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Parking Levy

Parking rates will not increase as a result of the levy becoming permanent.

If you pay for parking via payroll deduction, you will notice that parking fees will be displayed on your paystub in one line.

Our rates are comparable to other universities in Ontario. Parking fees fund building, maintaining, and operating lots.

McMaster’s parking rates are comparable to similar size universities in Ontario, as well as local institutions. Find a list of comparable universities below indicating monthly parking rates. This data is current as of the school year 2020/21.


University Monthly Permit Rank
McMaster University $51 – $127 5
Queens University $113-$192 3
University of Toronto $145.00 – $320.00 1
University of Waterloo $37.5-$76 6
University of Ottawa $66 – $201 2
Western University $62-$150 4

The cost of providing and maintaining parking is paid for by the parking users, both permit holders and visitors. Parking funds are also used to finance the construction of new parking options, like the underground garages beneath Ron V. Joyce Stadium, L.R. Wilson Hall Liberal Arts Building, and Peter George Centre for Living and Learning. In addition, there are 2 structures under construction; Lot K parking structure approved to be built and an enclosed structure within the Downtown Graduate Residence.

In September 2006, McMaster parking permit rates increased to include a levy to finance the cost of the underground parking garage beneath the Ron V. Joyce Stadium. The levy was incorporated into campus parking fees and capped at an additional $14 per month. The original plan was to remove the levy after 20 years (from loan initiation), when the financing for the underground parking garage was expected to be complete (loan maturity April 2028).

Since then, McMaster added underground parking garages beneath two newer buildings, the L.R. Wilson Hall Liberal Arts Building and Peter George Centre for Living and Learning.

To continue financing these newer underground parking garages and future  parking construction, Parking services included in the 2022 budget submission and subsequently to the Fees Committee for fall 2022 that the levy be permanently incorporated into the parking rates.

The parking levy is becoming a permanent part of parking rates at McMaster and this will not result in parking rates increase. Keeping parking rates the same will help McMaster maintain and operate lots.

Application Process

Your application will not be processed unless all of the information necessary is completed. Any missing informaiton and your application will remain on hold until complete.


Bring in a completed copy of the Carpool Application Form and Carpool Agreement into our office during regular business hours and we will set it up in accordance with our policy.


A West Campus permit or Ward Avenue permit will give you access to Main Campus lots in the evening. Please see interzone hours.

Yes, all undergraduates and Mohawk students have to reapply for parking each academic year. Returning students that held a Lot M permit in the previous academic year can reapply starting July 1st. Apply as early as possible to improve chances of maintaining parking status in Lot M.

Payments can be made by any party, but in order to pick up a permit on behalf of a student, photo id will be required from the individual picking up a permit on your behalf as well as a written letter of permission for pick up, email confirmation is accepted.

No, permits are non-transferable. Use of a permit by an individual that is not registered to it can result in possible fines, towing of vehicles and suspension of parking privileges. If you no longer need your permit, please notify the parking office at If your friend wants a permit they will have to apply for one separately.

You can only register vehicles to your permit and thus transfer your permit to other vehicles if they belong to an immediate family member at the same address.

Transponders and Permits must be picked up in person at the parking office. Presentation of a valid McMaster or Mohawk student identification card (or other photo id)is required at the time of pickup.

Yes, the summer permits (May to August) are sold online and available in April.

You may purchase parking for September until December only, but if you decide in January that you would like to renew your parking for the next semester, we can not guarantee you a permit.

An up-to-date Ministry of Transportation Accessibility Permit is required for a accessible permit on campus. If you do not qualify for a MTO permit and yet still require special accommodations, please look at the accommodation parking section within the accessible parking page.

Undergraduates and graduates are restricted to lot M parking. The other parking lots on campus are assigned to the faculty and staff.


Rates and Payment

Parking fees always remain in place. For rates see McMaster Parking Current Parking Rates.

No, we require full payment for the total amount of your permit at the time of application.

You cannot apply for a permit until the full payment amount is available.

You will not be issued a permit until all outstanding fines have been paid and the suspension has been lifted.


The transponder should be mounted in the upper corner of the windshield, below any sunshading, to the left of the driver and closest to the machinery as you enter the lot. We recommend that the transponder be mounted.

When you drive up to and stop in front of a gate, your transponder will cause the gate arm to rise.

In case of difficulty, each gate system and pay station machine has an intercom that will connect you with the Parking and Security offices.  As well, each lot has cameras which are monitored by Security Services.

The AntiPassBack feature for automated parking ensures that only one person (or car) may use a transponder at a time.  This means that once the system recognizes a car upon entry, the system will not recognize the same transponder for another car entry (and vice-versa for exiting).  Transponder holders must not (even in good faith) use their transponder to allow another car entry or exit.

In case of difficulty, each gate system and paystation machine has an intercom that will connect you with the Parking and Security offices.


Lots which will accommodate visitor parking are: A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, M, P, Q, Underground Wilson and, Underground PGLLL Underground Stadium (McMaster University parking map for locations).

Visitors may pay for parking numerous ways.  Visitors in gated lots can pay at the paystation located inside the parking lot, using the ticket they receive upon entry. The ticket notes the time of entry. Before exiting, the visitor must insert their ticket into the paystation machine and pay for the time spent in the lot. Payment methods include cash (at selected locations), credit card, debit card, or departmental rebate vouchers. The visitor can then re-insert their (now paid-for) ticket into the automated machine at the gate, which will cause the gate arm to lift and allow the vehicle to exit.

Visitors may also pay for parking (only in designated non-gated areas) by using “pay-and-display” machines.  This is pre-paid parking, similar to meter parking.  Areas designated for “pay-and-display” capabilities are College Crescent, Bates Circle.

In case of difficulty, each gate system and paystation machine has an intercom that will connect you with the Parking and Security offices.  As well, each lot has cameras which are monitored by Security Services.