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A safe and secure campus

Drake University is proactive in one of its most important goals — ensuring the safety and security of our students and campus community.

Our mission: a safe, secure campus

The mission of Drake Public Safety is to provide a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. Drake Public Safety strives to achieve this mission through a community friendly approach that enhances safety through the visibility of Public Safety personnel, preventive patrols, 24-hour accessibility, positive conflict resolution, and crime prevention and awareness programs. Drake Public Safety collaborates with local law enforcement and community organizations in fulfilling its mission.

In addition to their role in keeping the campus community safe, Drake Public Safety officers also are trained to assist in medical emergencies and have access to portable defibrillators for use in emergency situations.

Drake University

Parking FAQ

Parking FAQ

Why are parking regulations changing? 

The changes are designed to accomplish four key goals: (1) to provide a more predictable parking experience; (2) to ensure adequate parking, evenly distributed across campus; (3) to advance the pedestrian friendly nature of campus; and (4) to enhance the visitor parking experience.

What changes are being made for commuters?

The primary change is that when purchasing a parking tag, commuters will have the option to select a designated zone, based on their parking and fee preferences. A commuter hang tag will be issued for each zone, based on a pre-designated color. Parkers must park in their designated zone.

What if I have a Handicap Permit?

If you have a State issued Handicap Permit you must still purchase a Drake Permit to park in Drake owned lots.  We reccomend that you purchase a permit for the lot you primarily park in, but if you need to park in another lot and there is a handicap space available in that lot you can park in that handicap space as long as you have both a State Handicap Permit and a Drake permit dispalyed.  Please note that you may not park anywhere else in a lot not designated for your permit between 6 am - 4:30 pm Monday- Friday, only in available handicap spaces.

What changes are being made for residential parkers?

As in the past, residential parkers will be assigned to residential lots. Residential students are encouraged not to bring a car to campus. First Year residential students who elect not to bring a car to campus and purchase a residential permit will be provided $40 toward use of the enterprise rental cars on campus.

Will parking cost me more under the new system?

The cost of parking is linked to which type of permit and for commuters, to the zone selected. Commuters will have the option to pay less, if they elect one of the low-demand lots. For those who select a permit within a high-demand lot, pricing will be more. The pricing of all zones is based on demand, as measured in a comprehensive parking study in 2018.

Is there enough parking on campus with the closure of several lots for construction?

Yes. A comprehensive parking study conducted in 2018, reports that even after the removal of the three lots for construction, there remain almost 500 more spots than registered users. The study also revealed that there are lots that have a higher level of demand, which contributed to frustration and perceptions of limited parking. The zone system will provide a more predictable parking experience and ensure adequate parking, evenly distributed across campus.

What other things does Drake offer to promote alternative modes of transportation?

Drake provides free bus passes on the DART system. Anyone with a Drake ID can simply show their ID upon boarding a DART bus. (With the exception of special DART services, like the State Fair shuttle). Members of the campus community can also access rental cars using the WeCar system on campus. (link). Bicycle friendly resources are also available, including the BCycle stations and Bike Library. The City of Des Moines is also working to improve bike access to campus, including a new bike lane feature which will be added along University Avenue between 25th and 31st street as part of the University Avenue Streetscape project. Drake students can also utilize the Safe Ride buses Sunday – Wednesday from the hours of 8 pm to 1:15 am and Thursday – Saturday from 8 pm – 2:45 am.

What if I generally take the bus, but need to drive periodically?

If you use alternative means to get to campus, such as the DART bus system, biking or ride share, but need to occasionally park on campus, single day passes are available and can be used in Lot 4 (Tennis Center) Yellow Zone and in lot 1A White Zone - Visitor parking

What If I have a permit in another zone, but need to go to another building just to drop something off?

Metered spots will be available in White Zones, lots 1A and lot 20. If you are dropping something off in another building and have questions about the options available to you, contact Public Safety at 271-2222.

What steps are being taken to ensure enforcement of the new zone system?

Public Safety is currently working on a plan for enhanced enforcement. A lot enforcement team comprised of student workers and public safety staff is being assembled. It is critically important that enforcement efforts are maintained so that the integrity of the new zone-based system can be preserved. Community members should expect increased enforcement efforts.

I received a ticket, what can I do?

Tickets can be paid at the Student Services Center during business hours. Any vehicle parked outside of the Central Parking Zones with 3 or more tickets is subject to being booted or towed at the owner’s expense.

What about Drake Relays and other special Events?

All parking regulations are in effect during the Drake Relays until 9 am to allow for faculty, students, and staff with valid permits to park.  After 9 am lots are open to visitors. For the two large University Admissions events in the Fall and Spring as well as the University Job Fair in the Spring, Zone 1 may be closed.  If Zone 1 is closed permit holders are allowed to park in any other Zone except for Zone 2 and 3. Announcements about this will be made in OnCampus.

What about Athletic Events?

Zone 3 will close at 8 pm on the Friday before home football games for the Fan Experience. Valid University permits will be allowed in University lots during sporting events.

 If I want more information about parking changes where do I go?

Please refer to the parking section of the Public Safety Web page

 Parking Permit Changes

Effective August 1, 2019 parking permits at Drake will be issued by designated zone. There will be lots (zones) dedicated to commuter parking and residential parking.  Commuters will have the option to purchase a permit within a particular zone. High demand lots will cost more, while low demand peripheral parking lots will cost less.   

Residential Permits

Students who live on campus are encouraged not to bring cars to campus. When off-campus employment or other circumstances make it desirable to have a car, however, students may purchase a residential parking permit. Residential parking permits are only good for residential lots.  

Commuter Permits

Those who commute to campus, including students, may purchase a commuter permit for a particular zone, based on their parking and price preferences. High demand lots cost more, while low demand peripheral lots cost less. Commuter parking permits are limited to lots within the selected zone.

Parking Permit Rates

Commuter Tier I (High Demand Lots) - $250

Commuter Tier II (Moderate Demand Lots) - $125


  • Parking Designated by Zones & Colors
    • Tier I Commuter
      • Zone 1 – Yellow – Lot 16, Olmsted
      • Zone 2 – Red – Lot 13, Wifet Plaza
      • Zone 3 – Green – Lots 18&18N
    • Tier II Commuter
      • Zone 4 – Orange – Commuter Lots East of 27th Street
      • Zone 5 – Grape – Commuter Lots West of 27th
    • Residential Parking
      • Zone 6 – Blue
    • Visitor Parking
      • Zone 7 – White – Lot 1A and Lot 20
  • Central Parking
    • Enforced Monday – Friday from 6 am until 4:30 pm
    • Central Zones towing between 6 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday
  • Parking Enforcement

I have someone visiting; can they get a short term permit to park on campus? Yes, for daily permits click here, for Weekly Residential Permits click here.

If I don’t have a permit can I park in the Drake lots if it snows? No, a permit is always needed to park in a Drake lot, except for special announced events.

If I can’t find a space, can I park on the grass? No, Parking on grass is prohibited.

Does Drake tow cars from lots? Drake University reserves the right to tow illegally parked cars, cars without permits in Drake owned lots, or cars with multiple unpaid parking citations.

How can I appeal a ticket?  You can appeal a ticket on-line or by stopping into the Public Safety Office.


If you have any questions about parking on campus, please contact Drake Public Safety at 515-271-2222.


For general parking information please visit our parking information page.

Policy Statement


Drake Public Safety,
    non-emergency - 515-271-2222

- Des Moines police, fire, ambulance,
     emergency - 911

-  Des Moines police,
     non-emergency 515-283-4811

- Student Health Center  

- Employee Assistance Program

Title IX