Information for New Enrolled Students

Daily R Permit Sales
Daily R permits may be available to parking-eligible students if lots have capacity. A certain number of daily R permits are offered on a first come, first serve basis each day. Stop by the TAPS Sales Office (starting at 7:00am Monday – Friday) to check availability.

Other Permit Options
Long-term NC Night Commuter permits are currently available and allow eligible commuting undergraduates access to the Core West parking structure, the East Field House, and most college parking lots, after 4:30 p.m. The cost is $39 quarterly, or $5 nightly. To purchase a quarterly NC permit apply here. Nightly NC permits must be purchased at the TAPS Sales Office (7:00am to 5:00pm Monday – Friday).

Short-term Medical Parking
To obtain a short-term Medical permit you need to submit medical documentation to Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS). The documentation must be from a medical professional (e.g., physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, etc.), and should include the duration of the Medical parking need. Students can submit documentation for up to one month in duration directly to the TAPS Sales Office (, or call the Sales Office at (831) 459-4543 for other arrangements.

Documentation for longer than one month of Medical parking must come directly from either the Student Health Center or the Disability Resource Center.

Parking Appeal for Commuting Students with Critical Need 
Commuting or residential first- and second-year students with critical need for an R parking permit can submit an appeal for consideration by exception. View the 2019-20 Appeal form for eligibility requirements. For questions regarding appeals, email Patrick Randolph.

Freshmen/Sophomore Parking Prohibition
First and second-year students with less than 90 units that reside in University housing facilities, including University Town Center, are not eligible to purchase a permit (except motorcycle permits) to park on-campus. Detailed information is available on the Residential Freshmen/Sophomore Parking Prohibition page. Also see the Determining Undergraduate Student Parking Permit Eligibility section below.

Leave Your Car at Home
Because parking is such a limited resource at UCSC, it is strongly recommended that students who are not eligible to purchase an on–campus parking permit not bring vehicles to Santa Cruz. Residential streets near campus and in downtown Santa Cruz have strictly enforced parking permit requirements managed by the City of Santa Cruz Permit Parking Program.

Off-campus paid parking options are extremely limited, and are usually sold out by mid-September. Detailed information is available on the Off-campus Parking Lots page.

How We Determine Undergraduate Student Parking Permit Eligibility Status 
Permit eligibility status for residential students is determined by the number of units (90 units) completed by Fall of the current academic year. This status remains in place and does not change throughout the academic year. Residential students who have completed less than 90 units or achieve this threshold by the current academic year are ineligible for parking, but may pursue parking through an appeal process.  

Graduate Student Parking Permits
Detailed information on the types of parking permits that are available to eligible graduate students is available on the Graduate Student Parking page.

How To Check On the Status of Your Parking Permit Order
The best way to inquire about the status of a parking permit application or order is to email Please keep in mind that during our peak times, email responses may be delayed.

Visitor Parking
Visitors of students who reside on campus may purchase one-day temporary parking permits at the Main Entrance Kiosk (located just inside the campus main entrance) from 7:00am to 1:00pm on weekdays. From 1:00pm to 5:00pm permits must be purchased at the TAPS Sales Office. Visitors who want to purchase temporary permits for more than one day up to a maximum of three consecutive days must do so at the TAPS Sales Office. Sales Office hours are 7:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. A picture ID and vehicle registration or rental agreement are required at the time of purchase. Go to the visitor parking page or email if you have questions regarding visitor parking. 

Student Transit Fee
In 1972 the students of UC Santa Cruz voted to create a new mandatory fee to fund unlimited, fare-free rides aboard the public transit buses of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD). UCSC was possibly the first university in the nation to fund public transit in this manner, and has served as a model for similar student fee measures introduced at the University of Washington, CU Boulder, and UC Berkeley. Over the past forty years, UCSC students have supported increases to the quarterly Student Transit Fee in ten of twelve ballot measures. Besides providing fare-free ridership on Metro buses, these funds support the operation of Campus Transit's Day and Night Shuttles and the Disability Van Service. The Student Transit Fee is part of each student's UCSC quarterly registration fees.

The Santa Cruz Metro and UCSC TAPS Transit Bus Systems
Santa Cruz Metro Buses: Metro buses operate throughout Santa Cruz County. Regular service is provided between downtown Santa Cruz and the campus. Campus residents use Metro buses to get to downtown Santa Cruz and other local destinations. To travel between campus and downtown Santa Cruz board buses with any of these route signs showing on the front of the bus: Routes 15 or 16 Laurel Street, Route 10 High Street, and Route 19 Lower Bay Street. Many students who reside off-campus use Metro buses to commute to and from campus. Detailed route and schedule information for Metro buses is available at

UCSC Shuttles (TAPS Transit): The Campus Transit system operates both daytime (Monday–Friday) and nighttime (Sunday–Saturday) on-campus service. On-campus shuttle schedules are available on the UCSC Shuttles page. 

Student ID Card Bus Pass
Through an agreement between the University and METRO (SCMTD) students that display a valid UCSC ID card ride Metro buses fare-free; Student Transit Fee funds pay for student rides on Metro buses. Student ID cards are issued by ID Card Services which is located on the first floor of the Bay Tree building, (831) 459-2990 or A valid quarter sticker is required; stickers are available each quarter at your college office or department. TAPS provides temporary bus passes to each college at the start of Fall and Winter quarters for new students that have not obtained their Student ID Card; new students receive temporary bus passes at their college. Details about student ID cards for Metro bus use is available on the Student ID Cards for Metro Bus Use page.

Bikes at UCSC
If you plan on cycling at UCSC be sure to bring a helmet! You should also check out the Bike Programs and Services section of our website to learn about campus bike resources including:

  • borrowing a bike for the quarter from the UCSC Bike Library
  • how to obtain a mandatory bike license for riding in Santa Cruz
  • free bicycle street skills classes where you will learn how to ride confidently and choose the best local roads and trails for cycling
  • free weekly campus bike maintenance clinics and campus Fixit bike repair stations
  • the importance of using bike safety equipment including always wearing a helmet, and bike lights for night riding
  • a bike shuttle to campus for students that commute

See Also