Motor Vehicle Registration

CarsNorthern Michigan University requires motor vehicles – cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor scooters, motorbikes, mopeds, etc. – as well as bicycles to be registered for use on the NMU campus.

To register, go to the Parking Bureau, a unit of NMU’s Public Safety and Police Services department, located in the Services Building on Sugarloaf Avenue (see campus map).  It is open during the university’s regular business hours, which during the academic year are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) and from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the summer (May to mid-August).

When you register your vehicle, you will receive a window tag or sticker that must be permanently displayed.  If the registration decal is not displayed, you may be cited for parking on campus, even if you have registered your vehicle.

Here are the resources you will need to learn more about parking on campus.

NMU Public Safety and Police Services strongly encourages you to review the public safety motor vehicle ordinance. However, if you’re thinking you might be able to read the textbook for your legal issues course faster and you know you’ll never get through it, then at least read the following summary of the five most important legal and five non-legal issues to know about parking at Northern Michigan University: 

Five legal things you should know about parking at NMU:

  • You are ultimately responsible for your vehicle.  If you allow friends to borrow your vehicle and they get into trouble with it, they will probably get a ticket and be held responsible for their actions – but so may you be held responsible. Depending on the situation, as the owner and/or registrant of the care, you, too, may receive a ticket.
  • The speed limits on campus are not low to test your frustration level or to make you late for class. When nearly 10,000 people are moving about the campus, driving is a safety issue.  If you speed, you are putting NMU community members at risk, and you will be ticketed. We have radar enforcement.
  • The green visitor meters are available for visitors to the campus. A visitor is defined as any person who is not a student, employee or tenant of the university. Do not consider attending your sole Friday class as visiting.
  • Park in a lot not designated for your sticker on a sidewalk, on the grass or in a loading dock area and it will cost you. Park on campus between 2-7 a.m. in certain lots and it will cost you even more. Park in a handicap space if you are not handicapped and it will cost you quite a bit. Remember who to blame if you end up forking out the dough.
  • It is illegal to park against traffic on campus, as it is everywhere else.

Five non-legal things you should know about parking at NMU:

Paying the vehicle registration fee to park on the NMU campus does not guarantee you a parking spot next door of your classroom facility; it guarantees you a parking spot in an NMU-owned and operated parking lot. We have 64 of them – plenty to accommodate everyone, although some require a short walk to your destination.  Improve your health and stress level by parking in the Center Street or Sports Complex lots and walking to the academic mall. You’ll probably beat your friends who are still circling by the door waiting for a spot to open up.

Northern does not have a parking problem.  People from other campuses come here and get tears in their eyes when they see the available parking for students, faculty and staff.  If you don’t believe us, talk to those who have attended or worked at other universities. Most will tell you they paid a lot more to park for lots located much farther from the campus (many had to take buses to get to their buildings). However, if you regularly arrive on campus just minutes before your class begins, we guarantee that you will perceive Northern as having a parking problem.

It does get cold outside during the winter (and sometimes the fall and spring, too), and walking between parking lot and destination is more challenging during cold periods. That’s one of the many reasons NMU offers the Wildcat Shuttle. This is a free service to Northern students, faculty and staff.  Learn more about the Wildcat Shuttle.

Any vehicles left on campus during vacation breaks must be parked in lots 20 or 21, and they must be registered to park on campus.

If you need to walk from a campus parking lot to a campus destination, or vice versa, during hours of darkness, NMU offers an escort service. This service is safe, convenient and free.  Learn more about the NMU escort service. Your request for service is not an inconvenience to Public Safety.  The staff members there want you to be safe and are happy to assist.