Parking spots — always elusive in Los Angeles — are a prized commodity on USC’s campus, and many students have been attempting to grab a spot by whatever means necessary.
This spring and summer have seen a rash of students forging or altering the monthly parking permits that allow access to parking structures on campus. According to DPS Capt. David Carlisle, there have been 18 reports of falsified parking permits since April, with six so far this month.
“It’s a common report,” Carlisle said. “Students try and create a fake parking permit or alter an existing permit, trying to make accurate copies of the permit in order to avoid the monthly parking fee.”
Carlisle said USC Transportation, which patrols the parking lots around campus regularly, has a simple system to catch altered permits. All USC-issued parking permits have corresponding barcodes, which transportation officials can scan to determine their veracity.
If a student’s permit is found to be false or tampered with, USC Transportation immobilizes the car by placing a boot on it, which can only be removed when the owner pays existing parking fees and fines for the fake permit — USC Transportation’s website lists fines as anywhere between $100 and $1,000.
Students whose cars have been booted are also referred to Judicial Affairs for further action.
Carlisle said the influx in permit modifications could be a combination of more forgeries and stricter enforcement on the part of transportation officers.