic, envelopes and ink used in permit production and distribution
    • Reduced waste and litter in all campus lots

How will my license plate information be used?

The license plate information collected in this process will only be referenced against the campus database for the strict purposes of verifying CSULB parking permits on campus. The enforcement rules will not change because of this new technology, including the process to appeal a citation.


Are there still pay stations with LPR?

New parking pay stations that integrate with LPR have been installed along the direct paths of travel in each parking lots and on the 1st floor of each parking structure. These new pay stations will not dispense paper permits, but instead will allow you to use your license plate number to generate a virtual permit for your vehicle for Daily or Short-Term parking.

How can I purchase a permit?

Individuals will be able to purchase virtual permits online (annual, semester, etc.). Daily and Short-Term parking may be purchased at the nearest parking pay station to your vehicle or via the ParkMobile app. Please note, Daily and Short-Term parking will only be valid in the lot purchased.

What happens if I do not have a virtual permit when I park? Will I receive a citation?

A small grace period is provided to all non-permitted vehicles upon arrival to allow individuals time to purchase a virtual permit from a nearby pay station.

What happens if I do not have access to a computer or a phone?

Pay stations are available along the direct paths of travel and on the 1st floor of each parking structure in order to purchase parking. The Visitor Information Center (VIC) is also available to provide additional information as needed.

Will there be a tag that designates staff members?

LPR will automatically verify Employee virtual permits via your license plate. Vehicles parked in areas on campus not associated with their virtual permit type will be subject to citation.

As a professor Emeritus, will I have a virtual or a physical permit?

Emeriti virtual permits are now available for purchase online via the Parking Portal.

Where is an exempt license plate valid?

E sticker (or Exempt) permits are valid in all state vehicle spaces.

What if I am concurrently employed by CSULB and another CSU campus at the same time?

CSULB has detailed instructions for parking on multiple campuses while concurrently employed. Please visit the Concurrent Employment Parking webpage for more information.

What if I am employed by CSULB and I am visiting another CSU campus?

If you are simply attending events or activities at another CSU campus, please contact the coordinator for that event for more specific visitor parking procedures. The Financial Management Office is available for additional questions​ at 562.985.2232.

I purchased an employee permit at another CSU, can I use it on the CSULB campus?

CSULB honors all valid CSU Employee hangtag permits from other CSU campuses. Please ensure the hangtag is visibly displayed when parking on campus.

How will patron parking be handled for campus events?

Patron parking at campus events will be handled by the lot attendents in cash. No change to the procedures for these types of parking events at this time.

How will motorcycle permits be handled?

The new LPR system will read motorcycle license plates in the same manner as vehicle license plates. Please ensure your motorcycle information is listed correctly in your online parking account.

License Plates

What if I get a new vehicle or a new license plate?

It is imperative that your license plate and vehicle information is current and correct in order to avoid an unnecessary citation. Please visit your online parking account to update your information immediately after any change in license plate number for your vehicle has occurred. It is also important to delete all old or unused vehicle listings from your account.

What if I have a personalized plate or special characters/symbols?

If you have a personalized plate with less than 7 characters, or if you have a special character within your plate (heart, star, etc.), pleaes skip the special character when entering the number into the system and simply include the remaining characters on the plate. For example:

License plate example




This plate would be entered as “ICSULB” at a pay station or during the online registration process.

What if I do not have a front license plate?

If your vehicle is registered in the State of California, the state requires that two plates be displayed, one in the front and one in the back of the vehicle (California Vehicle Code 5200). If you have a back-facing plate only, please park head-in so that our officers can see your registered license plate. Failure to park head-in will result in a citation.

Will I receive a citation if my license plate is dirty or if I have a decorative cover?

As long as your plates are legal for driving, our system will be able to read them.

What if I have a brand new vehicle without a license plate?

Unfortunately, temporary plates are not recognized by License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology. If you do not have a permanent license plate, then please add the last 7 digits of your vehicle’s VIN number in place of the license plate number when registering your vehicle online. Once your DMV-issued license plates are affixed to your vehicle, you will be required to immediately update your information on your online parking account. Failure to add the new vehicle license plate information may result in an unnecessary citation.

How can I verify that the license number I have on record is correct?

Your information can be viewed and updated via your online parking account. You will be asked to login with your Beach ID and password.

Multiple Vehicles/Temporary Vehicles 

What if I own more than one vehicle?

Students and community members are allowed to register up to two vehicles under the same permit. Staff and faculty members are allowed to register up to five vehicles under the same permit. The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle on campus as valid, but any additional vehicles found on campus at the same time, under the same virtual permit, will be subject to citation.

Two vehicles listed under the same virtual permit may be on campus at the same time if the second vehicle purchases Daily or Short-Term parking.

What if I have a loaner vehicle or a rental car?

Individuals are allowed to add/remove vehicles to their parking permit at any time; this includes loaner vehicles and rental cars. It is important that you remove vehicles from your account as soon as your use of the temporary vehicle has ended.

What if two people have both purchased virtual permits, but also share the two vehicles?

The LPR system has difficulty recognizing vehicles listed on multiple virtual permit accounts. To avoid being cited in error, we recommend only listing your vehicle on your own virtual permit. If the vehicle has a valid virtual permit, listing the vehicle on another account is not necessary. To register a second vehicle to your virtual permit temporarily, please visit your online parking account.

What if I have two vehicles listed on my virtual permit?

The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle on campus as valid, but any additional vehicles under the same virtual permit on campus at the same time will be subject to citation. Two vehicles listed under the same virtual permit may be on campus at the same time if the second vehicle purchases Daily or Short-Term parking.

Can I allow another person to use my virtual permit?

All permits are non-transferable and can only be used by the individual who purchased it. Permit privileges will be revoked for any individuals found sharing virtual permits or in violation of CSULB Parking Regulations.