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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

License Plate Recognition FAQ

How it Works

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What is LPR?
License Plate Recognition (LPR) is the most current parking technology available that provides virtual permits through a vehicle’s license plate number in place of a paper permit or plastic hangtag.
How does LPR work?

Individuals will register their vehicle license plate number into the parking software when purchasing a permit. The software combines that information with the individual's permit classification and payment to generate a virtual permit linked to that vehicle's license plate.

The rear license plate is captured by cameras mounted on enforcement vehicles during patrol or by a fixed camera when a vehicle enters a parking structure on campus. LPR works like a supermarket scanner by using your license plate in place of a barcode. When read, your license plate is automatically referenced against our database to verify the vehicle has purchased a virtual permit for this location. If the license plate and vehicle information are not associated with a valid virtual permit or a virtual permit for a different location in which the vehicle is parked (employee, student/general, etc.), then the vehicle will be subject to citation.

Why are we implementing LPR?
Parking and Transportation Services has now upgraded all parking pay stations on campus. These new pay stations will allow us to take advantage of the more advanced and more sustainable LPR parking software. LPR will increase parking efficiency on campus, provide a variety of technological advantages to parking customers and will greatly reduce the amount of paper and plastic waste produced on campus.
How does it benefit me?
  • Elimination of physical permits to display and the need to move permits from vehicle-to-vehicle
  • Increased cost effectiveness by the reduction of printing and postage fees
  • Upgraded pay stations will be relocated along the logical direct paths of travel and on the 1st floor of each parking structure since 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 will be eliminated.
  • You will not have to worry about remembering your permit, a permit falling off your rearview mirror, or permits being displayed improperly.
  • Option of adding credits to your parking meter remotely via the Parkmobile app (available during Phase II)
  • Reduced waste in accordance with 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 parking lots


Are there still Pay Stations with LPR?
New parking pay stations have been installed in each lot along the direct paths of travel and on the 1st floor of each parking structure for individuals to purchase daily or short-term parking. These new pay stations will no longer dispense paper permits, but instead will use your license plate number to generate a virtual permit for your vehicle.
How can I purchase a permit?
Individuals will be able to purchase permits online (annual, semester, etc.). Daily and short-term parking may be purchased at a parking pay station or through the Parkmobile app (available during Phase II).
What happens if I do not have a permit when I park?
A grace period is provided to all unpermitted vehicles upon arrival to allow individuals enough time to purchase parking from a pay station.
What if I don’t have access to a computer or phone?
Pay stations are located along the direct paths of travel and on the 1st floor of each parking structure. The Visitor Information Center (VIC) is also available to provide additional information as needed.
Can I park in any lot now that there are no hangtags or stickers?
No. All parking lot privileges remain the same and are based upon your permit type (employee, student, etc.). Vehicles parked in areas on campus not associated with their virtual permit type will be subject to citation.
Will there be a tag that designates staff members?
No. LPR will automatically verify employee virtual permits via your license plate. Vehicles parked in an area on campus not associated with their virtual permit type will be subject to citation.
Will employee lots still have gate cards and access codes with LPR?
Yes. There are currently no plans to change the gate and access code program, however, LPR will more quickly verify the validity of vehicles parked within these lots.
Will campus signage be changing?
Parking and Transportation Services is working with an outside consultant to improve our signage and wayfinding on campus and will implement this new system as soon as the project is completed.
As a Professor Emeritus, will I qualify for the new virtual parking permit for fall 2016?
Emeriti permits will not be moving to LPR in fall 2016. Hangtags will continue to be issued to eligible emeriti and can be picked up at the Cashier’s Office or the VIC during operating hours. There are no changes to Emeriti eligibility requirements.
Where is a permit with “E” sticker designation valid?

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

NOTE: E sticker permits will no longer be able to park in the guest/reservation spaces in Lot 17 as these guest spaces have been removed.

What if I am concurrently employed by CSULB and another CSU campus at the same time? Without a hangtag, what will display as a permit at the other CSU campus?
CSULB has detailed instructions to simplify the processes for parking on multiple campuses when 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 detailed information regarding visitor parking and procedures specific to that CSU campus. The Financial Management Office is available at (562) 985-2232 for any additional questions.
What if I have purchased an employee permit at another CSU campus, can I use this hangtag on the CSULB campus?
CSULB honors all valid CSU Employee hangtag permits from other CSU campuses. Please ensure your hangtag is visibly displayed when parking on campus.
How will patron parking be handled for campus events?
We are currently finalizing the procedure for event permitting within the LPR system. Specific information regarding this procedure will be released shortly.
How will motorcycle permits by 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 on your online parking portal .

License Plates

What if I get a new vehicle or a new license plate?
It is imperative that your license plate number and vehicle information is current to avoid an unnecessary citation. Please visit the online parking portal to update your information immediately after a change of license plate number for your vehicle. It is also important to delete all old or unused vehicles from your account.
What if I have a personalized plate or a special character/symbol?

If you have a personalized plate with less than 7 characters, or if you have a special character within your plate (heart, star, etc.), you will skip the special character and enter in the number of characters remaining on the plate. For example:

License plate containing a heart symbol (i "heart" CSULB)

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 may 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?
LPR has the ability to recognize new vehicles without state-issued license plates. If you have a new vehicle with a temporary paper license, please type in the last 7 digits of your vehicle’s VIN number in place of your license plate number when registering your vehicle online. You will be required to return to the online parking portal after your DMV-issued license plates arrive and update your information in order to avoid an unnecessary citation. Once your DMV-issued license plates arrive, you will be required to return to the online parking portal to add a vehicle for your new license plate information. After the new vehicle is added, delete the previous vehicle registered with VIN.
How can I verify that the license number on record is correct?
Your information can be updated via the online parking portal. You will be asked to login with your Beach ID and password.

Multiple Vehicles / Temporary Vehicles

What if I own more than one vehicle?

Individuals are allowed to register multiple vehicles on the same virtual permit. The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle 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

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 2 people have both purchased virtual permits, but also share the 2 vehicles?
The LPR system has difficulty recognizing vehicles that are associated with multiple virtual permit accounts. To avoid this confusion, we recommend that you only list your vehicle to your virtual permit. If both vehicles have valid virtual permits, it is not necessary to also list the vehicle on another account. To register a second vehicle to your virtual permit temporarily, please visit the online parking portal.
What if I have 2 vehicles listed on my virtual permit and another person brings the second vehicle on campus while I am already on campus with the first vehicle?

The LPR technology will recognize the first vehicle 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.

What if 2 individuals have both purchased virtual permits and switch between driving 3 or more vehicles?
The permit holders should put 2 vehicles on one permit and 1 vehicle on the other. The least-used vehicle should be on the permit that has 2 vehicles. Please note that if two vehicles from the same permit are on campus at the same time, both vehicles may be cited. To avoid citation, the permit holders must either (a.) rearrange the vehicles on their permits to ensure compliance, or (b.) purchase a daily permit for the secondary vehicle when both vehicles from the same permit are needed on campus.
Can I allow another person to use my permit?
No. 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 in violation of CSULB’s parking regulations.


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.