How to Design a Parking Permit: The Ultimate Guide

How to Design a Parking Permit: The Ultimate Guide

Parking permits are essential to managing parking in both public and private areas. They allow authorized drivers to park in designated spaces, create organized traffic patterns, and overall reduce traffic and parking–related headaches for everyone.

But all this raises an important question: What exactly goes on a parking permit and how do you design one? To answer that, we’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your parking permits, make sure they include all the necessary information, and help you create your perfect permit!

Secure Your Spot with Custom Hang Tag Parking Permits 

What are Parking Permits?

Parking permits are like hall passes. They tell you – and parking attendants – where you’re allowed to be. These can be stickers, vinyl clings, or laminated tags that hang from a rearview mirror.

For drivers and business owners alike, a parking permit separates your parking area into set zones that are easy for drivers to navigate and help you control the flow – and overflow – of traffic around your business or event.


Yellow sticker parking permit on the bumper of a black car


3 Benefits of Parking Permits

When you think of “parking permits,” you might imagine parking garages and private lots. Those are certainly a few places where they appear, but there are several other benefits and use cases for these tags. 


1. Parking Lot Organization

Parking permits make it easy to manage the handicapped-only parking spaces in your lot. Hospitals and doctors’ offices may mark off parking, and issue permits, for expectant parents and other frequent visitors as well. Event spaces can create additional zones for catering, loading/drop off, and performers.

Whatever your needs, chances are you can think of a few ways you’d like to organize your parking lot for both ease of use and to minimize traffic congestion.


2. Enhanced Security

Parking permits are an integral part of controlling who is and isn’t allowed into your lot or other parking spaces. Permits make it easy for attendants or security agents to check each vehicle coming into your lot, as well as those already parked.

Parking security measures aren’t just for private, higher-security areas. Various businesses and organizations use permits to create secure parking zones, such as hospitals, schools, and law offices.


3. Reserved Parking

Again, handicapped parking may be the first example that springs to mind here, but reserved parking can apply to a variety of situations. Students, residents, employees, pickups and deliveries – these are all common situations in which parking permits can be used to create reserved parking areas.

As noted above, this can be for security or to control congestion in high-traffic areas, such as schools, downtown business districts, and high-population residential areas.

Who Needs Parking Permits?

The answer is a lot more than you might realize. So many businesses and organizations across industries use (and benefit from) parking permits every single day. 


  • Hospitals create patient, employee, and emergency vehicle zones
  • Arenas and Convention Centers create and control traffic patterns during big events
  • Fairs and Festivals funnel vendors, performers, and attendees into specifically designated areas
  • Downtown Business Districts offset congestion with permit-only lots for employees, leaving street-side parking for visitors and customers


    5801 hang tag parking permit


    Design Your Custom Parking Permit in 5 Steps

    Once you’ve decided that issuing parking permits is the right decision for your business or organization, it’s time to design your parking permit. Here are our five pro tips to help you get the most out of your final product.

    Step 1: Determine the Size of Your Parking Permit

    Parking permits come in several shapes and sizes. Ultimately, you’ll decide what works best for you and those receiving your permits. That said, one of the key considerations for permits, especially when it comes to size, is visibility.

    Parking attendants and other security personnel need to be able to see vehicle tags with ease, so they can quickly and efficiently control the flow of traffic or check a parking area.

    Think about the circumstances under which permits will be checked – day vs. night time, as people enter an event or after they’re parked - when deciding what size permit works for you.


    Step 2: Choose Your Parking Permit Style and Material

    When it comes to the physical aspect of your parking permit, there are typically three options. Here’s a quick look at each material to help you decide:

  • Stickers are the most permanent option, as they can’t be removed from a vehicle easily, making them ideal for official, organization-owned vehicles. They are quite durable, which makes placement on the outside of the vehicle an option.
  • Vinyl Clings are easy to reposition and are ideal for glass surfaces. Size options are a little broader but still limited, particularly if placement will be on a windshield. Clings are placed inside the vehicle (face application), so you don’t have to worry about exposure to rain or snow, but durability around withstanding extreme temperatures is still a must.
  • Hanging Tags are hung from the rearview mirror, after a vehicle is parked. This means you can choose a size that is quite large and not worry about it interfering with someone when they’re driving. Like with clings, you still need a durable material that can withstand the extreme heat and cold inside a vehicle.

  • Step 3: Decide What Info to Display

    When deciding what information to display on your custom parking permits, start with who is going to be checking your parking areas. What will they need to know about who is parking there? How many lots do you have designated for specific needs? The answers to these questions are your core considerations.

    It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how large your permit is, you’re still going to be limited on how much information you can fit onto it. This is why many businesses, especially those with larger parking areas and multiple lots, create codes for their permits. These codes can include numbers, letters and colors, creating an easy-to-read system, so attendants and security can identify vehicles quickly.

    Additional security measures can include adding more specific identifying information to your parking permits so that each person has their own unique code. This is more important in high-security areas, with restricted access.


    Step 4: Add Branding to Your Custom Parking Permit

    As mentioned, parking permits are relatively small and should be deliberate in your design choices. Does adding your logo make sense for your business and its parking security needs?

    Branding is useful for higher security areas as well. A prominent logo, graphic or other easy-to-spot element on your parking permits can make checking entering or parked vehicles easier and faster.

    Make sure to weigh both your security and your visibility needs when considering adding brand-related elements to your parking permits.


    Step 5: Additional Security Features to Consider

    Additional security measures include assigning unique codes to each individual permit. Some may even include an image of the permit holder, taken from an ID badge or their driver’s license.

    Individual codes are often used in conjunction with assigned parking spots, especially in parking garages. Government organizations may use such measures, as well as apartment complexes.

    Many places with a high population turnover, such as universities and, again, apartment complexes, will issue permits with expiration dates. This prevents previous permit holders from entering or remaining in a space where they no longer have permission to be.


    Office hang tag parking permit on a wood table


    Take the Next Step with Stomp

    Stomp has all the tools and resources you need to create the perfect custom parking permit design for your business, organization, or event.

    Our custom design tool walks you through the process of creating your design from start to finish. It’s intuitive and easy to use, helping you explore and choose from a wide variety of materials, sizes, and other design elements. Upload your own design or start from scratch.

    Check out our custom hang tag parking permits, and get started with your own design today.


    Secure Your Spot with Custom Hang Tag Parking Permits

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    • Nashira Edmiston