Want to know the best lots to park in or how to stay safe while driving? Read the tips below, which will help you become a safer and smarter driver.

Back-to-School Parking

Check out these tips to find the best places to park and get around campus:

1. Order or renew your parking permit.

All students, staff, and faculty need a permit to park their vehicles on UNLV’s campuses. Parking is much more convenient with a virtual parking system that uses license plate recognition (LPR) technology to connect license plates to annual, nine-month, and semester parking permits. 

These parking permits can be purchased online through the UNLV Parking Portal. Be sure your vehicle information is accurate. This is important because your license plate is your permit.

2. Know before you go.

Refer to Campus Maps featuring interactive Google maps of buildings and parking lots to make getting on and around campus a breeze. A resourceful guide on where to find campus dining, computer labs, hydration stations, libraries, athletic locations, and restrooms is also available.

Be aware of closures to plan accordingly. Stay up-to-date on parking impacts by visiting the Parking and Transportation Services website.

3. Look for PayByPhone locations.

If you don’t have a parking permit, you can easily pay for hourly parking through the PayByPhone app or online. Once you find a parking space, log into your PayByPhone account (first-time users will need to register) and enter the location for the lot or parking space, vehicle information, the time needed, and payment method, and you’re on your way. It’s as simple as that!

4. Utilize new parking areas.

The Tropicana Parking Garage, accessible from Tropicana Avenue on the south end of campus, expanded to include additional parking spaces across four levels and new technology features such as Wi-Fi access, night lighting for nighttime illumination, and an electronic parking lot counting system. The entire Tropicana Parking Garage will provide a total of 2,009 spaces.

The Del Mar Lot, across the street from the Student Union on the corner of Maryland Parkway and Del Mar Street, is also an option, with nearly 100 parking spaces available. 

5. Look for alternate parking options.

Lot M and the Thomas & Mack Center Gray Lot typically have plenty of open parking spaces. Other options include the University Gateway Parking Garage (re-opening September 7), off Maryland Parkway and Dorothy Avenue, or the Cottage Grove Parking Garage on Cottage Grove Avenue.

Staff and faculty parking permits are valid in student spaces. If you’re a staff or faculty member searching for parking, find the closest student space available. 

6. Arrive early.

Parking spaces are in the highest demand Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., so it’s a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes early to give yourself enough time to park, especially during the first few weeks of the new semester.

7. Consider other ways to get to campus.

Save time on finding parking by catching the bus or carpooling. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) offers transportation alternatives, such as a Club Ride program and the U-Pass, a discounted transit pass for UNLV students, staff, and faculty for use on all RTC routes.

You can also use rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, with designated pick-up and drop-off locations around campus. 

8. Look for electric vehicle charging stations.

There are several charging stations for those with electric vehicles. To charge your vehicle, you must have a valid UNLV parking permit and a ChargePoint account. After your membership is activated, you can begin your charging session. Charging is available for up to four hours. 

Parking Safety

Keep the following in mind when parking your car or walking to your parked car:

  • Always park in lighted areas.
  • Double-check to see that all car doors and windows are secure; lock your car and take the keys with you.
  • Do not go out alone, especially at night.
  • Carry small loads at a time, keeping arms free for movement.
  • Have your keys readily available.
  • As you approach your vehicle, observe it. Look around the vehicle. Look into the front and back seats before unlocking the door.
  • Lock the door as soon as you are safely in your vehicle.
  • Never hitchhike, and never pick up a hitchhiker.
  • Keep your vehicle in good repair.
  • Never let your gas gauge get below one-quarter of a tank.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Walk with confidence.

Personal Safety

Here are some helpful tips for drivers:

  • Keep car keys and house keys on separate rings. Never have an identification tag such as a miniature license or nameplate on your key ring. This only helps the thief locate your car should your keys be lost or stolen.
  • Never hide an extra car key under the hood or wheel well; criminals know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Carry a spare key with you.
  • Do not keep your vehicle registration inside your car. Carry it with you, perhaps with your driver's license.
  • Record the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), registration, and license plate number, and keep them in a safe place. Also, attach a photograph of your vehicle.
  • Carry insurance.
  • Secure valuables and parcels in your trunk. If your car does not have a trunk, make sure parcels are not left in plain view inside your car.
  • Avoid bumper stickers that might antagonize individuals or groups.
  • Travel on main streets and highways as much as possible.
  • Drive to the nearest police station or populated area and sound the horn for help if you feel you are being followed.
  • Do not stop if you see a disabled vehicle or suspicious person. Drive to a nearby telephone and inform the police of the vehicle's location. If you are on campus, use one of the emergency phones, which are identified with a blue light on top.
  • Include the name and phone number of your emergency contact in your cell phone book under ICE (In Case of Emergency) so rescue personnel will have emergency contact information.

Crime Prevention Tips

Car Supplies

Read our suggestions of helpful items you should keep in your car.

  • Four-way lug wrench with leverage pipe, and tire iron or screwdriver to remove hubcap
  • A good jack, preferable hydraulic, and the knowledge to use it
  • Aerosol canister for inflating tires (such as Fix-a-flat)
  • A change of clothing
  • Cellular phone
  • Cell phone charger for use in your car
  • Good spare tire, to be checked regularly
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Blanket
  • Map/atlas
  • Water (for both your automobile and you)