Tickets issued for keeping expired permits

By Maleesa Johnson
Staff Writer

If you have received a warning for having last year’s parking permit on your windshield in addition to the current sticker, and have yet to take it off, there is a good chance you’ll soon receive a more substantial reprimand.

At the start of the school year, students began receiving parking notices for expired stickers still affixed to the front of their windshield.

The fine amount listed on first offense notices is $0. However, second offenses will cost the car owner $10 and offenses after that will be $25 each.

Both warnings and tickets for the offense have a method of appeal listed at the bottom. All fines for failure to remove the old permit can be voided by returning the expired permit to the parking service office within 14 days of receiving the violation.

“We had a student come in today and he handed us his old permit and he had three of those tickets,” said Matt Penney, director of parking and transportation services. “He was within the 14 days, asked if we would take care of these and we said ‘we sure can.’ He left, he was happy and we were happy.”

Parking services has required students to remove old permits due to the similarity of this year’s and last year’s parking stickers.

This makes it easier for parking patrol to differentiate between cars with current permits and cars that may only have the expired permit.

“The way we check for parking permits is a visual scan,” Penney said. “It’s literally a person looking for the permit, so when both of them are displayed they’re pretty similar and it makes their job a little bit harder.”

Some students like Round Rock junior Liz Meszaros view parking permits as a display of grade classification. Meszaros did not take her permit off because she said she did not want to look like a freshman. She received a warning for having both permits on Monday in the East Campus Parking Garage.

“I just don’t see the point of taking the sticker off,” Meszaros said. “I have obviously paid for both and the current permit is clearly displayed on my windshield.”

The style of parking permits changed at the beginning of last fall. Prior to 2012, parking permits were displayed on back windshields and placed on the outside. The stickers were not transferable between cars as they are now.

According to the parking service’s website, this transfer may only take place from the permit owner’s vehicle to another vehicle in their possession. The sticker is not transferable from person to person.

“We have a lot of students that, especially over Christmas break, that change cars,” Penney said. “Now they can grab the permit off their old car and put it in their new car and they’re done. In the past they would grab their razor blades and have to scrape them off. We thought it served our student population better to have something they could move from car to car.”

Most students were told to remove their old permit when they went to pick up their new permits. There is also a disclaimer on the parking service’s website that permits from 2012-2013 must be removed and that failing to do so will result in a citation.