Parking regulations

The operation of a motor vehicle on campus is a privilege extended to employees and students. Regulations are necessary in order to have proper control of the operation of motor vehicles. If these regulations are not followed, a student may expect to be issued a ticket, have the vehicle towed, lose campus parking privilege, or, in cases of serious difficulty or continued trouble, a student may be suspended from the university.

The acceptance of the privilege of parking a motor vehicle on campus shall constitute the acceptance of the responsibilities of the driver to see that no vehicle owned or registered in his/her name is operated or parked in violation of the regulations. All vehicles parked on campus shall be parked at the risk of the owner.

Motor vehicle registration 

All automobiles, trucks, motorbikes, motorcycles and motor scooters owned or operated by employees or students of Bluffton University and brought to the campus must display an official university motor vehicle parking sticker. Vehicles must be registered with buildings and grounds within the first three days of the start of the school year, or within three days after bringing the vehicle to campus.

Vehicles may be registered at Log in and under the ‘Student’ or ‘Student Life’ tab, select ‘Vehicle Information’ from the list on the left, then:

  • If REGISTERING a vehicle for the first time, complete the Student Vehicle Registration form
  • If RENEWING a previously registered vehicle, go to the Student Vehicle Renewal form
  • If REPLACING a vehicle or making a change to your current vehicle information, visit the buildings and grounds office or email for further instructions                                                                                                                       

Students registering a vehicle will receive one nonrefundable parking sticker for $25 per semester. A second nonrefundable sticker can be purchased for a flat rate of $10. There is a limit of two parking stickers per student. Stickers must be placed in the lower left corner of the rear window. Only one vehicle is allowed per student on campus at one time. Students must park only in the assigned lots at all times. Residential students may park in any lot designated for residential student parking and commuter students may park in any lot designated for commuter student parking. Parking in the incorrect lot will result in parking fines.

A change of vehicles any time during the year must be reported immediately to buildings and grounds at ext. 3236 or by email to

A temporary parking pass can be obtained at buildings and grounds for short-term parking (up to 2 weeks). Temporary accessible permits are also available by contacting the Disabilities Coordinator at ext. 3215 or by email to and must be accompanied by a doctor’s verification.

Visitor vehicles are required to display a guest permit while parked on campus over night between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. Guest permits for visitor vehicles are available at the information desk in Marbeck Center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., and through campus security during other times at 419-303-3121. Visitors may park in any residential or employee/commuter lot except where designated as accessible or reserved, however note there is no overnight parking in the three lots closest to the Sommer Center. Students may not obtain visitor permits for their own vehicles.

2017-18 parking map

Parking lots on campus:
A list of lots and vehicles permitted to park in each lot are listed below and signage is posted at each location.

Ropp Hall Lot Accessible, Employee, Residential Student
Bren-Dell Hall Lot

Hall Director, Residential Student, Special Permit, Visitor
The Village of Bluffton has restricted parking on College Ave. between Lawn St. and Spring St. No overnight parking is allowed in this area.

Houshower House Lot Employee
Sauder Visual Arts Center Lot Accessible, Employee, Residential Student, Visitor
Riley Court Lot Accessible, Employee, Visitor
Burcky Gym Lot Accessible, Employee, Visitor, No overnight parking
Sommer Center Lot Accessible, Commuter Student, Employee, Visitor, No overnight parking
Elm Street Lot Commuter Student, Employee, Visitor, No overnight parking
Ramseyer, Hirschy, and Neufeld Hall Lots Accessible, Hall Director, Residential Student
Bently Road, Lot #1 Accessible, Commuter Student, Employee, Special Permit, Visitor
Bentley Road, Lot #2, #3, & #4 Accessible, Residential Student, Visitor
College Hall Lot Accessible, Employee (silver permits), Visitor, 30 minute parking
Berky Hall Lot Accessible, 15-Minute Parking
Musselman Library Lot Accessible, Library Personnel
Buildings & Grounds Lot Buildings and Grounds Personnel Only


Parking and operating violations

  • Parking in restricted or no parking areas. Signs mark all such areas.
  • Parking in driveways, walks, loading areas, grassed areas, entrances to buildings or at cross walks.
  • Failure to properly display a permit within 24 hours of its receipt.
  • Failure to obey lot assignments and designated space rules as listed above.
  • Failure on campus to observe the traffic and parking regulations of the village of Bluffton while on campus.
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit on campus.
  • Reckless operation of vehicles.
  • Parking along curbs painted yellow (no parking zones and fire zones) near buildings is not allowed, except to unload and load student belongings. Hazard flasher lights must be used when loading or unloading (no exceptions). Immediately upon unloading or loading, the vehicle must be  moved. A 10-minute limit will be enforced.  Vehicles not moved will receive tickets.
  • Improper parking in accessible zones, reserved parking spaces, roads marked “no parking” is not allowed.
  • The Bluffton Police Department monitors parking off campus. Violations and fines for violations are under the authority of the Village of Bluffton and the Bluffton Police Department. For courtesy and good will of the university’s neighbors, residential students should not park on streets near university property. The Village of Bluffton has enacted an ordinance restricting night-time parking unless the vehicle holds a homeowner’s parking permit on all the following areas adjacent to campus:
    • From and including Grove Street to and including Elm Street
    • From Bentley Road to and including Main Street
    • College Avenue between Spring Street and Jackson Street
  • All unregistered cars will have license plates investigated by the business office and fines issued to the vehicle owners.
  • Failure to display a valid State of Ohio or Bluffton University accessible permit when parked in accessible spaces.


Fines and loss of privilege

All parking violations will be added to the student's account. Appeal procedures are available online.  

Fines for parking violations are as follows:

  • Parking in incorrect lot: $25 per daily violation
  • Parking in fire lanes, no flashers or exceeding 10 minute limit: $25 per daily violation
  • Unregistered vehicles in correct lot: $5 first violation, $25 second violation
  • Failure to display permit: $5 per daily violation
  • Stolen, altered or unauthorized use of parking sticker: $25 per daily violation
  • Parking in handicapped area: $50 per daily violation
  • Multiple vehicles parked in same lot: $25 per daily violation
  • No valid parking permit: $25 per daily violation
  • Taking two or more parking spaces: $10 per daily violation
  • Blocking Drive/access: $10 per daily violation
  • Parking in non-designated parking area: $10 per daily violation
  • Parking in reserved space: $25 per daily violation
  • Reckless/hazardous operation of vehicle: $25 per violation
  • Any cost with identifying unregistered vehicles will be passed on to the student or owner
  • All other parking violations: $5 per daily violation


Additional Outcomes for parking and operating violations

  • Students parking in a fire lane, accessible spot or other reserved parking space on campus without authorization may be ticketed by the Bluffton Police Department.
  • Any student in possession of a permit that has been stolen, altered or used without authorization from the university representative will be automatically referred to the Dean of Students to go through the campus conduct process.      
  • Any student who has been issued more than five tickets in an academic year will be referred to the Dean of Students to go through the campus conduct process for failure to comply with the directive of a college official. Additional outcomes will result if the student is found in violation.


Abandoned vehicles

Vehicles are considered abandoned if they have been observed without movement for an extended period of time by University officials or are not cared for (e.g. rusted, flat tires or deteriorating). When such vehicles are identified, the following process will be observed:

  • A notification tag will be placed on the vehicle. This tag will include the date of the tag and action to be taken by the owner. If the vehicle is registered, the registered owner will be notified via email also.
  • Vehicles that have not been moved or fixed 30 days after being tagged will be towed at the owner’s expense. Following towing, the vehicle and owner will be subject to the rules and regulations of the towing company. 


Security escort

Anyone wishing to have a security escort from assigned parking lots after 8 p.m. should call campus security at 419-303-3121.