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UNF converting to virtual parking passes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida will not issue parking stickers beginning with the fall semester, but that doesn't mean on-campus parking is free.

Students, faculty and staff will still apply for parking permits that will be tied to their vehicle's license plate.

Administrators said student license plates of parked vehicles will be scanned by a manned vehicle with a camera to verify that the car is permitted to be there. That means vehicles cannot be backed into parking spaces.

"I'm not a huge fan of it because I feel like it could cost more and it's more of an inconvenience because we're not allowed to back in unless we have a fee of $50 which seems really extravagant," said UNF sophomore Sarah Blackwell.

The additional $50 for a back-in permit will be in addition to $95-$205 fee for the regular annual pass.

Some students say the new permit method prompts safety concerns.

"I feel backing in is safer. You're farther up in the car, and you can see easier for ongoing traffic," new student Lyndsay Bell said.

Administrators said the new parking pass will save the university $95,000 in printing, mailing and hiring parking staff.

Other universities, including the Florida State University, have already converted to virtual parking passes tied to license plates.