Save money and time by planning ahead - this is a complex system!
If you know the license plate number of the car you're arriving in (like driving from home in your own car) you can use your home computer to purchase and print out your own permit from the university's "Parking Portal" web page, and bring it with you.
If you are arriving in a rental car, it will likely be easiest to order up a parking permit when you register for your accommodations. It will be waiting for you at the Reception desk of the dorm.
Details for both these options are below.
Park in Parking Structure 3 or 4 (see campus map).
Another (more expensive) option is to buy daily parking at the permit machine at Parking Structure 3, or by using the PayByPhone app.
This option works only if you have access to a computer and printer before you arrive at the conference -- for example,
• driving your own car from home, or
• renting a car, but you're staying somewhere on the way (like a hotel, or a friend's house) where you know they have a computer & printer available for use).
Use the Parking Portal website. Here you will create an account with information about yourself, select your type of parking permit and dates, enter information about your car, then pay for your permit and print it out.
Be sure to bring it with you, and display it on your car's dashboard when you park in Parking Structure 3 or 4.
Completing all the required steps may take a while -- allow lots of time to do this.
Scroll down for the Parking Portal Tutorial, which explains all the steps involved.
Your easiest option is to order a parking permit when you register for your accommodations and pick it up when you arrive at the dorm. Details are below.
Keep in mind that you may not need a rental car. SDSU is only 12 miles from the airport. Stores and restaurants are right outside the door to the dorm. Uber and Lyft are everywhere if you want to go farther than you can easily walk.
• Advance-order parking permits are for 7 days of overnight parking.
• Each 7-day permit costs $23. If you are staying 8 nights or more, you will need two of these permits, for $46.
• Look for the "Parking Permit" section of the Acommodations registration form.
• Your permit will be valid starting the day you arrive for your accommodations, and is good until 10pm on the day following the 7th night of your stay.
• Your parking permit will be waiting for you at the dorm's Reception desk.
You may need to find temporary (paid) parking while you get to the dorm to pick up your parking permit. See the Arrivals page for information on temporary parking. Scroll down to the section on "Arriving in your own car."
Pay special attention to the information about the commercial parking structure behind Trader Joe's market, as this is the temporary (paid) parking that's closest to the dorm. With a small purchase, Trader Joe's will validate 45 minutes of parking there, so that 45 minutes will be essentially free.
All orders for parking permits must be received by July 10.
Create an account by entering your name, phone number, and email address.
Select a password for your account.
On the next page you will be asked to log in again using the email address and password you used when you created your account.
Another screen will say that you've been approved as a user.
Ignore the top half of this page. This is for people who get a parking citation and need to do something about it.
Click the lower gray box that says
Select the kind of permit you want. You will probably want weekly, overnight parking. It's the bottom line, and is $23.
Ignore where it says "-select-."
I have no idea why those words are there. They don't do anything. You will choose your dates on the next page.
Ignore the fact that these choices all say "student."
There evidently is no page like this just for guests.
Scroll down and click the box that says you understand the parking rules.
Navigate to the calendar month you want and click on the date you want your permit to START. (There's no place to enter an END date - the web program will do this for you.)
Note: if you're doing this well ahead, the portal may not let you choose parking dates that are months away. You can only choose a date that has an underline under the number. For example, when I created this tutorial (in early January) and snapped this shot of the calendar, they were only booking dates through March 15.
Enter data about your car:
• license plate number and state
• color/style of vehicle
This may seem like a silly thing to have to do, because you just entered all that information about your car.
This website was built to meet the diverse needs of students at the university. Some may have more than one vehicle on their account - maybe their car, their spouse's car, etc. So this form has room for people to have more than one car listed on their account.
Click the box in front of your car's description.
Keep clicking and you'll be directed to the View Cart & Checkout page, which will show your total.
From here you'll be directed to pages where you enter your credit card number, and finish paying.
Remember to take it with you on your travels!
Display it on your car's dashboard when you park in Parking Structure 3 or 4.
Use the Parking Portal again to select another week of parking, starting when the first one ends. Or you can add a single day. Week and Day are the only choices. (Well, there's Month and Semester also, but you won't want those.) If you need two additional days, you need to do the "Day" permit two more times.
Once you get to four more days of parking, it's cheaper to just get another week.
Your permit is good until 10pm on the day following the last night paid for on that permit.
Print out each permit, and be sure to display the right one on the right days!
Once you are registered, you can access your account through the LOGIN link in the top right corner of the Guest User Registration page.
Another page will appear where you click Guests login here.
Maybe you don't need overnight parking. Perhaps you live nearby, and need parking on campus only for the conference events themselves, or maybe you're attending just one day.
All available choices are on the "Select Permit" page.
This graphic shows the option of a week of daytime-only parking.
There is an electric vehicle charging station between Parking Structures 3 and 4, as well as some other places on campus. You need to have a valid parking permit displayed, and your vehicle must be plugged in and charging at all times while it's in that space.
Short-term parking can be purchased at the machine at Parking Structure 3, but choices are limited and they're expensive.
1-4 hours - $3 per hour
5-10 hours - $15
Overnight (one night) - $20 - good until 10pm next day
Weekend - $30 - good until 10pm Sunday
Have your car's license plate number handy, as you'll need to enter this when you pay for your permit.
If using cash (bills only, no coins), you'll need the exact amount. If you use bigger bills, know that this machine does not give change.
It will print out a permit - display it on your car's dashboard.
Or you can use the PayByPhone app (see your phone's app store), with the same expensive choices as at the machine. With the app there's nothing to print out - your info goes into the computer system that campus police check when they're looking to see which cars have paid for parking.
I haven't used this app yet, so I can't give any guidance on what it takes to set up an account and use it.
I do know that you have to enter the code for the parking structure you're parking in. PS-3 is 28503, PS-4 is 28504. Those numbers should be on display as you enter each parking structure.
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