Policy: Parking Enforcement and Towing Guidelines

Generally any vehicle parked in violation of University parking ordinances or the Student Motor Vehicle Regulation will be ticketed.


0200-0600 violations will be written only between 0200 and 0600 hours.

Except in 24-hour employee lots, enforcement in lots reserved for the parking of vehicles having valid employee permits will not be taken after 1730 hours, unless there is a specific problem and/or a complaint. An exception would be illegal parking in a 24-hour leased space.

Tickets in the area of special events will be written only with the permission of the Management Services Bureau Deputy Director or designee, Event Supervisor, or Duty Supervisor.

If a parking violation could result in either a Student Motor Vehicle Regulation ticket or an Ordinance violation ticket, issue the Ordinance ticket. Student violations are only entered with a student number.


Vehicles towed on the property of Michigan State University are towed under the authority of applicable State Law and University Ordinance. All towing must be authorized by the Management Services Bureau Deputy Director or designee; or the Duty Supervisor. An exception will be made for towing from certain leased spaces as indicated below.

Towed vehicles will generally be issued a parking violation prior to the tow. Exceptions are generally limited to situations such as vehicles being towed for emergency situations but otherwise legally parked, or vehicles impounded for unpaid parking tickets but not parked in violation at the time of impound.

Vehicles may be towed Under the Following Circumstances

If the vehicle is in such a condition that the continued operation of the vehicle upon the highway would constitute an immediate hazard to the public.

If the vehicle is parked or standing upon the highway in such a manner as to create an immediate public hazard or an obstruction of traffic.

If the vehicle is parked in a posted tow-away zone. Tow-away zones include but are not limited to: fire lanes, leased spaces and loading zones if so marked. Cars towed from loading zones marked as tow-away zones must be timed for 20 minutes plus a reasonable assumption that the loading zone may be used. Cars may be towed from leased spaces only upon the request of the leasing agent.

If there is reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle or any part of the vehicle is stolen.

If the vehicle must be seized to preserve evidence of a crime or when there is reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle was used in the commission of a crime.

If removal is necessary in the interest of public safety because of fire, flood, storm, natural or human-made disaster, or other emergency including maintenance issues of parking lots or ramps.

If the vehicle is hampering the use of private property by the owner or person in charge of that property or is parked in a manner that impedes the movement of another vehicle.

If the vehicle is stopped, standing, or parked, in a space designated as parking for persons with disabilities and is not permitted by law to be stopped, standing or parked in a space designated as parking for persons with disabilities.

If the vehicle is located in a clearly identified access aisle or access lane immediately adjacent to a space designated as parking for persons with disabilities.

If the vehicle is interfering with the use of a ramp or a curb-cut by persons with disabilities.

Vehicle(s) whose owner(s) have failed to answer 6 or more parking violation notices or citations regarding illegal parking (6 or more unpaid tickets).

If a vehicle impounded as indicated above has not been redeemed within 24 hours, it will be entered into LEIN as abandoned, and a letter will be sent to the registered owner.


Improper Tows

The Police Duty Supervisor, the Management Services Bureau Deputy Director or designee are authorized to release a vehicle without payment of tow fees when it is obvious that the vehicle was towed in error. The employee is to make a sincere apology in the name of the department to the citizen(s) inconvenienced by our error.

Tow Appeal Process:

The registered owner may contest the fact that the vehicle was properly removed and the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees by requesting a hearing before the 54-B District Court:

54-B District Court

101 Linden St.

East Lansing, MI 48823

Phone: 517-351-7022

A request for a hearing shall be made by filing a request with the District Court within 20 days after the date of notice.

An owner who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by posting a towing and storage bond with the District Court in an amount equal to the accrued towing and storage fees, and all unpaid violations.

The owner may obtain the vehicle release by paying the towing and storing fees instead of posting the towing and storage bond and all unpaid violations. If the court finds that the vehicle was not properly removed, the Department shall reimburse the owner of the vehicle for the accrued towing and storage fees.


A special ticket has been designed for this purpose. Normally it will only be used during pre-identified “grace periods.” Usually such periods are in conjunction with changes in signage or parking privileges for a class of registrants.

If a mistake is made on a parking violation, authorized personnel will have the ability to mark the violation as VOID in the parking management software.


Restricted Employees

Unless there is an obvious error, only designated personnel in the Parking Division may withdraw a ticket. Where a ticket was written and obviously written in error, the on-duty police supervisor is authorized to withdraw it. At all other times, Police Division and other department employees shall provide the offender with the appeal process located on the back of the violation.

Written Appeal

Prior to any violation being reviewed, an appeal must be submitted in writing or online. In person appeals will be scheduled with an appeal coordinator. Immediate request for appeals will be handled by a Parking Supervisor on a case by case basis. Requests for immediate appeals should be directed to schedule an appeal before contacting a supervisor.

The appeal will be reviewed by the appropriate Parking Bureau employee and the violation either sustained or withdrawn.

If the violation is sustained, a follow-up letter will be sent to the violator from the Parking Supervisor explaining this and what steps need to be taken to further the appeal. If an online appeal results in a sustained violation, then a response is emailed to the violator.

Should the decision of the original appeal be to withdraw the violation, then the appropriate letter or email will be sent to the violator giving the decision. The letter will act as the receipt.

If the violation is sustained, the citizen shall be directed to appeal the decision to the 54B District Court, East Lansing.

The violator is not to be referred to the Chief or to any administrative office, including the Office of the President.

Emergency Definition.

The department will respond to any vehicles in cases of an emergency. Emergencies exist when a child or, in cases of temperature extremes that would cause severe medical problems, an animal is locked in the vehicle.


System Control

The following guidelines are provided to assist employees in granting calendar permission to individuals with special parking problems. It is designed to limit the abuses that have developed in the procedures. Further, it is realized that all conditions may not be covered by these guidelines and that it may be necessary at times to deviate from them. However, every attempt should be made to avoid the redevelopment of past problems.


Employees: Employees who have registered their vehicle(s) and who temporarily are operating a “loaner” vehicle on campus will be granted calendar permission for ONE DAY PER MONTH. After the first day, employees must park in a pay lot, at a parking meter, or obtain a temporary permit from the Parking Division Office. Employees must call to obtain calendar permission immediately upon their arrival to work.

Those having a “LOANER” vehicle shall be directed to the parking office to secure a temporary permit

Guests: Guests, retirees, lecturers and visitors are not eligible for calendar permission and should be instructed as follows:

Park at meters or in gated lots.

Obtain an “Official Visitor” permit from their host department or college.

Disabled Vehicles (All Groups)

Handled on an individual basis with emphasis being placed on having the vehicle moved as soon as possible.

In no instance should permission be granted for a vehicle to remain illegally parked for a great length of time.

Should be advised to bring a tow or repair service receipt with them to appeal a ticket.



Basic Information: This section provides basic guidelines for parking enforcement employees, however; not all rules and regulations will be found in this section. Enforcement employees are to direct their attention to those orders contained in the Parking Enforcement Manual provided to them by their supervisor.

Daily Reports: Daily reports shall be completed and submitted at the end of each workday.

Vehicle Inspection: Each employee is responsible for determining the condition of any department vehicle prior to using it. Any problems should be reported to a supervisor immediately.

Vehicle Operation

Vehicles shall be operated and parked in compliance to state and local laws.

Unauthorized personnel shall not be transported in department vehicles. Authorized personnel will consist of members of the MSU Police Department or others who are transported for department business.

Appearance: Employees shall maintain a neat, well-groomed appearance.

Personal Conduct of Employees: Employees shall refer to general university rules governing personal conduct of employees as posted in the Parking Enforcement Manual. Compliance with the rules is a condition of employment with this Department, on-duty or off-duty.

Enforcement Areas: The Parking Enforcement Supervisor will assign the areas of enforcement on a daily basis. Enforcement employees shall remain in their area unless otherwise directed by appropriate supervision.

Radio Procedures.

Parking enforcers shall operate on their assigned frequency, unless directed otherwise.

All police communication has priority over parking enforcement traffic at all times, except when the parking enforcer’s personal safety is threatened.

Equipment: All equipment shall be returned by the employee to the designated storage areas at the end of their tour of duty.