VIU Nanaimo Campus Looking West

VIU Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) System

Employees will no longer be able to purchase parking permits through the payroll deduction program. The change is a continuation of the rollout of the Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) system which was launched in July 2018 by Facilities Services and Campus Development in conjunction with WestPark.

Q. Why is the employee payroll deduction option no longer available?

The reason for this change is to allow for more flexibility in how and when people pay for parking in future, and streamline the process so all parking-related transactions, including renewals, cancellations and adding licence plates, are centralized on the online permit portal.

Q. I was using the employee payroll deduction system what are my options now?

We encourage employees to familiarize themselves with the online permit portal, as it replaced the payroll deduction option. The online portal still allows employees to purchase a 12-month parking pass and make equal monthly payments through pre-authorized debit (identified as “PAD” in the parking portal) directly through WestPark. Users will be asked to upload and attach a copy of a void cheque or pre-authorized debit form (available through your bank or online banking) when they sign up. Annual permits are also now available for purchase anytime of the year, as opposed to being strictly on a July 1 - June 30 cycle.

Q. I didn’t get a parking renewal notice/my notice said payroll deduction needed to be renewed. What does this mean?

Reminders contained outdated information and some have not been delivered as they have been blocked as spam. In order to verify your renewal date, please log in through the web parking portal. To ensure everyone has an appropriate amount of time to renew, VIU is extending the employee renewal deadline to July 15. Payroll deduction is no longer an option for renewal, as explained above.

Q. I’m not comfortable giving my banking information to a third party. What are my options?

The existing options of paying online via credit card, or in person with cash, cheque or money order still remain.

Q. Does the cost of parking change?

No. The existing rate structure will not change, and they have stayed constant since 2013.

Q. What are the parking options and fees?

Student Rates

Pass Duration



1 month



4 month






Employee Rates

Pass Duration



1 month



4 month






Employee Econo Pass

Pass Duration






Q. How can I purchase a permit?

You can purchase a long-term permit (annual, semester, monthly) online through the web parking portal. You can purchase short-term tickets (hourly, daily) through the pay stations located on the Nanaimo Campus, or by using the pay-by-phone mobile app (Paybyphone) available in the respective app stores for Android, Apple and Blackberry. In addition you can apply for your permit online, and once you have received a confirmation email pay via cash, cheque or money order through the VIU parking office located in Building 315, Room 110. The in-person payment options are not available for people who want to pay equal monthly installments. It is only available for lump sum payments.

Q. What forms of payment can be used online? What other options are there?

Payment for long-term permits can be made online be using debit or a major credit card. Additionally, they can be purchased at the VIU parking office with cash, cheque or money order. Short-term tickets can be purchased at the on-site kiosks using debit or a major credit card or by using the pay-by-phone mobile app.

Q. Why did VIU change to the LPR system?

Our existing parking system infrastructure (pay stations, software) was at the end of its useful life, and VIU needed to replace that infrastructure. Rather than replacing the system like-for-like, the new system was chosen through a competitive process as it best fit the long-term needs of VIU and provides a better customer service experience for all of the people who park on VIU’s Nanaimo campus.

Q. How does LPR work?

An LPR system is installed in a VIU vehicle, with cameras affixed to the roof. This vehicle is driven through parking areas on campus, capturing licence plates and comparing them to a database of plates that have paid to park, whether by long-term permit or short-term ticket. If a vehicle is found to have not paid for parking or time has expired, the WestPark parking ambassador is alerted and the vehicle will be subject to a parking infraction notice.

Q. Why was this technology chosen?

LPR will help VIU provide a better customer experience for those parking on campus. It will eliminate the need to place a printed proof of parking payment in a vehicle. This technology will allow for more flexibility in how the system is administered, including making carpooling easier and eliminating the need for return trips to the vehicle to place a short-term ticket.

Q. How does LPR improve parking at VIU’s Nanaimo Campus?

There are several advantages to this parking system:

  • No more lost permits or tickets, forgetting to display a permit or ticket, or permits or tickets falling out of view
  • Eliminates the need to move permits from vehicle to vehicle. It is possible to have up to ten cars on one permit
  • As the system will allow WestPark to process parking permits more efficiently, there will be more time for security guards to focus on patrolling the campus and responding to calls
  • No need to return to your vehicle to display a paper ticket
  • More seamless, efficient event parking
  • Promotes carpooling by allowing multiple licence plates on the same permit (up to 10)
  • Reduces waste and litter on campus

Q. What is permit-less parking?

Permit-less parking means that there is no physical permit to display on your vehicle. Customers simply enter their licence plate number at the time of purchase so the LPR system can recognize it when on patrol. These permits are called virtual permits.

Q. How does a virtual permit work?

A virtual permit replaces the physical permit that you either hang from your rear view mirror or ticket you purchase from a parking dispenser and place on your dash. Your licence plate is now the identifier within our parking system to determine if parking has been paid for.

Q. Can I park in any lot or area now that there are no physical permits?

All lots will retain their current categorization (Employee, Student, Short-Term, etc). Vehicles parked in areas that they are not permitted to park in will receive a parking infraction notice.

Q. How will parking infraction notices be issued?

You will receive a physical copy of the parking infraction notice on your window.

Q. If Nanaimo campus security is no longer patrolling parking lots and handing out parking infraction notices, is there a cost savings to VIU?

This change will give campus security more capacity to patrol campus and be more visible and present, it will not change the number of security guards on campus. Redeploying guards away from parking duties will not save money, but will contribute to a safer and more welcoming campus as well as decrease their response time to first aid calls.

Q. What if I own more than one vehicle?

You may register up to 10 vehicle licence plates under one long-term permit. The LPR system will allow only one vehicle to be parked on campus at any one time. Any additional vehicles on the campus at the same time would have to purchase an additional virtual permit or risk receiving a parking infraction notice.

Q. What happens if I don’t have a virtual permit when I initially park?

A short grace period is provided to non-permitted vehicles upon their arrival to allow individuals enough time to purchase a ticket from a nearby dispenser, or the pay-by-phone mobile app.

Q. Can I top up a short-term ticket that is about to expire?

Yes, this can be done if you use the pay-by-phone mobile app to purchase your initial ticket, without returning to your vehicle. You can also opt-in to this app sending you a reminder notification on your phone when your parking has nearly expired.

Q. What if I get a new vehicle or licence plate number?

Your licence plate information must be kept current and correct in order to avoid unnecessary parking infraction notices. You can manage your licence plates through the web parking portal.

Q. What other organizations use LPR?

LPR systems are becoming more and more prevalent, and are currently used by Capilano University, UBC, UVic, UNBC as well as numerous municipalities in British Columbia such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Burnaby, Whistler and others.

Q. How will the collected data be used?

The LPR system will be used to determine parking compliance with the established VIU rates and parking rules. Information collected may be used as a criminal investigative tool if requested by the RCMP, and for the purposes of property management such as determining parking lot usage. VIU collects, used, stores and discloses data in accordance with the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Q. How will my personal banking information be managed securely and safely, and what happens if the contract with WestPark is not continued in future?

We operate under a master parking agreement which strictly outlines the responsibilities of both VIU and our parking service provider in regards to confidentiality as well as adherence to all applicable laws within British Columbia. This includes limitations on how personal information is shared, and each parties obligations around confidentiality. In addition, VIU owns the hardware and system, so we can maintain control of information even if there is a provider change. WestPark has provided the following information with respect to its company policies and responsibilities:

WestPark is committed to maintaining a high level of security and protection of our customers' private information. Credit card payment information is stored and encrypted in our monthly management software.  Our application is running from servers hosted in a physically-secured environment in our Canadian facilities.  The servers are managed by our IT experts who are also industry experts and have on-staff resources on privacy and data protection.  Bank account information for Pre-authorized Debits is available for view from authorized WestPark employees only to edit accounts should the customer wish to change the debit bank account.  All physical submissions, such as the monthly parking contracts, are scanned into our software and paper copies are disposed in a secure matter.  Customer data is never shared with third parties.  Should WestPark cease to provide parking management services at VIU, our normal protocol would be to archive all transactional information required for statutory purposes, and all payment information tied to customer accounts are immediately deleted and unrecoverable once the archive process has been initiated. 

Q. How will disability passes be impacted?

The existing parking structure will continue with regards to use of parking spots, however those with a disability parking pass will need to register their licence plate(s) through the web portal linked above, and once a confirmation of approval email is received, show their disability permit at the VIU parking office. If you are unable to get to the parking office, please call the office at 250-740-6512 to make other arrangements.

Q. What should VIU departments do with purchased guest passes they are still holding?

Physical guest passes were phased out on July 16, 2018. Departments now receive electronic coupon codes compatible with the new LPR system. There will be no additional costs to the department.

Q. How does the economy supplement work under the new system?

In order to make use of the economy supplement, (for employees with econo passes wanting to park in employee lots for the day) employees much pre-purchase coupon codes through the parking office. These codes can then be used at the parking pay station when parking in lots designated for employees.

Q. If I want to purchase a motorcycle only pass, how do I do this?

If you plan to use both a motorcycle and car with your long-term pass, you must pay full price for the full car pass. However, if you are only going to park a motorcycle on campus, there is a reduced rate available. Please buy a regular car pass online using the links above, and then visit the VIU parking office in order to be reimbursed for the difference between what you've paid and the motorcycle pass cost.