Campus Safety

Parking Policy


The Campus Safety Office is responsible for administering and enforcing parking regulations. Oberlin College assumes no responsibility for a vehicle or its contents while parked or operated on the grounds of the college. The regulations are applicable to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the college.


Faculty, staff, and students who park their vehicles on college property must register their vehicles with the Campus Safety Office immediately upon arrival to campus.

Anyone registering a vehicle and accepting the appropriate permit is deemed to have knowledge of the Oberlin College parking regulations and is responsible for compliance.

Students will be charged a parking fee of $200 per academic year that must be paid at the time the permit is picked up at the Campus Safety Office. The fee is not prorated as the year progresses; it remains the same regardless of when a student arrives with a vehicle. Students may register a vehicle that is titled to a parent or guardian. A student may not use the permit of any faculty or staff member, including their immediate family, but rather must register the vehicle designated primarily for student use for a student permit.

Parking permit stickers remain the property of Oberlin College and must be surrendered upon request of the college. Parking permit stickers may not be borrowed, loaned, transferred, reproduced, or altered by the permit holder or used in any way other than permitted in these parking regulations.


The vehicles of all faculty, staff, and students must display parking permits while parked on campus. Permits are issued when a vehicle has been registered with the Campus Safety Office.

Parking permit stickers must be affixed to the interior rear-view mirror with the permit type and number facing the windshield while the vehicle is parked on campus. Permit stickers on motorcycles should be displayed in a conspicuous location. Temporary permits must be hung from the interior rear-view mirror, facing out.

The person to whom a parking permit is issued is responsible for parking violation notices issued to the vehicle for which the permit was registered, unless the permit was previously reported lost or stolen. The owner of a vehicle not displaying a permit will be responsible for all citations issued for violations involving their vehicle.


Theft or loss of a permit should be reported immediately to the Campus Safety Office. A lost or damaged permit will be replaced at a cost of $10. The fee will be refunded if the original permit or portion indicating the permit number is recovered and returned to Campus Safety. A stolen permit may be replaced without charge if the theft offense is documented.


Faculty and staff permits shall be issued as follows (parking spaces are generally marked with signage within the lot.)

  • “G” permit for general parking (except those spaces and areas designated for other specific use) in the following lots:

Stevenson Lot

South Conservatory Lot (no overnight parking)

Field House Lot (Philips) (no overnight parking)

Mudd Lot

Hales Lot

Lewis Center Lot

Willard Court Lot (northern two rows)

Art Department Lot

Service Building – South, West & East Lots)

Grey Gables Lot (west half of lot)

Woodland Street Lot (east row of the north section only, and entire south section)

Professional Services Building Lot

  • Restricted Lot permits are issued by assignment:

“B” permit for Bosworth Lot*

“F” permit for Finney Lot

“K” permit for Kettering Lot

“R” permit for Rice Lot

Faculty and staff assigned to Restricted lots may park in their assigned lot or in any lot designated General parking. Faculty and staff assigned to General lots may only park in those lots so designated. Assignment to a Restricted lot does not guarantee the availability of a space in that lot, nor entitle the holder of a permit to park illegally in the assigned lot or any other lot.

If a staff person, in the course of their employment, uses a personal vehicle regularly in multiple area of campus, a Special permit may be requested for multiple parking lots. Written authorization for a Special Service permit may be required from the appropriate department head.

If a permit holder has a special or one-time need for which their permit does not allow, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to arrange in advance with the Campus Safety Office to be accommodated. Failure to do so will not be accepted as a reason to excuse any enforcement action taken.


Reserved spaces in lots are for the exclusive use 24 hours each day for the persons assigned to those spaces through the Campus Safety Office. Permission to use those spaces may not be given nor transferred without the express permission of the Director of Campus Safety or designee. Those persons assigned a reserved space are notified in writing they are assigned to a reserved space.

LEEDS Designated Parking Spaces are reserved parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. They are defined as vehicles that are classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) by the California Air Resources Board or have achieved a minimum green score of 40 from the Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). A complete list of vehicles that meet these qualifications annually can be found at LEEDS parking is designated by signage near the Allen Memorial Art Museum and Kahn Hall. Faculty, staff or students whose vehicles meet the definition may request a Green Sticker in addition to their registration permit and park in a LEEDS designated parking space.

Persons not meeting requirements are not permitted to park their vehicles in the parking spaces designated for visitors, reserved, or other specifically designated spaces and are subject to fines and towing at the owner’s expense. This policy is in effect 24 hours each day.

Faculty/staff lots are restricted for faculty/staff permits only, Monday through Friday,      7 a. m. to 7 p. m. during the academic year, August 16, through June 3, inclusive. This policy is in effect 24 hours each day. The Hotel at Oberlin lot is restricted for the use of Hotel at Oberlin patrons and residents and business patrons of the Hotel at Oberlin.

The Off Street Merchants, Inc., lots (behind downtown businesses), the Green Arts District lots, as well as other parking lots near the college are owned by or designated for private or commercial use and those who park there exclusively for college business may be subject to police or private property enforcement, including towing and storage at the vehicle owner’s expense.

College lots are to be utilized by persons actively using their vehicles in the course of business, employment, or residency with the college. Vehicles may not be stored at any time in any Oberlin College lot and are subject to towing and storage at the owner’s expense.


Students shall be issued assigned parking by class standing as of the fall semester of the current year as follows:

Student Permits (Prefix-X) for general parking 24 hours a day in the following lots and areas of lots (spaces are generally marked with signage within the lot):

First-year students (1X permits) may park ONLY in the following lot/area:

     Hollywood Lot (corner of West Lorain and Hollywood Streets) in spaces marked as  Student Parking

Second, third, fourth, and fifth-year students (X Permits) may park ONLY in the following lots and areas:

     Union Street Lot, all rows in the eastern section (not designated UX)

     Woodland Street Lot (north section only; center and west rows as marked)

     Grey Gables Lot (east half of lot as marked)

     Grey Gables Extension (as marked)

     Conservatory Lot (southwest row, student marked spaces only)

     Keep (north side, student marked spaces only)

Second, third, fourth, and fifth-year students assigned to Union Street, Firelands Apartments, 137 Elm, and Tank Coop:

     Union Street Lot (UX section)

     Firelands Lot (FX permits only)

     Willard Court Lot (marked with signage within the lot for Tank and Firelands overflow)

     137 Elm (VX permits only; four spaces, then overflow to Grey Gables and Woodland lot)          

There is no student parking at any time in the Philips Lot (Field House) or Health & Wellness Lot.

For small lots affiliated with the specific residence halls of Johnson House, Old Barrows, Allencroft, and Heritage House, each respective hall council will meet with residencts during the first week of fall classes to determine the use of the spaces by third year or fourth year students.  Hall councils will provide the list of authorized registerd permits to the Campus Safety Office.

Students residing in Village Housing are required to register their vehicles, purchase, and display a campus permit (VX permits only). Most Village Housing Units, other than Firelands, Union Street, or 137 Elm, allow only two vehicles per driveway. Any vehicles beyond the second vehicle must move to an available space in an X permit lot on campus. Students in Village Housing may not “sublet” their driveways to others.

The pathways through Union Street and Goldsmith Lane, Village Housing units are for the exclusive use of emergency and service vehicles. There is no parking permitted in these areas at any time.

Students may not park in any other designated lot or space, other than for student permits assigned, during the hours of 7 a. m. to 7 p. m., Monday through Friday. Students may park in faculty/staff lots after 7 p. m. and on weekends, but must remove their vehicles from the lots prior to 7 a. m. on weekdays or be responsible for applicable fines and enforcement. Reserved spaces in Finney Lot or other parking lots are for the exclusive use, 24 hours each day, for the person assigned to those spaces.

  • Note: Permits are issued to park on a first-come, first-served basis for available spaces. When spaces are filled, vehicles must park in other student-designated spaces for their permit type on campus.


A temporary permit must be obtained for a vehicle that does not have a valid permit displayed. Persons eligible for temporary permits include visitors, alumni, and new faculty and staff who have not yet received a permanent permit, temporary permits are generally issued for no longer than five days. Students are not eligible for temporary permits unless approved by the Director of Campus Safety, or designee.

Temporary permits, as well as parking requests for individuals or groups conducting special events on campus, should be directed to the Campus Safety Office at least five days in advance.

All vendors and contractors are required to obtain and display a parking permit while on campus.

Temporary permits may be obtained for a single or short-term use by faculty, staff, or students who have a special circumstance (such as a delivery or presentation) by contacting the Campus Safety Office in advance of their need. Failure to obtain a permit will not be accepted as a valid reason after enforcement has occurred.


Handicapped spaces on campus are governed by state law and are enforced by both Campus Safety Officers and city police. The striped lane adjacent to the parking space is considered to be part of the handicapped parking space. In addition to a $250 fine, vehicles may be towed and stored at the owner’s expense for a handicapped space violation. Campus Safety may not, by state law, issue handicapped permits for these spaces, but can share information on how to obtain an Ohio Handicapped Permit.


Fire lanes on campus are governed by state law and are in place to help support life safety and to allow the Oberlin Fire Department access during a response to reported emergencies. In addition to a $250 fine, vehicles may be towed and stored at the owner’s expense for fire lane violations. Generally, if you are not in a marked space within a lot, you may be in violation of a fire lane designation, and you should move into an authorized parking space in a lot designated for your permit. The pathways through Union Street and Goldsmith Lane, Village Housing units are for the exclusive use of emergency and service vehicles. There is no parking permitted in these areas.


Visitors should contact the Campus Safety Office for assistance and parking information. Visitors are required to obtain and display a valid permit, free of charge, when parking on college property.

Parking spaces marked and designated for “Visitors” are for the exclusive use of college guests. As a rule, visitors to the campus will not be held liable for payment of any fines associated with citations issued for violations of the regulations. Visitors should sign their names and addresses on the reverse side of a given citation and return it immediately to the Campus Safety Office.

Visitors who repeatedly violate the regulations, as evidenced by three or more citations within a given academic year, may be barred from use of the college’s parking facilities. Students who live off-campus or in Village Housing are NOT considered visitors to campus and should not use visitor spaces.


Violations of the regulations shall be communicated to the vehicle owner or operator by the issuance of a parking violation citation by the Campus Safety Office. Citations are placed on the vehicle windshield by the officer witnessing the violation at the time the violation is written. Claims that a citation was not received will not be accepted as an excuse for non-payment of citations.

Fines for any citation are due and payable upon issuance of the citation. Payment of a fine is to be made at the Campus Safety Office. Payments may be made in cash or by check (made out to Oberlin College). Failure to pay fines within 10 days of the issuance of the citation (weekends included) shall result in an additional penalty of $5 per citation. The total fine will be billed to the violator. Non-payment of a fine or a subsequent violation prior to payment of a fine does not excuse the vehicle owner from progressive fines or enforcement outlined within the Parking Regulations.


Oberlin College reserves the right to tow, immobilize, issue citations, and revoke parking privileges for any violations of these regulations.

Parking privileges will be revoked immediately for anyone with six or more paid or unpaid parking citations in one academic year, not to include those successfully appealed.

     A.    Vehicles are subject to being towed immediately for the following violations:

          1. Parking in a fire lane

          2. Unauthorized use of a handicap space, including parked on painted lines designating the handicapped space van accessible area

          3. Parked in a Reserved space that the owner/operator is not authorized to use

          4. Parking in the following No Parking Zones which block access to:

               a. Driveways

               b. Service Entrances

               c. Dumpsters

               d. Other Vehicles

               e. Ramps for Disabled

          5. Parked so as to create a hazard to public safety

          6. Impeding the access of a delivery vehicle or an emergency vehicle

          7. Upon issuance of four or more paid or unpaid citations in one year, not including those successfully appealed

          8. Revoked parking privileges

          9. Immobilized for 48 hours

         10. Vehicles abandoned or stored on college property without written permission of the Campus Safety Office

     B. Vehicles will be immobilized for the following violations in addition to all of the above:

          1. Displaying an altered or counterfeit permit

          2. To temporarily hold a vehicle until the arrival of towing company, once contact has been initiated to tow a vehicle by a Campus Safety officer (no separate immobilization fee)

          3. Repeated failure to respond to communications (including citations) related to abiding by Parking Regulations, (May include referral to Judicial Coordinator or Human Resources).

          4. To identify the owner of an unregistered vehicle (immobilization fee applies)

     C. Vehicles will be cited immediately for the violations enumerated in sections A and B or when the vehicle is:

          1. Not registered (i.e. when a valid permit has not been issued)

          2. Parked in a lot to which the owner/operator has not been assigned

          3. Parked on grass (Grounds Department will also assess the cost of damage)

          4. Parked improperly (i.e. parked on or over a line designating a parking space)

          5. Parked on a sidewalk

          6. Parked in a space or area not specifically designated for parking

          7. Parked with an improperly displayed permit

          8. Parked without a permit displayed

          9. Parked in an area designated for no parking during an announced snow emergency (plus additional tow fee for removal of the vehicle for lot maintenance)

The fact that a person may park in violation of these parking regulations and not be issued a citation does not mean that the policy is no longer in effect.

In some cases, the Campus Safety Office may find it necessary to immobilize a vehicle for those conditions listed in conjunction with immobilization, or if towing is not available. Immobilization is the attachment of a device that inhibits the movement of a vehicle. To have the immobilizer removed, owners/operators must pay a service charge of $50 within 48 hours of immobilization. If the fee is not paid within 48 hours, the vehicle will be towed. All charges, including the violation, immobilization, and towing/storage fees must be paid before the vehicle is released.

Oberlin College is not responsible for damages incurred in applying the immobilizer, and assumes no liability for damages to vehicles attempted to be driven while immobilized. If the immobilizer is damaged after being placed on the vehicle, the vehicle owner will be responsible for the replacement cost of the equipment.

Any motor vehicle abandoned on college property is subject to removal and impoundment at the expense of the owner or operator. Vehicles that are not currently licensed, not in obvious operating condition, or are out of service for 30 days or more will be considered abandoned and subject to ticketing and removal. All expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the owner.

Oberlin College assumes no liability for any damage incurred during or after towing or immobilization.


Appeals of any issued violation notice must be undertaken within ten (10) days of issuance of the citation. The individual must file a written appeal. The response to a written appeal is considered the final decision.

In order to have a written appeal reviewed, an individual must comply with the following procedures:

     Within ten days of issuance of the violation notice, appear at the Campus Safety Office

     Complete a written Parking Appeal form (available at the Campus Safety Office and its website) explaining in full the basis of the appeal. Attach the violation notice to the appeal form along with payment. The he decision will be communicated to the applicant in writing. If the appeal is upheld, any fines paid in connection with the citation will be refunded. If a fine payment is not included with the appeal, and the appeal is denied, the fine plus a $5.00 processing fee will be charged to the account.

     Any violation cited during an appeals process is still considered a subsequent violation and the vehicle involved is subject to progressive fines and towing enforcement. The permit holder or owner is responsible for fines, and towing/storage costs affiliated with the enforcement.

Citations outside of the 10-day appeal period, or citations already billed to student or faculty/staff accounts or directly billed to owner/operator will not be accepted for appeal.

Communications are made to students via their OCMR mailboxes, including response to parking appeals and revocation letters. It is the responsibility of the student to check their OCMR for communications relating to parking.


  • Having your keys ready when approaching your vehicle will reduce the time needed to enter.

  • If you see someone following you as you walk toward your car, walk towards other people, or to an open business.

  • When you approach your parked vehicle, visually check the area around the vehicle for any suspicious persons or activity. If you observe anything suspicious, walk to where there are other people and/or use an emergency phone to call Campus Safety.
  • Always look into your car before entering it.
  • Remove valuables from plain sight. Lock them in the trunk, or take them with you.
  • Always park in visible, well-lit areas.
  • When leaving your keys at service stations or parking facilities, never leave your room/home keys attached to your car keys.

Emergency blue light phones and residential door entry phone emergency buttons may be used to contact the Campus Safety Office for escort services, or for assistance through an officer response.

Commitment to environmentally wise alternatives to vehicles on campus

The Campus Safety Office supports the college’s commitment to alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling; the use of LEEDS certified vehicles (; the Oberlin Bike Coop, and other alternatives suggested by the Oberlin College Office of Energy and Sustainability. We encourage using the walking safety escort service of the Campus Safety Office. This service is available to students, faculty, staff, and visitors by contacting the non-emergency number, 440-775-8444.

City of Oberlin Parking Restrictions

Oberlin Police may patrol and cite on campus any violation of state handicapped parking laws. Oberlin Police and Fire Departments actively enforce fire lane violations on campus. The below violations may incur progressive fines of up to $250, and the vehicle may be towed.

Business District

Vehicles may not be parked in the same designated parking space in the central business district for more than two hours or as posted.

Off Street Parking, Inc. Lots

Off Street Parking (the lots behind downtown businesses) is privately owned and is for business patrons only. Parking of college business and student vehicles is prohibited, and vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.