USM Public Safety

Frequently Asked Parking Questions

1. Do I need to have a parking permit?

Yes. All vehicles parking on the property owned or under the management of the University of Southern Maine must display a valid permit at all times unless parked at a parking meter. Parking permits are available from the Parking & Transportation Services office on level one of the Parking Garage on the Portland campus Permits are valid for both the Portland and Gorham campuses, 15 Baxter Blvd., and the Parking Garage.

The cost of the parking permit for students appears on the student bill as a Parking and Transportation fee based on the number of registered credits. If you do not have such a fee on your bill, please contact the Parking and Transportation office at 207-780-4718

2. When do I apply for my permit?

You may apply for your permit prior to the beginning of any semester. Requests for permits for the Fall semester will be taken in mid-August and your permit will be sent to you. If the permits are available you may receive one in person or by mail in mid-August. Requests for incoming students starting in the Spring semester will be filled upon receipt of all proper paperwork.

3. Do you automatically send me my permit?

No, we do not just send you a permit if you have registered for classes. You will need to fill out the application form, provide a valid state registration, student ID and have no unpaid fines in order to get a permit. Only the Parking & Transportation Services Office issues permits.

4. I've sent in the paperwork for a permit, when I will I receive it?

Permit requests are processed when they are received. Depending on the workload, it normally takes one or two days to process a request and 3-5 days for it to arrive via the US mail. Requests presented in person will be filled on the spot and the entire process takes about 5 minutes.

I've decided I'm not going to be a USM student, who do I call to cancel my permit?

Please return your permit to the Parking & Transportation Services office, PO Box 9300, Portland, Maine 04104 or the USM Police Dispatch office on the Gorham campus.

I have a fine on my record that I'm appealing; may I still get a permit or temporary permit?

All outstanding fines, including those under appeal, must be paid off before a permit may be issued.

5. Where can I park during a snow ban on the Gorham Campus?

Snow Ban information page on the USM Parking website at:

Portland campus parking: Overnight parking is available to staff and students in the Parking Garage during regular business hours. If the University is closed the garage is also closed. Please keep this in mind when parking your vehicle.

There is no overnight parking on any surface lots on the Portland campus. Additionally, any vehicles found on the Portland campus during snow removal periods will be subject to a $50.00 citation for impeding snow removal and could be towed at the owners risk/expense at the discretion of USM Police.

If parking overnight in Portland During the winter months park overnight only in the Parking Garage or on a City-controlled street or parking lot. Please see the following question for information regarding City of Portland snow parking bans.

6. Where is snow ban parking in the City of Portland?

Snow ban parking is available for USM students/employees at the USM Parking Garage on the Portland Campus.

If weather closes the University, the garage will also close., usually one hour after the University closes. All vehicles intending to park for the length of the ban must be in the garage when it closes., if the University is closed the following day the garage will also be closed.  Please address any questions about snow ban parking to or to the Portland Parking & Transportation Office at 780-4718.

7. Where can I purchase vouchers for my department?

All voucher purchases are to be made through the Parking & Transportation Services Office. Please call 780-4718 for more information.

8. Can I park anywhere on Campus with a temporary parking permit?

Vouchers are valid in the designated lots, written on the permit. They are not valid, however, in the Parking Garage, at meters, loading zones or disability spots unless displaying the proper state-issued disability plate or placard.

9. Where can I park as an Overnight Guest on the Gorham Campus?

You can park in any resident lot providing that you have acquired a parking permit from the Parking and Transportation Office or USM Police Dispatch.

There is no overnight parking for Commuter permit holders or in any commuter lot. Overnight parking for commuters is available in Resident lots with a temporary parking permit from USM dispatch. Long term parking is available to students travelling with athletic/academic groups in lot G-13B (see signs for location)

10. Why do I have to pay for parking if I'm a visitor?

Paying for parking as a visitor on both campuses was instituted because of the greater use of parking areas than was anticipated. The permit system lends itself to better management and control of parking. Collecting payments for parking leads to better enforcement of parking areas, allows for better and safer lots and to ensure that parking will be available for those who need it.

10. What happens if I receive a bill for past due parking fines and I do not want to pay it?

Not paying tickets could lead to official academic information being held until all payments are made in full. Further, the fine amounts may be sent to collections.

11. What do I do if I receive a bill that is either in error or is addressed to a person who no longer lives at my address?

If the bill is in error, please contact the Parking & Transportation Services Office in writing. Please provide any information or documentation that proves your statement. All requests must be signed in order to be considered.  If you receive a bill addressed to someone not known to you, you will have to submit a statement in writing to USM Parking & Transportation Services, PO Box 9600 Portland ME 040102

12. I just received a Motor Vehicle Violation and do not feel it was justified, what can I do?

Those who feel they can demonstrate circumstances of an enforcement error may appeal to have the citation waived or reduced. Appeals seeking exemption or exclusion from the established parking rules will not be granted. You must submit the appeal within 10 days of the violation.

13. I just received my decision about an appeal I submitted and I do not agree with the decision, what can I do?

When you receive the decision you disagree with you can file a secondary appeal. The secondary appeal form is available at the Parking & Transportation Services office on level one of the parking garage. Upon request one can be mailed. Request can be made by calling 780-4718. The secondary appeal is reviewed by law enforcement professional and must be submitted within fifteen days of being mailed out from our office.

14. What should I do if there is a broken parking meter on campus?

We would greatly appreciate an email or call, x4718, reporting it. The email address to report a broken meter is

15. I would like to park my motorcycle on campus what do I need to do and where can I park it?

Motorcycles with current USM motorcycle decals are able to park on both the Portland and Gorham Campuses. On the surface lots, (no permit require, you may park in a regular spot. DO NOT PARK IN HASH MARKS as they are in place to provide adequate turning for buses/cars/trucks and/or for use in conjunction with disability parking. At no time is there motorcycle parking in a fire lane, grassy area, sidewalk, loading dock or any area that would obstruct traffic.