Back to School Information

Now that you’re a part of our community…

Student Links

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
John A. Logan College
Student Legal Assistance
First Gov. - U.S. Government
State of Illinois

Welcome to Carbondale, an award winning city that over 26,000 people call home. We’re glad to have you join our community and want your stay here to be a pleasant one. Now that you are a part of our community, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the following information to help you get the most out of living in Carbondale. Please call us at 618-549-5302 if we can be of further assistance.

Your Safety Is Important

Emergency Services

Carbondale’s Police and Fire Services are staffed around the clock everyday of the year. If you need emergency help, it’s only minutes away and can be obtained by calling 911. Ambulance service is provided by Jackson County and can also be obtained by calling 911.

Take A Bite Out Of Crime

Although the City has a relatively low crime rate, you need to exercise good common sense to protect yourself and your property. Don’t be a victim of crime. The Police Department offers a number of services to help “take a bite out of crime.” Consider joining a Neighborhood Watch Program and ask about a residential security survey. If you’re leaving town for vacation or break, stop in and complete a request for House Watch Service while you are away.

If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers at 618-549-COPS (2677). You may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Also be sure that your valuable property is engraved or marked for identification.

Register Your Bicycle

The cost is $2 for a two-year license and is required by City ordinance. City ordinance also prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks. For more information regarding registration, click here

Law Enforcement Programs

The Carbondale Police Department website is accessible for more information as well as using the non-emergency number 618-457-3200 for information on any of the programs that are offered.

The SIU Public Safety Department works closely with the City Police. If you are living on campus, call SIU Police for assistance or information.

Fire Prevention and False Alarms

The Carbondale Fire Department responds to all fire related calls both on and off campus. The Department has an active, full-time fire prevention bureau whose personnel will provide information free of charge on fire protection and fire escape plans. False alarms endanger the public and City employees who must respond to them. When the number of fire alarms to a particular property exceeds five, fees are charged and these may be passed on to you as a tenant of the building. Help us keep the number of false alarms to a minimum. Causing a fire alarm is a crime and you can be arrested and prosecuted under State law or City Ordinance.

Look over the Checklist for Off-Campus Living from the Fire Department

Living Off Campus

Water and Sewer Service

Many off-campus Housing units require the tenant to be responsible for utilities. In order to obtain water and/or sewer service from the City, you must apply either by mail by filling out the application; Water and Sewer Connect Form or in person at the Revenue Office in City Hall. A minimum security deposit of $100.00 is required at the time of application. To avoid delays, please apply for service at least three days in advance of when you want the service to begin. In some areas of the City, water service is provided by a separate water district while the City provides sewer service. In these cases, you must apply for the services from both utilities, the water district and the City. Normal Business Office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Special Back to School Business Office will be available on Saturdays with hours from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on specified days in August. The Business Office is located at 200 South Illinois Avenue, P.O. Box 2947, Carbondale, IL 62902-2947 or call 618-549-5302.

Refuse Collection and Recycling Service

You can also arrange for weekly curbside refuse collection service at our Business Office or by calling 618-457-3275. More information is available within the Public Works Division. When you apply for service, be sure to ask about collection routes, landscape waste special collections, and solid waste and recycling collection regulations.

If you live in a single home or duplex, you will automatically be eligible to participate in curbside recycling of paper, glass, plastic bottles, and aluminum or tin. For those who do not or cannot participate in the curbside program, the City has provided a drop-off facility located on the south side of East College across from the Police Department, and in the parking lot of University Baptist Church at Oakland and Freeman.

Parking in Carbondale

If you have a vehicle, you need to be aware of where, when and how you park in Carbondale. The City, SIU and private property owners all enforce parking in their respective parking areas. The City provides convenient public parking and operates metered parking lots in the Downtown area and adjacent to campus. Metered parking is 25 cents per hour. Parking permits are available in some areas, including parking lots located adjacent to the SIU campus, for $18 per month. The City enforces parking through the issuance of tickets, impounding vehicles by using the “Denver boot” (immobilization of the vehicle), or, in cases where the vehicle has been abandoned or is inappropriately parked, by towing. Parking is prohibited for longer than 72 hours on the street. Also, parking is prohibited in yards and when sidewalks and driveways are blocked. Be aware that several private parking lots are reserved for Residents or Business customers and are patrolled by private towing companies. For more information, please call 618-457-3278. More information of parking in the City of Carbondale or on the Campus of Southern Illinois University can be accessd by viewing our Parking and Permits Site.

For more information visit the Transportation and Parking Webpage or the Saluki Bus Mass Transit Webpage.


A variety of Housing alternatives exist in Carbondale. As you consider your options, please keep in mind the following:


In many areas of the City no more than two unrelated people can share a residence. Be sure to check with the City Planning Services Division to see if this applies. Failure to comply may result in eviction and stiff fines.

Housing Code

To protect your health and safety, properties must meet minimum standards. To assist you in securing safe and suitable Housing, the City administers a Mandatory Rental Housing Inspection Program whereby all rental properties are inspected at least once every three years for compliance with minimum Housing code standards. We encourage you to check to see if your Housing unit has been inspected by contacting the Building and Neighborhood Services Division.

Outside Appearance

Please be sensitive to community standards and neighborhood appearance. Grass and weeds cannot exceed six inches in height. Sidewalks must be kept free of litter and debris. Inoperable or unlicensed vehicles can not be stored on your property. It is also illegal to park cars in front yards, except in driveway areas, and to block sidewalks.

Neighborhood Life and Parties

Please be a good neighbor to those living around you. Your lifestyle may not be totally compatible with those around you. If you are having a party, there are a few laws that you need to be aware of:


It is unlawful to consume or possess alcohol if you are under age 21. There is a minimum fine of $250 for the first offense. It is unlawful to sell alcohol to anyone without a liquor license or to furnish or provide alcohol to anyone under age 21. It is also illegal to consume or possess open alcohol on public property, which includes public sidewalks, the area between the sidewalk and street, public streets and alleys. It is illegal to purchase or transport a keg of beer within the city limits between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.


City laws regulate noise which may be disturbing to neighbors. Keep your noise down; if your neighbors can hear your party, it’s probably too loud.


Keep your party under control. Don’t allow visitors to congregate in the street or on your neighbor’s property. Make sure they park their vehicles so that fire hydrants, sidewalks, and private driveways aren’t blocked or the vehicles may be towed.


There is a “zero tolerance” for litter. If your guests dispose of litter on your property, or if neighborhood litter can be traced to your party, you are responsible for cleaning it up promptly.

Entertainment and Nightlife in Carbondale

SIU has outstanding Recreation facilities and numerous activities throughout the year to help you unwind. Many Carbondale Businesses also offer entertainment that is student-oriented.

The City permits those persons 19 years of age and older to enter bars where much of the entertainment is offered. State law, however, prohibits the consumption of alcohol by those under 21. The “bar scene” is monitored by the Carbondale Police Department. Minors who are observed possessing or consuming alcohol will be arrested.

If you are 21 or over, drink responsibly. The City aggressively prosecutes those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who are involved in disturbances. We want you to have a good time in Carbondale, but please do so responsibly and within the law.

Register to Vote • It’s Easy

New Residents can register to vote in Carbondale by visiting the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 200 South Illinois Avenue. Two forms of identification are required. One of these must have your name and your local address in Jackson County.

If you are a student and need proof of voter registration to comply with residency requirements, we will be happy to provide you with a receipt at the time of registration.


 Back to the top


Show Menu
Hide Menu