For the most frequently asked questions about parking at the University, please see below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us directly.

Visitor Parking

Portland Campus – Garage 1 Abromson and P6. Also, Garage 2 Portland Commons only while EV charging. Other lots are authorized to park in but individual lot rules should be read and abided by before parking. Scan the signage for rules of the lot. You will not be able to purchase parking if visitors are restricted to park.

Gorham Campus – Parking in lots are authorized but individual lot rules should be read and abided by before parking. Scan the signage for rules of the lot. You will not be able to purchase parking if visitors are restricted to park.

Portland Campus $4/hour. Bus/Trailer $6/hour.
Gorham Campus $1/hour. Bus/Trailer $2/hour.
Convenience fees are applied to payment transactions to provide you with a seamless and hassle-free parking experience. They support the maintenance and improvement of the app, ensuring reliable services and customer support.

Parking should be paid for or a permit issued in advance. You may also contact Parking Services prior to arrival, or if after hours contact support within the payment app. Parking Services is available in person on the Portland campus and in select areas staff is available for help. For more detailed information please visit our Visitors, Event Parking, & Mobile Payment page.

Gorham is in lots G13 & G20 at $2/hour.
Portland is in lot P6 at $6/hour.

USM departments should fill in the Validation Request Form to discuss validations. General public are expected to pay for parking. All parking should be paid for or validated if not a permit holder. Groups or events leasing space are required to pay for parking. Validation accounts and tracking are required by all USM departments.

The below are the only current authorized to be validated (discounted parking rate). Contracted/Agreed Group rates are available with agreement of Parking Services and final approval of parking.

  • Interviewees .55 cent charge is billable to the department
  • Prospective Students/Athletes .55 cent charge is billable to the department
  • Prospective Clients .55 cent charge is billable to the department
  • President/Provost/Admissions/Visiting teams,staff,officials/City of Gorham & Portland Officials & EMS
  • Short term (1 day of parking) vendors

Permit Questions

Starting August 28th, 2023 parking is enforced 24/7/365, including holidays. If you choose to park on campus, a paid parking session or permit is required. Request your permit in advance by emailing Parking Services or via the app and online.

Vehicles permits are only purchased online, via app, or emailing Parking Services. Parking permits are verified via the vehicle’s license plate. Physical permit stickers or hang tags are no longer issued or required on campus for vehicles. Bicycle and Carpool permits are required to be picked up at the parking office.

Upon parking, a 10 minute grace period will start. You must start a payment session or obtain a permit. You may receive a citation if not done. This does not apply to visitors. Visitors should start a paid parking session.

Permits should be purchased in advance online, via the app, or emailing Parking Services. Permits should be purchased in advance as there is NO physical pick up of a hangtag.


Your current physical permit will expire on August 15, 2023. You will receive a one-time link to obtain a new virtual permit on or after July 20, 2023. The deadline to purchase your new permit is August 15, 2023. Some student permits require you to pay an out-of-pocket fee. Other student permit types are covered by the Comprehensive Fee, which means the permit is at no additional cost to you. Read more about permit types.

Faculty & Staff

As we transition to our new parking equipment, we will switch from a calendar year (Jan-Dec) hangtag pass to a fiscal year (July-June) digital pass. Your new permit is valid beginning August 2023 until June 2025.

This may cause some confusion as we honor the next 6 months permit holders have already paid for through Dec 2023 and the future 6 months we will not be charging (Jan 2024 to June 2024) to get us to the next fiscal year (FY) end.  This change is necessary to issue the parking permits designed to work with the new equipment. 

There will be no additional costs for parking this school year. In fact, the expiration date change, as requested by University leadership, is designed to be more cost-effective for permit holders. 

Parking fees at our campus are an essential part of maintaining shared and equitable parking services for all individuals who utilize our parking facilities. We believe it is important that everyone who benefits from these facilities contributes to their upkeep, regardless of their status. Here are some reasons why parking fees are necessary:

  • Availability of parking spaces: By implementing parking fees, we ensure that parking spaces are available to all individuals who need them. The revenue generated from these fees helps manage and maintain the parking facilities, allowing for fair access and preventing abuse or monopolization of parking spaces.
  • Parking facility maintenance and improvements: The funds collected from parking fees are used to maintain and improve our parking facilities. This includes activities such as regular maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and the implementation of technological advancements to enhance the overall parking experience for our community.
  • Enhanced safety and security: Parking fees contribute to the implementation of security measures to ensure the safety of vehicles and individuals using the parking areas. These measures may include surveillance cameras, lighting, security personnel, and other safety enhancements, creating a secure environment for all parkers.
  • Supporting transportation and sustainability infrastructure: Parking fees often play a role in supporting transportation infrastructure projects, such as the development and maintenance of EV charging, technology, public transit systems, buildings, roads, and sustainable transportation initiatives. By paying parking fees, individuals contribute to the growth and improvement of these essential infrastructure elements.

These updates are an improvement to accessibility options in our community and different from past parking rules. Certain parking areas have restrictions on visitor parking, restricted times, and USM System Vehicles/Delivery only. These rules must still be abided by.

  • Parking Services will allow visitors (with legal ADA plates/placard) to park in most ADA marked spots. A paid parking session is still required via the app or scanning the sign in the parking space. Garage 2, P8, behind Glickman have restrictions.
  • Permit Holders that have legal ADA plates/placard may park in any ADA marked spot.

When parking in any campus lot or garage, a 10-minute grace period is provided. However, loading/unloading zones are available on each campus. If a vehicle seems to be parked in these zones rather than actively loading or unloading, it might be subjected to a citation.

Buyout Program for Students

It is an incentive program offered to students who want to voluntarily give up their privilege to purchase a parking pass for the year.

Students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a residential student on the Portland campus.
  • Must be enrolled in classes at the University of Southern Maine or Maine Law and housed in the Portland-campus residence hall for the current Fall or Spring Semester (Summer semester excluded).
  • All previous or current University parking citations must be fully paid.
  • Must not currently hold another USM parking permit type or have the other parking permit type removed.
  • Gorham-only Parking Permit:
    •  Valid for day and night parking on the Gorham campus.
  • Covered and Secured Bike Parking:
    •  Access to a long-term covered, secured bike room in the parking garage.
    • Entry into the drawing for a bicycle space in the bike room at Portland Commons.
  • Sustainable Transportation Incentives:
    •  $100 in incentives to be used for current sustainable transportation services like Bikeshare or Amtrak.
    • Incentives can be used until their expiration date, regardless of your current student status.
    •  Preferences for these incentives will be selected via a survey.
  • “Special Circumstances” Portland-campus Parking Passes:
    •  10 parking passes per year for special circumstances or transportation challenges.
    • Each pass is valid for 24 hours and can only be used in the parking garage.
    • These passes are automatically given to every Buyout participant. No additional action is required to utilize these passes except parking your vehicle on the Portland campus, where they will be deducted by the parking management system upon use.
    • Once the passes are used up, vehicle owners will receive citations.

The Buyout Program is valid for the entire academic year, starting from the Fall semester until the end of the Spring semester.
Please check with Parking Services for summer parking privileges inclusion for the current year.

  • Buyout participants are not allowed to park in Portland, except when using their 10 “Special Circumstances” passes.
  • Purchase of any other parking permit types, including residential Gorham Permit, commuter Portland Permit, or faculty/staff permit, is not permitted for Buyout participants.
  • Buyout participants cannot apply for a Non-Driver Carpool Pass, as it is intended for commuters coming to the Portland campus from off-campus locations.

January to May:

  • Apply for the Buyout program through your housing application with Residential Life.
  • Buyouts are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis due to limited availability.

June to December:

  • Apply for the Buyout program directly with Parking Services by filling out this form.
  • Availability of buyouts during this period may vary, and they will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There is no specific cost for participating in the Buyout program, which is the primary benefit over having to purchase a Portland Residential Parking Pass. However, students are still required to pay their regular transportation fee as part of their course enrollment.

  • Repay $100 for the incentives, regardless of usage.
  • Pay a $75 processing fee.
  • Apply for and receive approval for another parking permit type.
  • Pay the applicable fee for the received premium parking pass (e.g., $500 for the Portland Residential Parking Pass)

Overnight Parking and Parking Lot Changes

Overnight Parking
Parking one’s vehicle between the hours of 11pm to 7am is considered to be overnight parking.

Short term parking is one night only.

Student Buyout permits are not authorized to park overnight in Portland.

  • Guests/visitors May do so for one night/short term  only. A paid parking session for the total duration is required. For Portland park in authorized lots, Garage 1 Abromson, or P6. Gorham lots are authorized for overnight parking and rules should be read in the lot by scanning the signage before parking.
  • Students’ vehicles must be validated or a paid parking session started. Unless authorized Residential permit holder.
  • Staff & Faculty should contact Parking Services or your department supervisor to obtain All Access or validation if scheduled working hours are overnight or parking for USM business. Your permit does not authorize overnight parking. 
  • Overnight parking in garage 2 (Portland Commons resident garage) is only authorized to Portland Residents overnight ($500), Directors, Assistants overnight.. 7pm-7am. Gorham Student Residents are not permitted. Buyout participants not permitted. 

Long Term Overnight Parking

  • Gorham Campus: Students, faculty, or staff needing to leave their vehicles on the Gorham Campus overnight  during University designated/vacation period or related USM business may do so in Lot G-13. Resident Students and Residential Staff may leave their vehicle overnight during designated vacation periods/related USM business and must park in the authorized Resident lots and G13. 
  • Portland Campus: Long term parking is NOT authorized on the Portland Campus for non Portland Commons Resident permit holders.

Information about impending parking bans is posted and forwarded through USM Alert, via text and email. Students, faculty and staff should expect that a current or recent snowstorm is indicative of an impending parking ban.

USM students/employees are required to have a valid permit to park on campus during a snow ban or during snow removal. The exception to this is the level 4 (top level) of the garage. There is no parking on that level during a snow ban or snow removal. Lot P6 may also be used for parking during snow bans and snow removal.

Members of the community may park in Garage 1 for a fee. The exception to this is the level 4 (top level) of the garage. There is no parking on that level during a snow ban or snow removal. Lot P6 may also be used for parking during snow storms and snow removal for a fee.

Special Situations

Public Safety offers on-campus safety escort services at any hour. To use this service please contact Public Safety at (207) 780-5211. A uniformed Public Safety officer driving a marked vehicle will pick you up at your present location and bring you to a different on-campus location such as your residence hall or to your vehicle.

Requests should be made by emailing Parking Services. No refunds are given due to misconduct or violation of University rules/policy/restrictions. Refunds will not be issued due to customer or user mistakes.

USM departments should use the Validation Request Form to discuss validations. General public are expected to pay for parking. All parking should be paid for or validated if not a permit holder. Groups or events leasing space are required to pay for parking. Validation accounts and tracking are required by all USM departments.

Alternate Modes of Transportation

There is EV charging on the Portland and Gorham campuses. Please see the EV page for information on current locations, pricing, rules, and how to utilize the service.

Yes, bike parking is available. Please see the Bicycle page for information on current locations and rules.

Yes, they are different. Both of them are needed in order to utilize preferred carpool parking spaces. For information on how to sign up for a carpool pass and what the rules are, please visit the Carpool page.

More information about bus service can be found on the Bus page.

More information about rail service can be found on the Train page.