Skip to main content

Parking Policies

The college has approximately 1,540 total parking spaces for more than 2,080 registered faculty, staff, and student vehicles. Therefore, the college does not guarantee that there will be a space available in the parking system for every vehicle registered and strongly discourages students from bringing their motor vehicles to Northampton. First-year students may not bring a vehicle to campus. First-year students found in violation of this policy will be referred to the College Conduct Board.

The main student parking areas are limited to 218 spaces; perimeter parking areas are limited to 80 spaces. (Total number of student decals is 298.) The Campus Safety Parking Office will announce when the sale of decals will commence. Decals will be offered first to seniors, then juniors, and a waiting list will be established for sophomores. Decals for the main student parking areas cost $150 and $25 for perimeter parking. Student vehicles must be parked in student parking (green lined or perimeter spaces) at all times. When affixing a new decal, any expired Smith College decals must be removed from vehicle.

  1. Commuter (Day) students with registered vehicles may purchase a decal for $25 and park in red lined spaces on the upper level in the Parking Garage. Commuter student parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Vehicles with commuter student decals may also park occasionally overnight and on weekends in the Parking Garage top level except during snow emergencies. If a space cannot be found on the top level of the Parking Garage during the snow ban, parking will be allowed in white lined spaces on campus during class attendance.
  2. Students housed in off-campus College housing who wish to bring and park their vehicle on campus must also purchase a commuter student parking decal and follow the set rules for commuter student parking. The City of Northampton governs on-street parking regulations and parking there is at your own risk.
  3. Unregistered vehicles on campus are subject to ticketing, booting, and towing.
  4. Students’ guests must register with the Campus Safety Parking Office. Please visit the Campus Safety Parking Office website at for more information on visitor parking.
  5. The college proactively enforces its parking regulations via a fine system. Vehicles that have accumulated three or more unpaid tickets will be subject to increased fines, booting, towing, and their owners may lose their parking privileges or ability to purchase a decal for the upcoming year. Any unpaid violations at the end of the school year will be billed to the student's account through Student Financial Services.

All students are warned that parking on the streets of Northampton is very limited. Students may not park overnight on Kensington Avenue. Only Kensington Ave. property owners or their tenants will be allowed to park overnight on Kensington Ave. There is a parking ordinance in effect in the city of Northampton that calls for alternate-side, alternate-day parking on several streets near the Quadrangle: Harrison, and Washington Avenues and Dryads Green. It is based on a system of odd days (1,3,5, etc.) and even days (2,4,6, etc.). This means that every day at 11 a.m., if your car is parked on one of these streets, you must move it to the side that is legal for that day or to a legal parking place on some other street. Illegally parked cars will be ticketed and towed at the expense of the owner.

A second ordinance in effect citywide calls for ticketing of cars that are parked within three feet of driveways. Students are urged to be considerate of the college's neighbors and not to block driveways, walkways and alleys. Parking should be only in designated student college parking areas with proper decal or off-campus private lots or garages for rent.

During weather emergencies, parking is prohibited on all city streets. Weather emergencies may be called on any day, however these are more common during the snow season. Parking on the streets of Northampton during weather emergencies is prohibited. Therefore, the college requests and strongly encourages students to purchase a Smith College parking decal and to park in designated lots rather than on the residential streets surrounding the campus. Campus Safety and Northampton police will ticket and tow cars that have violated specific parking regulations.

Weather Related Emergency Parking Policy

In the event of an impending storm, Smith College will monitor weather reports. A parking ban will be issued via e-mail from Smith College when the emergency goes into effect. The ban will have instructions for students, faculty and staff which will include: when the parking ban goes into effect for campus lots, the time by which vehicles should be moved, and the designated student lots you may park in. The parking ban expiry is included in the notification email. Decaled student vehicles must remain in designated lots until the ban is lifted.

The parking ban is not related to any decision about delayed opening of the college. Information concerning a delay, if any, will be available on the College Info Line (585-4636) and local radio and television stations beginning at approximately 6:30 a.m.

A student with a green student decal or yellow perimeter decal who leaves campus during the December recess or January term and wants to keep their vehicle on campus must park their vehicle in a designated parking lot in case there is a parking ban during their absence.

All questions regarding the winter parking season, snow emergencies or general parking questions should be directed to the Campus Safety Parking Office at extension 2277 or by emailing

With limited parking on campus, we are unable to provide parking to off-campus students who do not have a parking decal.

Winter Parking Season for the City of Northampton

The City of Northampton may call a parking ban at any time, which may not coincide with the College’s parking ban and vice versa. For information on a Northampton snow emergency and related parking bans, please call the City of Northampton Winter Information Line at 586-6969. You can also subscribe to an e-mail alert system. To sign up for Northampton alerts go to and join the DPW Alerts mailing list to receive e-mail notification of snow emergencies and parking bans.  Northampton may call a snow emergency for extended days and when there is not a snow emergency at Smith.

During a snow emergency, the owner of any vehicle that is parked on city streets in violation of the above ordinance shall be fined and or towed by the Department of Public Works or the Northampton Police Department, and the owner of the vehicle will be responsible for the cost of towing and any storage charges that may accrue.

Motor Vehicles Operated by Non-Resident Students Attending College in Massachusetts

The non-resident will be processed as follows: The Campus Safety Parking Office will collect all non-resident forms and will submit them in batches to the agencies that require the documents. We will provide students with the decal that needs to be placed on the windshield while you are living in the state of Massachusetts.

G.L. Chapter 90, Sec. 3M

  • "It is unlawful for a nonresident student to fail to file a nonresident driver statement with the police department located in the same city or town as the school or college attended, in accordance with Section 3 of Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Failure to file such statement is punishable by a fine not to exceed $200."

"Every nonresident enrolled as a student at a school or college in the commonwealth who operates a motor vehicle registered in another state or country during any period beginning on September the first of any year and ending on August the thirty-first of the following year shall file in quadruplicate with the police department of the city or town in which such school or college is located, on a form approved by the registrar of motor vehicles, a statement signed by him under the penalties of perjury providing the following information: the registration number and make of the motor vehicle and the state or country of registration, the name and address of the owner, the names and addresses of all insurers providing liability insurance covering operation of the motor vehicle, the legal residence of such nonresident and his residence while attending such school or college and the name and address of the school or college which he is attending.

He shall also maintain in full force a policy of liability insurance providing indemnity for or protection to him and to any person responsible for the operation of such motor vehicle with his express or implied consent against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting there from, caused by such motor vehicle, at least to the amount or limits required in a motor vehicle liability policy as defined in section 34 A. The police department with whom any such statement is filed in triplicate shall send one copy thereof to the registrar of motor vehicles and one copy to such school or college.

Any such nonresident who fails to comply with the provisions of this paragraph shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars. From the copies of the statements received from the police department, as hereinbefore provided, each such school or college shall compile and maintain a register of all such nonresidents enrolled as students thereat which shall be available for inspection at all reasonable times by the registrar, his agents, and safety officers, and shall issue to each such student such serially numbered or lettered decal as may be prescribed by the registrar, which decal shall be affixed to the uppermost center portion of the windshield. Such register shall contain the numbers or letters of the decal issued to each such student, the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle, the residential address of the student within the commonwealth, if any, while attending such school or college, the residential address of the student without the commonwealth, the registration number, make and type of the motor vehicle and the state, province or country of registration, and the names and addresses of all insurers providing liability insurance covering operation of the motor vehicle. Any such school or college which fails to compile and maintain a register or to issue a decal as required by this paragraph shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for each such offense."

Amended by Chapter 353, Acts of 1970
Effective August 19, 1970

Updated July 2023