Freshman Parking FAQ
What if I have enough units to be classified as a sophomore during my first year at Stanford?
The policy also applies to students who have enough credits to be considered sophomores at any time during their first academic year at Stanford. This policy does not apply to transfer students.
Why have freshmen been restricted from bringing cars?
Parking restrictions have been applied to freshmen, as it is our belief that they will be least impacted by this policy. Freshmen are required to live in residence halls with board plans, and any freshman who needs a job may obtain one on campus. Freshmen are also supported by a wide array of special social activities in their residence halls.
It is our hope that by restricting cars in the freshman year, students will take advantage of the many alternative transportation options available to them, and will think twice about the need to bring their cars in subsequent years. Unlike many universities, resident students at Stanford have enjoyed the privilege of being able to park as close as possible to their residence halls. By restricting car usage in the freshman year, we hope to better protect this privilege for other resident students.
Can I bring a car anyway and park it somewhere else?
We ask that students comply with the spirit of this policy by not bringing cars to campus with the expectation that they can be parked on the streets or public areas of our neighboring communities. Stanford works with its neighbors to reduce traffic flow and parking in nearby off-campus neighborhoods, and students are expected to help Stanford be a good neighbor.
What if I really need a car on campus?
Students who can demonstrate a compelling need or who would suffer undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver. Waivers will be reviewed by committee (including student representatives chosen by the ASSU Nominations Commission), and will be kept to an absolute minimum.
How will I get around if I don't have a car?
The Bay Area is full of wonderful places to explore, and with the transportation alternatives available, you will not be "stuck" on campus!
- Public transit: Stanford's Marguerite shuttle system can take you around campus and to neighboring cities for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Marguerite also connects the campus to Caltrain, which provides train service up to San Francisco and down to San Jose. See our public transit resource guide "Thriving at Stanford [without a car]" for more information about where transit can take you.
- On-campus car rentals: Students ages 18 and up are able to rent a car on campus from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Enterprise's Residents Rental Program also offers $10 weeknight rentals for registered campus residents. Visit the Enterprise Rent-A-Car page for more information.
- Stanford car sharing program. Zipcar provides a self-service, on-demand car sharing program at Stanford, available to students ages 18 and up. Zipcars are located at numerous Stanford locations. Rates start at $5.50 per hour and include gas and insurance. Visit the Zipcar at Stanford page for more information.
What if I need a ride in an emergency?
Freshmen students who register for the Freshman Emergency Ride Program are offered a "safety net" for unforeseen travel emergencies. The Freshman Emergency Ride Program is run in partnership with a local cab company. Students who find themselves stranded off-campus without a way back using existing transit alternatives can take a FREE ride back to campus for up to 3 Emergency Rides per year (each ride must be TO a campus destination).
What if I have guests?
Freshmen may purchase a total of 6 daily resident "scratcher" parking permits per month for their visitors and guests. Scratchers are valid for the day you designate through noon the following day. In addition, students receive a free temporary MOVE-IN permit at the beginning of each academic year from their residential housing office.
Freshmen parking waivers
Students who would suffer an undue hardship under this policy can apply for a waiver.