Friday, September 2, 2011

Disabled Parking Placards: Everything You Want to Know. Or Should.


We’ve all seen them: the blue or red parking placards for the disabled hanging from interior mirrors of vehicles.
But we can all stand to learn more about them. 
I can only speak for laws in California, because that’s where I live. Everyone should check out their own state’s laws regarding obtaining and using a parking placard for the handicapped. I’m sure the information is available online.
How to qualify
Here’s the description copied from the California Department of Motor Vehicles website:
You may qualify for a DP(Disabled Person) placard or DPplates if you have impaired mobility due to having lost use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands, or have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility, or one who is severely disabled to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive devise. You may also qualify if you have specific, documented visual problems, including lower-vision or partial-sightedness.
I know, it reads like a partially-sighted person composed that, but you get the idea.
How to apply for one
Start with your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. They must sign off on the paperwork and many have forms in the office.  Alternatively, you can print the form online and bring it in with you. 


Don’t be afraid to request one from your health provider. It may not be on his or her priority list but it may be on yours. I needed one almost immediately when cancer struck, but even if you have a temporary affliction, it might be worth getting a temporary placard.
You can either mail in the form or bring it to the DMV and they’ll issue you a placard over the counter.
Types of placards
In California there are three basic types you can apply for: the red temporary placard, the blue permanent placard or the disabled person license plates. The red one is good for six months (and costs $6) and then you have to reapply with another form signed by a doctor.
The permanent placard is free and is good for two years. You do not have to reapply. One will be sent to you before your other one expires.
If you get the disabled license plates (also free), you need to surrender your current plates. The downside of that is that you give up the portability of the placard: You can put it in any car in which you are traveling, not only the one with the plates on it.
What they allow you to do
Everyone knows the disabled placards let you park in a space, usually blue, with the wheelchair symbol designating it as a handicapped spot.
You can also park in any metered street spot without paying at all. (Yippee. One teeny tiny thing that’s good about being handicapped.)
You can also park in any green zone without regard to time.
You CANNOT park where the curbs are white, yellow or red. A security guard I was talking to recently asked me if I realized I could park in any red zone. No, I said. He said his mom has a handicapped placard and that it is indeed true. Actually, he said, you can park anywhere.
No, you can't.
The paperwork that comes with the placard specifically spells out where you can and cannot park. Red, yellow and white curbs are forbidden.
Other benefits
If you have a disabled placard, a service station attendant must, on request, refuel your gas at the self-serve rate except if that station has only one employee on duty at the moment.
This law is pretty much useless to me.
I usually see only one employee at a station but can’t really tell from my driver’s seat how many people are on duty.
To inquire how many folks are on duty or to ask for help filling your tank you need to push a button that it is on the pump.
If I get all the way out of my car, collapse my walker so I can fit between the pump and my vehicle, and am positioned to reach the help button, I may as well fill‘er up myself. If I have trouble, which I do sometimes, there is usually a kind stranger  I can ask for help.
Another benefit, at least here in Los Angeles: valet parking companies will usually give you a discount or waive the rate if you hang your placard while you pull in. You still need to tip them, of course. 
What not to do
Do NOT hang a placard from your rearview mirror while you are driving around. It's to be used only when you are parking. Mine says right on it “Parking Placard”. It also says across the top: REMOVE FROM MIRROR BEFORE DRIVING VEHICLE.
But apparently many people don’t notice that. Every day I see motorists who are driving with their blue or red placard hanging in the middle of the window.
Do you realize it then becomes more of a handicap because it limits your field of vision?
It reminds me of my sons, who leave their Coachella concert parking hangers on their mirrors because it shows other drivers they are Coachella alums. But disabled folks don’t need to brag about their limitations. And we certainly don’t need to give each other mobile high fives because we are all in the same club.
Last, do not loan out your placard to others. Or use one if you are not disabled. It's illegal, immoral and inexcusable.


295 comments:

  1. Laura, Kinda off topic but wanted to throw this in the ring. Disneyland! They are very kind and make it a special experience for the whole family. Some of the new rides have wheelchair accessible lines but most of the old ones do not, so you enter through the exit and get right on the ride - no line! The wheelchair seating for the fireworks display is breathtaking. The submarine ride is not wheelchair accessible so they built an 'alternative ride experience' -- and won't let anyone else see it. I suspect it's really cool - probably because it's forbidden and I can't see it!

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  2. Anything related to my blog topic is welcome. I'm sure others will want to know that Disneyland is The Happiest Place on Earth, even for those who are disabled. Great information.

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  3. It drives me up a wall when people misuse handicapped placards! Great post!

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  4. Is it illegal for a valet parking company to charge for the use of the handicap space?
    In Los Angeles, CA

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  6. Not sure. Do you mean a disabled spot that just happens to be in a valet area? Or spots that are part of the valet zone? I've parked my own car in a handicapped spot in a valet portion of a parking garage. And other times the valet prefers to park it himself. In either case, the fee was waived. But I've been to another venue where people with a disabled placard got a reduced rate. If you can elaborate more, I would be happy to look into it.

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  7. Ok I think you pretty much covered it. So its pretty much up to the valet if they want to charge you, waive the fee, or discount the fee even if you self parked it?

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    1. if that is correct. Where does it state that in the Law? I need a specific please. I am that valet and am required to inform people that have a handicap that they have to pay the valet rate to park in an ADA stall in the valet area whether or not I park it for them. We have a self parking garage too that has ADA stalls and it is cheaper to park there. Both areas are equal distance to the enterance of the building. I need to be able to quote the law to people, especially those who are yelling at me for doing my job. Isnt it illegal to let someone self park in the ADA stall at the cheaper rate in the valet area if It is taking away the opportunity for someone who is disabled and wants to valet there. There are only a certain amount of ADA stalls in valet and the person sees the sign and feels entitled and takes the spot away and insists that since they are handicap that they have the right to park there. The signs are clear that it is the valet area ONLY. I just want people to stop yelling at me for doing my job.

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    2. I understand your situation. When I said it is up to the valet, I meant the individual valet companies to set their own policies. I can't find this situation or the one you describe covered by any law, but I just came to my conclusion by experience. I've gotten reduced rates, free parking and been charged full price from valets. In your case, you have a sign that indicates valet only. Maybe it should say "paying" valet customers to help prevent you from getting arguments from motorists. I did find a site from a San Jose newspaper that dealt with a similar question. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21810660/roadshow-disabled-can-park-free-at-metered-parking.
      There are a lot of gray areas in the law, I believe. Your take on the matter is entirely reasonable: that people should park in the cheaper public disabled spots if they don't want to pay for valet parking. Sorry you are getting yelled at.

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    3. I will continue to research this issue and will post again if I learn anything that might clarify things.

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    4. Thank you so much laura. And please any and all suggestions now ans in the future are a blessing.

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    5. By the way, I will mention the "paying" part or something similar to my boss, but most of the time the people who park in the valet area like mentioned above, know that it is a valet area and that they are being asked to pay valet rate, they just dont care. Lady yesterday," I know my rights and unless you want a letter sent to the Governor and your company sued, you will shut your mouth right now young man!" Rolled up her window, got out and walked away huffing and puffing.... Pretty much the same situation every Friday. Luckily friday is only one day out of the week ;)

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  8. What about residential parking permit areas (like West Hollywood?)

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    1. The DMV says folks with disabled parking placards may park In an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit. Sounds like it's covered.

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  9. Hi Laura, I was just wondering if you happen to know the answer to this question. I just lost my temporary disabled placard and from the DMV website it sounds like I might have to wait up to 2 months for a replacement to come by mail. If I go into a DMV office am I able to get a replacement right away? I need the placard to use in the next two months so I'm not really sure what to do if I have to wait two months for the replacement to come....Thanks in advance!

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    1. Yes, you definitely should go to the DMV. They have the placards behind the counter and can immediately give you one. I made the mistake of ordering my first one through the mail and it took forever to get it! Make an appointment, if you can, to avoid waiting in a long line and then just tell your story to the person at the counter and he or she should be able to look up your file and give you a replacement right there. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you so much!

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    3. What if you have never had one and are turning in paperwork to receive a temporary one. Will they have those available to at the DMV office if I make an appointment? I am going through radiation and chemo treatments and want to get one without waiting for one month.

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    4. Yes, they have the temporary ones at the DMV so definitely go there.

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    5. Remember that your auto club can also help you out with your Ada plates or placards.

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  10. You can always go here and find out everything.
    http://ladot.lacity.org/tf_Parking_Restrictions.htm
    and
    http://ladot.lacity.org/tf_Colored_Curb_Zones.htm

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    1. Thanks so much for the info! I was not aware of the links. I will include them next time I blog about handicapped parking. As it turns out, my next post is about that topic.

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  11. I am from Washington - my drivers license and car resgistration are both in WA, but I go to school and live in California. Can I still get a CA handicapped placard? Or do I need one from WA state?

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    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply but yours was a tough question. According to California Vehicle Code Section 22511.5(b), out of state and country disabled parking permits are considered valid for parking in designated disabled parking spaces. So you would get your placard in Washington and it would be honored in California.

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  12. Is a california placard valid on the east part of USA ?

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    1. States have reciprocal agreements so that any placard from another state or country is honored. Not sure if that includes every state. But I would advise you to check the DMV site of the state you will be visiting and read their disabled parking laws.

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    2. Can you use your disability placard in a rent a car....

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    3. Other states do not always honor handicapped placards from a different state especially if it is a permanent placard. 95% of the time, they will honor temporary placards, but the same laws do not apply. For example, in California we can park in a metered state free of charge with our handicapped placards, but a couple of years ago, a relative of mine went to another state on a visit, parked in a metered spot, did not feed the meter and promptly received a ticket. When he challenged the ticket in court, hr was told, in that particular state, it did not matter if you had a placard or not, meters were not free. An expensive lesson. The best thing to do when traveling to a different state is to call their DMV and get informed of their handicapped parking laws. Some states even require you to apply for a temporary placard for their particular state. One more little tidbit of info., if you forget to hang your placard and you receive a ticket, write a letter to DMV, include a copy of your placard and paperwork. While you do not have to pay the entire amount for the ticket, it will reduce the amount to $25.00, a far cry from $250 - 300.

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    4. Good advice. Even if the states honor placards from other states, their laws about where the placard entitles you to park can vary.

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    5. Unfortunately, I just saw the post about the rental car a few days ago! Sorry. Yes, you can use your disabled placard in a rental. The card goes with the person, not the car.

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  13. Thank you so much for this blog post. I am usually an expert googler, but I can't seem to find this info. Can you get a DP placard if your child is disabled? My son was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy and I'm realizing how infinitely helpful this would be. Thanks so much!

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  14. Interesting question. I agree, it is not easily answered via Google! I know the placard holder does not have to be the driver. And I did find on the California DMV website this: "Minor Children:
    The REG 195 may be signed by the parent or guardian of a disabled minor child." REG 195 is the application for a disabled placard. Bring it with you to your son's doctor and then you can fill the rest of it out and take it to the DMV. You are right, you definitely need a placard to make life easier for you and your son.

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  15. You can also get your placard or plate at AAA Auto Club if you are a member.

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    1. Good point. Way easier than going to the DMV!

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    2. Thank you so much for this reminder Frank! My wife broke her foot and we have to forms filled out for a temporary placard. Didn't want to wait for the mail, but the thought of waiting in line at the DMV on holiday-shortened week terrified me! We will be going to the AAA office this week, for sure!

      -Tim

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    3. You can always make an appointment also. Never have to wait long and lead time to get an appointment via phone call or internet is usually one to two days

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  16. Great post! What about private parking lots that have fees. For example going to a baseball game. Do you have to pay the fee before you can park in the handicap spot or are the fees waived?

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    1. It just depends on the place. In my experience, some waive the fees, some give discounts and others charge you like everyone else but you get better, closer parking. Unfortunately, you have to try it out to find it out. I have a mental inventory of places I have been so I try to remember what to expect.
      Thanks for reading my post and commenting. Hope this helps.

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  17. My son is handicapped and has a placard on his car. He was parked in a 30 min parking spot, which he parks in all the time a work. Today he was towed and was told because the parking at his work is privately owned, the handicapped placard does not apply to the rules. He had to pay almost $400.00 to get his car back. So do you know is a private parking areas exempt from this rule?

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    1. I usually respond right away to questions posed as comments on my blog. But yours was an intriguing one. I did not know the answer to it. So I researched it and even asked a knowledgable disabled friend for help and she, too, was stumped. (Plus I was offline for weeks due to a surgery) I hate not being able to help you! How did this turn out. Did you try and challenge this?

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  18. Thank you so much. I do have a question that is NOT answered by the California DMV publications: If I have a placard, can somebody who's driving drop me off, say at the store, and go find a place to park using my placard?

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  19. I have done so only when I will be walking back and using the disabled space. If I'm getting dropped off and picked up at the curb I don't think it's a smart idea to have the person park in the handicap space

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  20. I just got my handicapped placard. I went to the Los Gatas DMV. I had just set down to wait for my number to come up and within seconds my number came up. No waiting!

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  21. I live in the Bay Area and it just seems like everywhere I go, there are not enough parking spaces for the disabled. Not sure if the population of disabled people has increased tremendously since the use of placards or the doctors are signing off the disabled application to all the elderly drivers, whether they need it or not or the doctors don't know the DMV rules about who should get a placard. I am physically unable to walk without a walker and also use a motorized scooter and I can never find an open handicapped parking spot. What I do see are elderly people who walk without any assistive device without difficulties parking in those spaces. I have even seen a car pull into a disabled spot and out came 5-6 young healthy men. The only thing I saw wrong with them was they were using sign language to converse with each other. They jumped out of the car, and were clowning around and running to the mall. This infuriated me tremendously because I had been circling around the parking lot to find a handicapped spot but they beat me to it. This caused me to park further away. By the time I reached the Mall, I was too tired and in too much pain to shop. I spent the afternoon sitting in mall, watching people and waiting for my daughter to finish. It's been a year since I experienced this and I am still angry. How do these people get these placards when they did not have any mobility problems?

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    1. I am so with you. When you combine the problems of an inadequate number of disabled spaces, rude behavior by able-bodied drivers and just plain cheating by others, lax enforcement by the authorities, it all adds up to an aggravating, frustrating experience for those who truly need these spots. Have you checked out my other post on the topic: http://viewfromthehandicappedspace.blogspot.com/2013/06/disabled-parking-placards-ii-more-you.html It explains a little about how easy it is in California to keep getting placards after the person no longer needs them. And how difficult it is when you are faced with an illegal situation to do something about it. Because, Hello!, we are disabled and limited in our on-the-spot options.
      Other people wrongly use the disabled placards by using a family member's or after they've recovered from, say, the health issue that got them the cards in the first place. So wrong.
      I'm hoping the increasing numbers of disabled speaking out will bring some attention to this issue.

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    2. You may not be able to spot a person's disability outright. That is for their doctor to judge. Prosthetics, respiratory problems, and cardiac problems may limit a person's mobility, but the person may look fine at a glance while they try to live their lives as happily and normally as possible.

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    3. I am on the heart ransplant list. My heart is at 12%. To look at me, it looks like I have nothing wrong with me and my huisband has to drive me often and we laugh ALOT. Please don't judge someone on the way they appear. I would give anything to not have to use my placard and will gladly surrender it when I receive my new heart.

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    4. Great points. The last two commenters are definitely right. Lots of disabilities are not evident. It's so hard to know who is cheating and who needs the spaces. And hard to know what to do when you suspect someone is abusing the placard. Best wishes to the person on the transplant list!

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    5. I agree, don't judge what you can't see. I look middle age, big and healthy. I also have a heart condition that can very quickly turn life threatening with too much exertion. One of the hardest days of my life was accepting that I needed a DP placard. I actually try not to use it, but I also want to be around for my children.

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    6. I am middle-aged, but as I am Asian and only 4' 10", I seem to look much younger. I have Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. which is now slowly oving into the Progressive stage. To look at, I am able-bodied and completely normal. But even a two-minute exposure to the direct California sun (and hats and sunglasses are completely useless), especially if I am carrying very much more than a purse, breings on immediate symptoms. These range from a simple blurry vision to passing out. So please do not judge a person who seems to be quite capable of laughing, walking and even dancing to be unfit for a Disability placard. This "perk" makes it possible for us to go to work and participate in everyday life, instead of staying home and being a burden to others. Kudos to California for making this possible.

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    7. Dear anonymous,
      Thanks for pointing out that not disabilities are immediately visible, as others have mentioned on my blog. I am glad that you have a placard because you obviously need it for your illness. But at the same time, you must be forgiving if people question you about your disability, because so many violate the law and use our precious spaces when they do not need them. So my advice to everyone is if you suspect someone is using a spot when they shouldn't please be polite if you question him or her. And if you are riding in a vehicle and have a disability that is not apparent, please be polite in explaining that you do have a need and a right to park in the spot.
      Thanks for sharing.

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  22. My passenger had a placard and said I could use it to drive him places. I am not disabled, he is. I'm not sure I can do this?

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    1. Absolutely. If you are driving him it's fine to use his placard.

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  23. This is very useful info! I live in So Cal and just got a temp placard. I don't use it everywhere i go, only when i absolutely have to be out and the pain in my body is horrible, or if I know it will be a long, strenuous day (especially this time of year with the holidays) so that I will be better able to take care of my daughter and myself at the end of the day. Also, I try to mask the pain, and other symptoms so I continuously get funny looks. Not very fun, if only more ppl knew there are invisible illnesses that interfere as we! Thanks again!

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  24. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, there are too many cheaters who use cards when they don't need them. So those of us who are handicapped look suspiciously at people who don't seem to need a disabled placard. I agree, we need to be more understanding to those who have disabilities that aren't immediately visible. Sounds like you are using yours responsibly.

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  25. Can someone over the age of 75 use handicap parking if they do not have a disability ?

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  26. No, age alone is not a reason to qualify for a placard. A person must have a doctor's signature on the application and the physician must specify what type of disability the person has. Here is the general description in California: "impaired mobility due to having lost use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands, or have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility, or one who is severely disabled to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive device. You may also qualify if you have specific, documented visual problems, including lower-vision or partial-sightedness."
    If you are from another state, search the DMV website for disabled placards to see your local requirements.
    Thanks for the question.

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  27. Does this sound legal, an adult has a handicap placard and states that her 12 year old child has her own placard. Therefore she parks her 2 cars in handicap parking spots in our community.

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    1. I think it is legal, if the two are each disabled. I don't blame you for being suspicious. So many people try to take advantage of the system. Two spots would be needed if, for example, the woman is gone in her car and the daughter has to be driven somewhere. The law says the owner or driver of the car does not have to be disabled in order for the girl to use her placard. She may need a closer spot just as mom needs a closer spot. But I imagine there are times when they are riding together and are only using one car. Maybe many times like that. If the girl rides in the other car rarely, then it is selfish to take up two spots. Her driver could get the other car and move it to the handicapped spot for the girl to enter. Then just put up the girl's placard. Are there times when you see a non-disabled driver using the other spot when the girl is not riding in it? That would be illegal. .

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    2. i have a similar situation in the complex i live in. each unit has one assigned parking space. quite a few tenants have more than one car some up to 3-4. some have a tag on their plates and a placard in the rear view window of another car. we have seen altered placards. i could go on and on. no one can seem to tell me what is legal. some of these tenants leave their cars and trucks in the same handicap space for weeks at a time which infuriates other people needing to use a space. some people even park in a handicap space when their assigned space is right next to it. some even park in a handicap space further from the door just to me mean. what is the actual law on private property. the management told me to call LAPD if i suspect fraud. some cars have actually been towed, but it tkes foreve for that to happen. we were told due to ADA laws they have to be very careful. how can so many people get so many placards and have so many cars to put them on.

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  28. I have some problems with neuropathy and circulation. The landlord where I live has designated a parking area about fifty yards from my mobile home residence. It's very difficult to walk that far. Is there anything I can do?

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    1. I understand your difficulties and frustration. I have the same problems (on top of everything else). Your question is a tough one. From what I have researched it looks like mobile home parks must only provide adequate accessible parking for areas that are open to the public, such as sales offices or a facility that hosts bingo games, for example, that are attended by those who live outside the park. You can discuss with the landlord to see if he or she is willing to help you out of sheer kindness. But I don't think such accommodations are required by law. You can always call the ADA hotline 800-514-0301 for a specific answer to this question. They answer calls Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thurs 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
      Hope this helps.

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    2. Another thought, you could use Google to see if there are any mobile home parks residents' associations in your state and ask them for advice.

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  29. My fiancé has a metal plate and 9 screws in her ankle from a skateboarding accident 5 years ago and because her parents never paid for her pt, she never went. She struggles with the pain of her ankle and can barely walk sometime. She cannot drive because she doesn't have a license. Can she get a placard that we can use in my car for when I drive her places so that she doesn't need to walk so far? It would fall under the category of limitation of lower xtremites.

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  30. Definitely. She is entitled to a placard to use whenever she is being driven somewhere. If she's in California, she can print out the form from the DMV website, then have it signed by a medical professional and turn it in for her placard. Explain to the doctor about the pain and the difficulty walking. If you are in another state, you would have to research the requirements and procedures.

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  31. If all handicapped spaces are full at my son's school, (he's the one with the placard and i drive him), may i park in a spot assigned by the elementary school for the secretary or clerk or the principal/principal even?

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  32. Oh that's a tough one. Not sure you have a legal right to park in a name-designated spot. I am wondering whether you are just dropping him off, need to accompany him, get him out in a wheelchair, or are going to be staying for a while.In any case, I would have a talk with administrators and see what they say. Hopefully they will be understanding and can help you out -- by parking elsewhere when they see your placard up.

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  33. I'm in Nor. Cal. and recently got a placard due to arthritis. I read that I cannot park in "van accessible" spots which have the white stripes next to them which leaves room for someone who has a wheel chair on/in their vehicle. However I'm confused because it seems most of the spots in the public parking lots around my office have some amount of stripes. There is one parking lot that has one spot with small stripes next to it (not very wide, but definitely stripes) and a regular handicap sign on a pole. And another spot that has wider stripes with "Van" on its pole (same lot). Does that mean I can't use either one? It seems a large percentage of the spots have some amount of stripes, even if they don't say Van. And I see non-van/wheel chair people using them all the time.

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    1. Thanks for asking. The rules are often confusing. You cannot park ON the white stripes, but you can certainly part NEXT to them. Also, the spaces marked van accessible are a little wider to accommodate vans with wheelchair lifts. But you may certainly park there if there is no van within sight. Not sure where you heard that you couldn't. To be courteous, if there is another non-van disabled site available, choose that one first. Hope this makes your search for spots easier!

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    2. Thanks Laura. This is the text from the DMV web-site under the section on where you cannot park even though you have a placard:

      "In spaces marked with a crosshatched pattern next to a parking space with the International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol). These spaces are for wheelchair and wheelchair lift access."

      I was reading that to say you can't park in the handicap spots with the crosshatch next to them, but I guess it means you can't park on the stripes themselves. Thanks for clearing that up!

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    3. You are welcome. I can see why you were confused.

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  34. I got a permanent disabled placard but want to switch to a plate. I just got a $310 ticket in San Jose for forgetting to put my placard up grrrr.
    Just wondering if you have some insight:

    1. Do you know how to switch from placard to plate?
    2. Do you have to give up your placard when switching to plate?
    3. Do you know if I can get my fine lowered?

    Thanks!

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    1. Sorry this happened to you. I also say Grr when law enforcement officers ignore the actual scofflaws but are right there when a legal placard holder forgets to hang up her placard. (I have also done it but not been cited) As to your questions:
      1) I think you can just print out another form from the DMV website and get it signed by a doctor, then check the box that says permanent plate, filled out the required info. Then you have to go to a DMV or AAA (if you are a member) for the quickest way to get a plate.
      2) You shouldn't have to turn in your placard.
      3) My disabled friends say if you show up in court with a valid plate, and a sincere and respectful apology, they are likely to just dismiss the case. Or if there is somewhere you can go ahead to time (before the court date) to show that you were in possession of the valid placard, that would be even better.
      There are no guarantees, but it's definitely worth a try in light of the huge fine. Good luck

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    2. On question Number 3, I meant to write valid placard, rather than plate. But thinking this through, you might have to bring in your form that the DMV sends you with the placard, because the placard might be hanging in your car! Or get the plate, then challenge the ticket.

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    3. I live in California, and twice I forgot to hang up my placard and got tickets. Both times, I was able to walk into the DMV with my ticket and placard in hand (or some kind of proof), and they removed the fine and only charged me a $25 clerical fee. I do recommend making an appointment so you don't have to wait forever in a line.

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    4. Just recently saw your reply, Anonymous. Very good advice. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. What happens if my employer demand that they be allowed to use my placard. The only reason why I allowed it was because of a hostile workplace.

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    1. Wow. Sounds like you work for wonderful people! You didn't indicate what state you live in, but the California DMV website says it is illegal for you to loan your placard to someone else or for someone else to use yours. Here is the direct language regarding this specific point:
      "You are the only person who can use the parking placard or plates for parking or service station privileges. It is illegal to do the following (and you may be subject to citation and fines)

      Lend your placard to another.
      Forge a licensed medical professional’s signature.
      Use someone else's placard."

      You should refuse to do this and can tell them it is illegal. You can't afford to get cited for this. If you are out of California, research the DMV site just so you know what to say next time someone asks to use it. It is so wrong on many levels, but they might listen to the legal argument.

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  36. I have a question. I have been going part time to a public community college since becoming disable and the parking lot which accesses the building I need requires a parking permit. I was told (not by an official) that as long as I legally in a handicapped spot I would not be required to pay for a permit. After 5 years I got a ticket for not displaying a parking permit.
    In a public facility can they require parking permits to access the facility?

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    1. I'm not sure I have clear answer to this question. If the official told you you didn't need a permit and you didn't get a ticket for 5 years, that would seem to support your case. But because parking enforcement is lax maybe they just didn't catch you. I checked my local community college's website and it seems that if you are a student, you must buy a permit and display it with your disabled placard when you park in a handicapped space. You might challenge the ticket if you can to see if the person gave you misinformation. The best case scenario is they dismiss it; the worst, at least you will know what the rules are. As to the larger question about public facilities requiring permits, colleges do that all the time. There are a limited number of parking spots and they need to make sure students and staff have necessary access, whether or not they are disabled. And there are always visitor spots (or after-hours spots) available for members of the public, again including the disabled. I always advise a call the facility before you go for a visit.

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  37. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for this blog, it is so informative! I have a question.. I live in SF and was recently given a ticket for "misuse of the handicap placard" I am the legal driver of my 95-year old mother (who has a heart condition and cannot get around without help), and the DMV has granted her a handicapped placard, but it is under my license card, as I am the one that drives her to all of her appts and any errands she needs to run. I dropped her off at her dentist appt, on this day and looked for parking so that I could go back to the dentist to discuss my mother's dental issues and pay for her visit. There was not parking anywhere close, so I had to park a few blocks away. After I parked, I placed the handicap placard on the rearview mirror and as I stepped out, was confronted by 3 officers, who were quite rude. They asked me if the placard was mine, I explained yes, it is, it belongs to my mother, but it is under my license as I drive her everywhere and she cannot get around by herself. They asked where she was, I said she was at the dentist and I was just about to walk there to talk to the doctors. They said I was lying, I asked them to come with me and I can verify, they refused. They asked to see my placard, then confiscated it. My question is, in CA, what are the laws about how far away you can be from the disabled person? I simply could not find parking, it was in Chinatown, and there are many, many yellow, white, and red zones, and few parking spots. Is this something I can contest in a hearing? I was not abusing the handicap placard at all. I am legally allowed to drive her around and use the placard whenever I am with my mother, is this still correct? I only use the placard when I drive her and when I am parked. It was unfair that they did not even attempt to let me verify. Thank you in advance on any advice and help you can offer.

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    1. You are definitely right that you are allowed to use the placard when you are driving your mother. And you seem to be using it responsibly. I can't believe the officers treated you so rudely and confiscated your card. Seems to me you had a good explanation for why an able-bodied driver was exiting the car. I haven't seen any regulations regarding how close you need to be to the disabled person when you park in a spot using your disabled placard. I think you should contest it, but their response might be that she wasn't going to get in the car at the location where it was parked, so therefore you didn't need to use the placard. Was it a designated handicapped spot or a regular spot? I assume you were going to go pick up your mom at the dentist when she was finished there, or were you going to have her come to the spot where the car was parked? Whatever your plans were, I think you should contest the violation, although there is no guarantee that you will be successful. I did find on a California lawyer's website an example like yours and it says you should be exempt from breaking the law if you are "actively transporting" a disabled person, in other words, you dropped her off and found a spot. You had a valid card and a valid reason to park there. I'm sorry you are going to have to get another card! Good luck.

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    2. Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for responding. Yes I am contesting it and will see how that will go. I parked at a metered parking spot, and therefore, they automatically gave me another ticket for parking overtime at a meter. I parked so that I could go back in to the dental office to speak with the dentist about her condition. I hope I am able to overturn these 2 citations, just seemed really unfair. Thanks you once again for all your advice and help! :) Greatly appreciated!

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    3. Again, good luck. Hope you are successful. If it comes to a hearing, don't forget to bring evidence from your mom: her in person or a signed statement saying you were transporting her and had dropped her off on that day. Otherwise, it is your word against the three officers and we all know how that is likely to turn out.

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    4. Hi Laura,

      I just wanted to update you on my situation. I contested my tickets, they were not dismissed, therefore I went to a hearing for these citations at SFMTA. I had never in my life been more disrespected by anyone. The moment I stepped into the hearing office, the hearing officer was already immediately annoyed and asked what is it now, even though it was the first time I had ever gone to a hearing. As I began to explain my situation about how I was dropping off my disabled mother, thus transporting her, and then using the parking placard, he told me to stop talking and said that's where you're wrong. The moment you dropped her off, your job is done. I said No, it wasn't, as I still need to go back to her dental office as well as pick her up. He said if you don't understand the laws I can't help you, you're a lost cause. I explained that the placard is for parking, so why would it only be used for dropping her off? And as long as I am transporting her, it should be used. I was not done transporting her, as my job as her transporter was not complete. It was extremely frustrating as I was simply asking for the hearing officer to "hear" my case, and I got none of that.
      I am explaining all this to show how unfair the system is. I am in the process of going to court for these citations. I feel as though I have been treated like a criminal for something I did not do. I did not do anything wrong. Transporting a handicap placard holder is legal, on the DMV website, SFMTA's website, and having the hearing officer tell me rudely that I was wrong and that I interpreted the websites wrong was infuriating and demeaning.
      I also want to note that I provided a signed document from her dentist proving that she was there that day for her appt and stating that I was the one who dropped her off right i front of the building, I also have a signed letter from her physician explaining in detail her need for a placard. I am not sure what else the courts need to understand that I did not break any laws. I have the utmost respect for handicap placard holders and have never abused the handicap placard. If you have any ideas, please kindly share. Thank you so much.

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    5. So sorry to hear of your rude treatment and the outcome of your appearance. It seems to me that you did all the right things, bringing the letters, etc. to prove your case. I would only stress that the act of "transporting" a disabled person means not only driving her there, but parking. The placard and the law specifically ask you not to hang the placard while driving...so what is the point of having one if you are only there to give the person a ride in the car. You hang the placard when you reach your spot. An argument might be made that a few blocks is a long way from the dentist's office but if that was the closest one available to you, that should matter. You needed to get back there to help your mom as quickly as possible. Again, I wish you luck. Thanks for the update.

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    6. Hi. In answering another person's question on this blog, I became aware of California Vehicle Code 4461, which states in part "A person to whom a disabled person placard has been issued may permit another person to use the placard only while in the presence or reasonable proximity of the disabled person for the purpose of transporting the disabled person."
      Thought you should be aware of this, as "reasonable proximity" may be an issue. I'm not saying you can't argue this, I am just saying to be prepared.

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  38. Hi, What a wonderful site you have here. I was on vacation in LA last week and parked in a spot that had a red sign by it. The sign indicated that from 6 pm till 12 pm, the spot was used for Valet parking. I parked there and put my placard in the window. I assumed that I was allowed to park there. Well, I ended up getting a ticket for $64 for a "posted sign" violation. Do you think I have a good case to contest this?

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    1. Lady T, did you park during the hours of 6 and 12? If you did, then I don't think you have a case. But if it was during other hours then I think you should contest it, unless the curb was marked red, yellow or white. My reading of the laws shows no clear answer to your question. For example you are allowed to park on streets where preferential privileges are given to residents or merchants. Not sure if this would cover a merchant's valet spot. Thanks for your compliment about the site. So many people have difficulties figuring out the disabled parking laws. When they find my blog I try to help them. By the way, LA is famous for giving out expensive parking tickets in confusing spots.

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  39. Hello! thank you for your post! You seem very knowledge able, and possibly could answer my question? My boyfriend and I were at a national forest and parked in a handicap spot (we saw that a pass was required had no idea where to get one, but only stopped to use the restroom and let our dogs stretch their legs, no more than 15 minutes.) He has a handicap placard because he is a disable veteran. However, he LOOKS young and does not look disabled. we were about to get into our car and the forest agent came up to us ( I already looked on the US forestry site and if you are just passing through to stretch and use bathrooms, which I DID use, and then walked back to car, after our dogs went-no pass needed) so as we were outside the car, she asked to see our placard from our window, and asked who was disabled- and when he said it was his, she demanded his disability and wanted proof of his disability. He complied with everything he could, but we felt he was being discriminated against because he is young and doesnt "appear" to be disabled. However, he received injuries on his tour in Iraq that have led to him needing a placard. ANYWAY, my question....Can officers ask you your disability based on your appearance? As she did not run my license plate or even look at the placard before questioning the disability (like I said we weren't even in the car yet, just loaded our dogs) I did not know we needed proof of a disability if using the placard? (his vehicle has d. v. plate but we were in my car) I really appreciate your help!

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    1. Thanks for your question. I don't think there is any reason why a law enforcement officer can't ask anyone for proof of disability. With so many drivers flagrantly violating the law by using a placard after they don't need it anymore or using one that is not theirs, I think there is reason to suspect someone whose disability is not apparent. And there are disabilities that are not easily spotted. I'm not sure if your boyfriend's disability is noticeable. I don't think it's an age thing, since placards are even given to disabled children so someone else can drive them and park in handicapped spots. You don't say what happened after the agent questioned you. Did she ticket you? Or did you explain and she was OK with it? I can see where you might feel this intruded on your day, when what you were doing was perfectly allowed. But maybe she was just being careful.
      You don't say what state this was in, but in California, you get a identification card with your placard that proves it was issued to you. You are supposed to keep it with you and "present it to any peace officer upon demand". So, yes, officers are allowed to inquire as to whether the placard is actually issued to the one with the disability. Sorry you felt like you and your boyfriend were improperly singled out.

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    2. Thanks for your response! Luckily, She did not give us a ticket, after about 35 minutes of questioning. He is still a resident of Texas, and his plates and placard are issued through Texas. But we were in a California park. Tx never issued him a proof card. His truck is registered plates and they gave him two extra placards in case he is in another car (since he is often in mine). but his initials an DL# are written on the placard... I completely understand them being cautious of fraudulent. I didn't realize it happened that often, so I didn't know they did that (was caught off guard). but thanks for explaining that's why they did. I guess I always heard from people, that officials couldnt ask WHAT the disability was. I think that was the most upsetting part. That she first told him he was BSing her, and that's why she needed to see the placard (his initials was his only proof) and she needed to know why he had it and what his exact disabilities were. I guess it makes sense to prove it is your placard (and to have proof readily available) I just don't see the need to have to go into exact detail of WHAT the disability is (like she wanted)....when he tried to tell her his knees and his ankles are pretty shot and most days can't walk far or stand a lot before it becomes painful, she continued to ask well how did he get these injuries, etc I just felt it was a bit excessive and felt like he was being singled out. :( Oh well, it's over! And now I know they can ask so we will see if there is anyother form of proof besides the initials on placard so he can be prepared. Unfortunately, I do think young people who need it do get discriminated against when they dont "look" handicap, maybe not necessarily by officials, but definitely by the public. Thanks again.

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    3. I don't understand why other people with disabilities will complain about people illegally using our parking spaces, then get indignant when someone else tries to protect these spaces for us. We need to cooperate, be understanding & appreciative.

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  40. My mother has had a blue placard for the past number of years. However, she is now not renewing her driver's license because she cannot safely operate a vehicle. Once her driver's license expires, will she still retain the use of her placard? My family drives her to doctors appointments and the continued use of handicapped parking spaces would make things much easier for her.

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    1. She will be able to retain the placard. Having a driver's license is not a pre-requisite for getting a placard. Even blind people and children can get them so they can be driven by someone else. She should just continue to get them in the mail (if you live in California) every two years.

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  41. Hello Laura thanks for all the great info. I have multiple cars and am constantly forgetting my placard in another car when I'm in a rush. Can I get away with making a good colored copy of my placard and having it laminated. This way I can have a placard in all my vehicles. Thanks

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    1. I wouldn't do it. Chances are a "good colored copy" won't look like the original, even if it's laminated. But would it work? Maybe. Would I want to chance it, knowing I might be fined for not using an actual placard? I would not. I have that problem, too, trying to remember to bring my placard when I switch to another car. When I occasionally forget it and still must use a space, I lay out my registration card (comes with the placard) that is always with me on the dash in case anyone looks or asks. (No one ever has.) And even if you are ticketed for not hanging your placard, you are likely to get the case dismissed if you show that you had a valid placard but didn't have it with you that day. Meanwhile, find a better way to remember to bring it!

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  42. An off-street municipal parking lot changed from a person collecting the $10 fee to a metered system, paying at a kiosk using your space number. Is the fee waived for handicapped drivers in what is now a metered parking space.

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    1. Wow, interesting question.The law specifically says people with a handicapped placard may park for free at "on street metered parking" spots, not parking lots. But if it was an open-air ground level lot with meters, it makes sense that it should be free to disabled people. The only way to be sure is to test it out but risk getting ticketed and arguing to the traffic authorities that it is essentially the same as parking on a metered spot on the street. Sorry can't give you a definitive answer. I have a memory of parking in such a space in another city in California and not paying. And not getting in trouble.

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    2. The answer to this question is that a disabled parking permit does NOT entitle a vehicle to park without payment in off street parking locations. It should be noted that a small number of public agencies that operate parking lots voluntarily allow free parking. Such exceptions are typically signed to inform parkers that payment is not required.

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    3. Thanks so much, Mark, for clarifying this. I have since discovered this myself as I looked into the laws. I am going to be writing a new blog post covering what I have learned responding to comments or questions sent to this site or my email address over four years since this post came out. It's tough for valid placard holders to figure out precisely what the laws are. I welcome any enlightenment!

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  43. Can I have both a diabled person plate for my vehicle, and a placard to use when driving or riding in my wife's?

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    1. Absolutely. If you are in California, download this form http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg195.pdf and just check which one you want and either mail or bring in to a DMV office or bring it to a AAA office, if you are a member. If you already have a plate or permanent placard, there is no fee for the other. If you don't have one already, you need to get the form filled out by your doctor and then ask for one of each.

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  44. I think this is a letter of the law vs spirit of the law.....

    Both my parents have a placard.

    They have 2 cars.

    So one placard ends up in one car, the other placard in the other car.

    Either parent will drive either car, so they end up using whatever placard is in that car.


    So technically (letter of the law) another person may be using a placard that isn't theirs.

    But should it really matter as they both have a valid placard (spirit of the law)

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    1. It definitely complies with the spirit of the law. I can see where this makes sense because it's easier than switching placards when changing vehicles. But it does violate the letter of the law, which says the placard owner needs to be in the car that displays it. My suggestion is if you are in California, make a copy of the identification card that came with each placard and keep both copies in the glove compartments. The card says it must be presented to any peace officer on demand. Then your parent can show any officer, if ever requested, that he or she has both a card for the placard in the car and another one in his or her name. But the odds of either of your parents being challenged are very, very slim.

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  45. Question: On the places where you can park with a disabled placard the government page states you can park in areas where there is street cleaning. Then further down the page (after a lot of scrolling) it says except for the hours of street cleaning. Very confusing. And what about parking during street cleaning at a blue curb? (I recently got a ticket for that and fought it and lost.)

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  46. Here's a question regarding home owner's association rules: Our HOA states that you can't park in front of your home from 2am-5am. You're required to either use a "Patrol One" pass (you can get 20 of them over a revolving 180-day period) or park on the public street out in front of the neighborhood. We happen to rent a home in this neighborhood and live on the backside of the neighborhood. My son has recently had to get a temporary 6-month handicap placard. My question is whether that placard can be placed in his car overnight for the 6-month period and allow him to park in front of our home as it's a far distance to walk with his disability? Do the CA handicap placard rules override the private HOA rules? Thanks!

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    1. Interesting question. I did find something roughly addressing this on a lawyer's website. It looks like the HOA can establish its own rules and it does override California law. Another lawyer said an HOA is considered a private community and not subject to the ADA provisions. However, the HOA can make reasonable accommodations when necessary upon a homeowner's request. If I were you, I would approach the HOA administrators can tell them the situation. If I were on the board I would allow your son to park there -- it sounds entirely reasonable to me. Here is some of the language from the website: "Typically, homeowners association ("HOA") governing documents (e.g., "CC&Rs," "Rules & Regulations") contain provisions governing how vehicles may be parked in the common area streets or parking spaces. In the event that a parking violation occurs, the HOA has the authority to enforce disciplinary measures against the violating individuals in accordance with the applicable enforcement procedures set forth in the HOA's governing documents. Although California Vehicle Code §22511.5 permits individuals with appropriate handicap placards to park in handicap spaces, those individuals must still comply with all other HOA parking rules. Individuals generally may not, therefore, circumvent the requirements of an HOA's parking rules through the use of handicap placards or plates. Upon receiving a proper request, a HOA may be required to make "reasonable accommodations" for disabled individuals by designating additional parking spaces as handicap parking spaces. If your HOA has received such a request, the issue should be directed to your HOA's legal counsel for guidance."
      Good luck.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Hello, I have a permanent placard from PA. (Broken ankle with every type of hardware you can think of :-)) Anyways, I just moved to CA and need to transfer all my stuff. Will my placard transfer or do I need to get another dr. certifcation? If I do, can it be my home Dr. from PA since he is aware of my issues and already completed the form for PA?

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    1. I meant to reply to your post using the reply button, but I accidentally published it as a comment. Hope you see it.

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  49. You definitely need to get a California placard if you are living here. From looking at the form you need to fill out, it looks like it's OK that your PA doc fills it out. You would need to mail it to him and have him fill it out then send it back to you and submit it to the California DMV in person or by mail. If you have AAA, see if their office has a DMV desk because that is way easier. Here is the link to the form: https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg195.pdf
    Meanwhile use your placard from Pennsylvania. If you are questioned about it, say you just moved here and you have begun the process to get a California one.

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  50. My disability is episodic. I use the disabled parking space when my health issue flares up, when I have a high pain day or when regular parking is too distant for me to manage. The rest of the time I leave the spots for those worse off. Today my employer directed me to use a disabled slot because there are new employees and the lot is full. I usually park in the back of the lot and I don't want to park there for several reasons. Can I say no?

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    1. I would think you have a right to park wherever you want. If you need the space, you can park in it. But when you don't, I don't think you have to. But will there be a spot for you in another area of the lot? I think you can explain that you don't want to park in the spot all the time, because your disability is episodic, thus leaving it open for others who are worse off. I think that's an admirable thing to do. Hopefully, your boss will agree.

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  51. Thank you. I feel as though my privacy in regards to my health issues has been violated and that on a very basic level my choices toward how I deal with my health is being abridged because I am "required to be disabled" in the workplace.

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  52. I have a California DP placard. My car has a bad rearview mirror, which keeps falling down, and I have to glue it to the windshield. Some months ago, a police officer had told me that this was okay, as long as the DP placard was visible. But today, I was given a citation for having the placard on the dashboard instead of hanging from the rear view mirror. Where can I find the law about this, since I want to contest the ticket?
    Jeff

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    1. Jeff, I've gotten several questions regarding this over the years. Unfortunately, it is another gray area of the law. The ID card issued with placards in California says you must hang your placard from the rear view mirror. But I've laid mine out on the dash when I'm in a car with a mirror that simply doesn't allow it to be hung. But some of my readers say they've done that and still gotten a citation because the officer did not see it. I encourage you to contest yours because it seems to me that if you are obeying the spirit of the law as best you can, you should not be cited. Bring proof of your placard, including the ID card you got with it and recount that one officer told you it was OK. I've heard that reasonable officials will cancel your citation. One person said you should just send in a copy of your placard and your ID along with your argument and it should be dismissed. But unfortunately, I can't direct you to any part of the law that allows the placard to be clearly displayed in order to be in compliance. The law needs to be changed to specifically allow for this.

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  53. Laura thank you for this forum.
    Earlier you posted a response:
    "Interesting question. I agree, it is not easily answered via Google! I know the placard holder does not have to be the driver. And I did find on the California DMV website this: "Minor Children:..."

    My question is "How do you know the placard holder has to be the driver? The CA VC Div 11 Section 22511.5 does not specify this anywhere although Section 22511.57 (b) implies it.
    We definitely need a subsection specifying that an authorized driver is allowed to transport a placard or plate holder, and park the vehicle for the placard or plate holder.

    Today my son received a ticket (linked to my vehicle registration) for parking the car and not being the person registered to the placard, after dropping me off. He used a blue disabled spot, displaying my placard. He answered the officers questions and did not refuse to show his ID ( if he had failed to do so it would have been rebuttable evidence of placard fraud or miss-use, see VC Div 11 Section 22511.56 (b)) The officer did not inquire if my son had transported the disabled person registered to the placard, and did not even think this was important. Fortunately the officer did not confiscate the placard at the time which according to CA Vehicle Code he could have done.

    BTW if parking in any blue handicap parking spot with a valid placard or plate parking may not be denied, or charged for. according to VC Div 11 Section 22511.59 (A) In any restricted zone described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 21458 or on streets upon which preferential parking privileges and height limits have been given pursuant to Section 22507.
    (note: Section 21458 (a)(5) Blue indicates parking limited exclusively to the vehicles of disabled persons and disabled veterans.)

    This does not apply to private parking non-blue handicap spots

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    1. The first source for my answer to that question was the California DMV application for a placard itself. Here is the link http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg195.pdf It states in part D "The disabled person does not have to own or drive the vehicle to use the placard."So logically, someone in any car can drive the disabled person as long as the handicapped person has the placard. Since the placard is not to be used except to park, this suggests that the driver will be parking the car and hanging the card. And then I found this attorneys' group website (there are others, too) which specifically addresses the right of someone to transport the disabled person, using an example that sounds like your son dropping you off and then parking in a disabled spot. Here is the site for that: http://www.shouselaw.com/disability-placards.html
      At the bottom of the page, VC 4461 states in part:

      "A person to whom a disabled person placard has been issued may permit another person to use the placard only while in the presence or reasonable proximity of the disabled person for the purpose of transporting the disabled person." I guess there could be a question about what distance is "a reasonable proximity."
      I hope you contested your son's ticket, Gene. It really bothers me when someone legally using the placard gets cited or harassed. Because there are so many others who blatantly break the laws and get away with it. I and other people often use someone to transport us: dropping us off and parking in a handicapped space. I am finding from so many of the questions I get that there is lots of misunderstanding about the laws, even among authorities, and inconsistency in enforcement, even among members of the same department. Doesn't make it easy.

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  54. I need someone to give me an answer. I live in a mobilehome park in California that has a two vehiicles in our carport rule before parking on the street. My car has handicap license plates. Due to my driveway raising as much as 1 1/2" from tree roots which is a hazard to my disability, I parked on the street and was cited for not parking in my driveway first. Handicap parking is located by the pool area which is 6 houses from my home, a far distance to walk when I'm getting ready for major spinal surgery. I use an electric wheelchair at times or walker or cane, and trying to maneuver over the lifted driveway is an issue. (Have requested this issue be resolved by management to no avail) Anyone know if it is legal for me to park on the street if my health and well being are threatened by parking in my assisgned space? Any help will be appriciated

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  55. Wow. Sounds like a tough situation. Your management should be more responsive to you, in my opinion. People don't realize how difficult a bump or a root or a six-house distance can be for a disabled person. I feel for you. You don't say if the street parking is within the confines of the park. I believe if it is within the the park, management can certainly make and enforce their own rules. But they can also grant reasonable exceptions. I think your case is certainly reasonable. I did find a website where you can post legal questions regarding this and get free answers. Some of the questions already on there are similar to yours. You can check it out at: http://forum.freeadvice.com/parking-tickets-non-moving-violations-44/handicap-parking-private-property-371490.html
    Hope this helps.

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  56. Need some clarification please. I am a county employee who has been parking in the disable parking space for the last 7yrs in the county restircted parking lot. All of a sudden I was given a citation warning that I am not allowed to park in this lot. Do you know where I can find information that proves this to be right? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    1. Wow. I'm not sure how to address this. Because it seems completely wrong. Were you just cited one day when maybe your weren't displaying your placard? Or were you told that you couldn't park there anymore? It doesn't make any sense. I would start by asking questions of the agency that left you the citation. A disabled spot in the county parking lot should be available to a disabled county employee.

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  57. I just heard of an individual who has a blue handicap placard because one of their legs is 1" shorter than the other. WTF?! This person is very active and this "condition" does not affect their mobility by any means. This is infuriating, knowing that people are out there taking advantage of those who have legit disabilities. Is there something that can be done to turn this person in and have their placard confiscated?

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    1. I agree, it's infuriating. But whether you can complain to someone, I just don't know. And that also is infuriating. Seems like the problem is not only with the driver, but with the doctor or medical professional who signed the application for a disabled placard. So if you were to complain, I'm not sure if it would be to the DMV, the local police authorities, or the medical board (if you knew the name of the doctor). And I am not optimistic that it would go anywhere. Although California law (Vehicle Code 20 VC) makes it a criminal offense to file a false statement in applying for a disability placard (assuming you are from California), you would have several hoops to go through to prove this. A disabled friend of mine sent me this link to explain what physicians face if they are asked, wrongfully, to sign for a disabled placard. http://www.disabilityaccessconsultants.com.au/inside-medicine-a-dilemma-over-disability/
      This particular doctor did the right thing, but I'm sure there are others that don't do it, just to satisfy the patient.
      You might start with a call to your local police agency. Maybe you could print out the section of the law that prohibits false statements and give it to the driver. I know this is not the response you were hoping for, but I am frankly without a good answer. I am just as frustrated as you.
      If you do take any steps, please let me know what response you get.

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    2. The California State Disability Office can be called to report possible disability fraud and it can be done anonymously. 800-229-6297. They will send someone to watch him and they will determine if he is truly disabled. And of they are not they will lose mire than just their placard. Tjat will be the least of their worries.

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  58. Im a physically disabled person. At our home we have only one car registered in my name. I got the disabled person parking placard and disabled person license plate for it. Can my wife drive our car when I'm not riding on it. Parking will be only at normal person's parking lots.

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  59. I'm a physically disabled person. At home we have only one car which registered in my name. I got the disabled person parking placard and license plates. Can my wife, who is a normal person drive this car when I'm not riding. She will park it only at normal parking lots.

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    1. Should not be a problem as long as she parks in regular spots. Thanks for your question.

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  60. I currently live in FL with a Ca license. FL requires a FL drivers license in order to apply for a DP. I don't plan on transferring my DL here because my husband is in the military and we're constantly moving, but our permanent residence is CA. Can I apply for a CA temp DP with a FL physician to sign off and use the temp DP here?

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    1. I believe you can. The California forms require a signature from a physician (or other medical professional) but does not specify it has to be from a California professional. And states have mutual recognition agreements where they each honor valid placards from another state. Good luck.

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Hi Laura, first of all this is a great site.. I do have a question though that I read in an earlier post but am not really clear on it. I currently have a disabled placecard and was thinking about getting a plate instead but I have to travel and need to take it with me. Can you get both? I thought the application said 1 or the other?

    Thanks in advance

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    1. Thank you. You can have a plate as well as a placard. But you can only have one of each. In the California form, it says if you have a permanent plate or placard you don't need to get another doctor's certification, but you can check the box in the next section that says you want a disabled plate.

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    2. Thank you very much for the reply. I was able to get my plate at AAA. I also found that if you vehicle has a weight fee such as a truck that it is waived when you have a plate. I stinks being disabled but that is a nice benefit.

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    3. Great. That's interesting about the weight fee being waived...I agree, any tiny benefit is welcome

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  63. I live in a gated complex that requires a hang tag. The parking company said my handicapped placard allows me to park ONLY in a handicapped space. If I park in a regular space (that is much closer to my unit) I will get towed. Is this legal? (They won't issue me a parking tag so I had to get a handicapped placard)

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    1. Steve, this doesn't sound right to me, but it's probably legal. In my experience researching questions from readers with problems in a gated community or an HOA, I found the community rules outrank the other laws. They can do whatever they want on private property, even if it defies logic or common sense. Your only option is to challenge this with the association, or whoever makes the rules, but there is no guarantee that they will see things your way. Sorry.

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  64. My complex is gated and requires a hang tag for parking. I have a handicapped placard, but the parking company advised me if I park in a regular spot (which is much closer to my unit) I will be towed. I can ONLY park in a handicapped spot. Is this legal?

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  65. can I use the blue handicap placard to get on the bus here in los Angeles?

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  66. can you use a blue handicapped placard to get on the bus here in los Angeles?

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    1. Don't think so. To qualify for reduced fares, you need to get a TAP card. Your can use your placard to prove your disability on your application, though. For more information check out this website: http://www.metro.net/riding/riders-disabilities/
      Hope this helps.

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  67. I'm in California at a UC. I have been battling MS for the past few years and I have a placard that I use to park in the nearer parking lots (which are still ridiculously far from the classrooms ) my problem is that everyone has a temp placard and all the spots are full everyday. I parked in a permit parking spot because there was no space available, and I got a citation. I explained my case in an appeal and they still pressed me to pay up. This boggles me... what say you? The other issue is that I had asked a local patrol officer and they said I am entitled to park anywhere except red zones if the spots are all taken. What could I do here?

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    1. So sorry to hear about your experience. It reflects common themes I have been writing about: not enough disabled spaces, too many that are inadequate (such as far away from your classes) and too many people using placards that they don't need. Add that to the frustration that comes from driving around looking for a parking space that isn't there. It's just not fair.
      In researching UC campuses, I found that each can make their own rules regarding disabled parking. And they can specify which spots are not open for placard holders to use. For example the UC Berkeley campus say disabled parking is not allowed in these areas:"Some parking spaces are restricted for use (as indicated by a posted sign or ground instructions) to a particular individual or license plate holder, to a specific category of vehicles (academic department or campus unit such as Physical Plant service vehicles), to a certain type of use (loading/unloading), or to a limited period of time)." And the officer you spoke to was incorrect. Disabled parkers may not park in red, yellow or white zones. Confusion about the laws are not limited to motorists. I once had a parking attendant tell me his mother was disabled and she is allowed to park anywhere. The law says otherwise.
      Unfortunately, I'm not sure what you can do at this point. You don't mention what college you attend, but I would suggest contacting the administration to see how to appeal your decision or writing the Board of Regents. You might not get your fine reversed, but at least you can vent your feelings and make them aware of the problems you and other disabled people face on your campus. I feel for you. Good luck.

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  68. Laura,
    Can I place my Placard on my Visor and flip it down when I park or will I have to place it on the mirror, live in Ca.
    Thanks, Wayne

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    1. Wayne, it is supposed to hang from your mirror. On the I.D. card that comes with your placard, it specifies that. In some cases, rear view mirrors don't accommodate a placard or are broken. When I am in a car like that, I just lay it on the dashboard and hope this will suffice. But I have heard from at least one person who was ticketed because the officer didn't see the placard there. If you've got a mirror that works, better hang it there.

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  69. Hi Laura,
    Thank you for your post, it's really helpful. I was in a skateboarding accident last month and broke my left leg. Unfortunately I don't have permanent parking where I live (my roommate and I alternate each month). There is street cleaning twice a week on my street and I'm wondering if I can park there with my temporary placard.
    Thank you.

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    1. Sorry about your accident. And sorry, but you can't park in the street cleaning zone. A site that clarifies this and other rules of disabled parking is a city of Sacramento site that spells out the state laws. http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/Parking-Services/Disabled-Person-Parking

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  70. My mother in law refuses to return my placard when I ask for it, and uses it for herself and her friends. I forgot it one day, in her car, and she refuses to give it back now, saying that she doesn't have to give it back and that I can't prove that it's mine (which luckily I can). Any suggestions of what to do here?

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    1. Wow. Sounds like a horrible situation! I would present proof that you own it and tell her she is breaking the law by using it and you are breaking the law by "allowing" her to use it. Not to mention that you need it. I would also print out a copy of the form or explain the procedure for applying so she can request her own and offer to help with that. (Not sure if she needs one, but that's beside the point. If she's turned down, she's turned down, and you would have your own placard back) You don't mention your husband's role in this but including him in your efforts would certainly help.

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  71. One of the things I hate is that I have a temporary placard and I have had it renewed twice. When you look at me, you would think that I don't have any issues causing me to need a placard. I am fairly young (46). I am a military veteran that was injured overseas and has had to have 7 shoulder surgeries and an injury to my back. I don't use my placard if there is other close parking, but when I go to the grocery store for a lot of groceries or heavy items or when I have to walk a long distance I am in a lot of pain. I get yelled at all the time for having a placard and not needing it. It is very frustrating to me because I am being judged by people who have no idea why I have it to begin with.

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  72. I am sorry that you are getting yelled at. It seems like you are using your placard responsibly. Unfortunately, there are many cheaters who abuse the disabled spots, so some folks may overreact when they see you not appearing disabled. I have reminded people that all disabilities are not obvious. I think what's needed here is patience on both sides. People should be patient and respectful if they inquire whether someone indeed qualifies to use a disabled space and you should also demonstrate the same qualities when explaining why you do. If this happens to you often, perhaps you can photocopy the card that comes with your placard and have it handy to show doubters.

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  73. Does a handicap placard go with the car or the person? If someone is driving me somewhere, can I use my placard in their car?

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    1. Absolutely. The placard goes with the person, not the car or driver.

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  74. Greetings from Pasadena! Thank you for your well-written blog, and for being such a helpful person after all you've gone through! I'm hoping you (or a reader) can please help me, too.

    I work the late shift for a big corporation, and if a coworker with an earlier shift doesn’t vacate a handicapped spot in the parking structure behind my work, I’m hosed. It’s a 12-story structure which has no elevator but has pedestrian ramps from 1978 (pre-ADA standard, steep ramps). I would be happy to park in ANY other spot on ground level, but I am being asked to pay extra to do so, as they hope to sell all non-handicapped ground-level parking spaces- either to the general public for $8 daily rate, or to employees for $25/month as a "reserved" spot (rather than the employee free-for-all on other levels of the structure).
    Since I don’t want to be forced into paying more to park than the non-disabled employees, I complained and was told to find parking on a side street, or "get here earlier" (just making it another disabled coworker's problem). These are the solutions offered by both my manager and the company which now operates the parking lot (my work used to run it without problems because they had more disabled parking than disabled people, but they sold the property and are leasing-back office space, and the lot was re-striped to the minimum disabled parking allowed by law).
    In 10 months, this pay-to-park scheme has not had many takers, so half of the ground floor parking remains vacant and on the occasions when all of the disabled spots are taken, I’ve parked in whatever is the next available spot: one of those ground floor spaces- without paying extra, making sure my valid handicap placard is hanging from the rear view mirror, and hoping for the best. Yesterday I received a warning that I will be towed next time I park in a ground level spot without paying extra. I am ready to fight. I see this as a private place of public accommodation that is asking a disabled person to pay extra just to have the same experience non-disabled employees get, which is accessibility to the workplace. Am I correct, and what exact laws can I quote?

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    1. Thanks for your compliments about my blog. I do appreciate them. So sorry I didn't see this post until a couple of days ago. My blog generates so much spam that sometimes the real comments or questions gets lost. And you sounded like you wanted an answer sooner rather than later. Not sure what has happened since April. I agree, this doesn't seem fair at all and it's definitely worth a fight. I can't point you to laws that refer to this, but I can recommend calling the ADA hotline to see if they have any advice: 800-514-0301 They answer calls Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thurs 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST

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  75. I was towed from a handicapped space with placard in full view, from restruant. didn't see signs for private property and am in California. Is this legal?

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    1. I've got this type of question before and am not sure of the exact answer. Was there a "Restaurant Parking Only" sign in front of the space? And were you not in the restaurant? Then, I think, if it's private property, they can tow you. But if there were no signs, and you had a valid placard, (even if you weren't in the restaurant) it seems wrong.

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    2. There is a couple that lives at my young adult relatives' apartment complex who we feel is illegally using a blue placard. Every tenant is issued 1 parking space. If you have 2 cars you can pay a monthly fee for another parking space as all the other tenants do. Their car is permanently parked in the disabled parking space. The placard is not in full view hanging from the rear view mirror but tucked in the left hand corner of the dash board hiding the placards' ID number and partially the date. To my knowledge blue placards exp June of odd years but this placard states exp June 2016. The woman who owns the car and her significant other shares their apt. The neighbors are talkers in this complex and have been complaining of suspicious placard fraud from them but hasn't reported it. The significant other is a convicted felon recently released jail. Parole officers have come to the complex a couple of times inquiring where their numbered apt was. If the couple had a legal placard then why would the placard ID number be hidden and expiration date be partially covered? I am permanently disabled with a legal placard issued by my Dr. I visit my young adult relative frequently. The problem is that when I visit, my relative has to move his car from his assigned parking space for me to park in his spot and he has to park his car on the street because I am unable to walk far. This is all because the car in the disabled parking space is parked there permanently. It's very rarely ever moved. This inconveniences my relative to have to park on the street as well as other tenants who have disabled friends and family visiting. This couple has adopted this disability parking spot as their own personal parking space when its meant to be shared by all who are disabled. By not ever moving their car and hiding the valid information on the placard, I and other tenants have become suspicious. Being that the significant other is a convicted felon it seems to be apparent that the placard was stolen or illegally bought on the street. My young adult relative will not report this problem to the management office or legal authorities for fear of retaliation if the couple found out. I believe the tenants feel the same way and that's why no one has reported it. A person in the complex approached the couple and inquired about the placard not being in full view as its been noticed by all living in the complex. Seems as though their physical outdoor activity doesn't warrant a disability placard. The person inquired which of the two of them were disabled, the significant other nervously studered with basically no answer, smirked and just chuckled. The owner of the car said nothing. The person informed them that it is illegal to obtain a placard if you are not disabled and hiding the placards' valid information will result in a very high fine and imprisonment. The significant other again just chuckled. Being that the placards' I'D number is hidden it seems to be a is a given that it was most likely stolen. Well I feel at this point since this is inconveniencing my relative, myself when I visit and the other tenants, I feel that I should report this to the authorities. My question is would it be the police or the DMV? Any advice that you can promptly give in this matter is highly appreciated.

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    3. Hi Laura, I'd like to give you an update regarding the woman in the apt complex with the placard that has the I'D number hidden and tucked in the corner of the dash board of her car. Well after the couple was approached by another tenant regarding permanently parking in the disabled parking space with the woman's placard I'D number and information hidden, the next day the woman parked her car in the significant other's assigned parking space still hiding the placard information and partial date by it being tucked in the corner if the dash board. Well now the significant other (the convicted felon) is now parking his car in the disabled parking space. His car to anyone's knowledge until approached about their noticeable suspicious placard situation, has never ever displayed a disability placard nor has he ever parked in the disability space before. Surprisingly, now his car has a blue placard tucked on the left side windshield however displaying all the placard ID numbers and exp date. If this placard was newly issued, the expiration date should be 2 years from now expiring in 2017. However, strangely this placard expires in June 2015. Laura this seems so incredibly weird that once they were approached regarding the woman's hidden placard information that the next day the significant other shows up with a blue placard expiring in 2 months and now parking in the disabled spot. The woman's car with the hidden placard information now parks in their assigned parking spot. I truly believe that this couple is really trying to get over from paying for a second parking spot or parking their 2nd car on the street and having to walk from their parked car on the street to their apt. I can not truly believe a couple who is so physically active , would even need 2 disability placards in both of their cars. This really bothers me because I am legally permanently disabled and have to walk with a cane, have had 28 surgeries with several disability ailments. However, when I visit my young adult relative, he has to continue to move his car from his assigned spot so I can park in his spot and he parks on the street and walks back to his apt because I am unable to walk far. It's not fair, it's illegal and immoral that this couple is permanently hogging up the disability space. It seems very suspicions that there are likely now 2 fraudulent, illegally obtained or stolen placards. Laura, what are your ideas regarding this situation and how should it be handled and who should be contacted regarding the seemingly suspicious 2 placards or am I simply putting too much thought into these suspicions? Thanks for your input regarding this situation.

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    4. Wow. Sounds like a horrible, definitely illegal situation. You are correct, in California the expiration dates on the blue permanent cards are odd years. If I were you, I would find out who the management company of the apartment complex is and send them a lengthy letter explaining the situation like you did to me, perhaps anonymously. And explain why you want to remain anonymous. Then I would definitely contact the local police, again explaining everything and directing them to the specific vehicle. I understand people's reluctance to complain for fear of retaliation, but this is just so wrong. Perhaps you could tell them you wish to remain anonymous. Maybe there is a tip line in your area that you can call without leaving your name. Whether or not police will respond, I don't know. But it seems like if this guy (or gal) is on parole, he or she would be in violation of that parole by breaking the law. And I would think they would want to know that.
      Good luck! Hope this rude person is stopped.

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    5. Sorry, I didn't see your update until a few days ago. My advice at this point is to wait until July 1, because his placard expires June 30, 2015, so it's not really invalid until then. I already have my 2017 one but am using my 2015 one (expiring June 30) until I make the switch. If he continues to use it, then you could call your local police and tell them all of your suspicions: describe the car, license number etc. I can see why you are irritated. But the important thing is to not try to do something about it yourself (there's always a teeny tiny chance they are using them legitimately and wouldn't respond well to questioning) I hope if you do report this, the police do respond because how seriously they take reports like this seems to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In the end, you might have to settle for your relative moving his car......Grrrr

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  76. Can the disabled person remain in the vehicle goes in the store, while parked in a handicap space?

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    1. I know some people believe this is just plain wrong, particularly in cases where the disabled person is just getting a closer spot for the driver. But I have definitely done it: stayed in the car while the driver runs into the store. Sometimes, I'm in the passenger seat and after a number of stops, I really don't want to get out. The way I see it, if I have to exit the car while the driver is inside (for instance, if I needed to use the restroom), I would need the space afforded by the accessible spot to exit the car in my walker. I would say to do this sparingly. If it's possible to park somewhere else, with plenty of space if needed, do it.

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  77. Would having a prosthetic leg allow one to get a blue pass? (If they were able to walk without a cane or crutch)

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    1. I don't think so. The federal qualifying conditions include: inability to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest or inability to walk without the use of or assistance from a device or person or severe limitation in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition. California laws state that to qualify a person must have a significant limitation or loss of use in the use of lower extremities. If the person can walk with the prosthetic leg without help, I don't think they need or should qualify for a disabled placard.

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  78. My first disabled person placard expires June 30. I have not received another one yet. How close to the expiration date do they send it to you? How will I know if it was stolen from my mail box because we have quite a bit of mail theft in my area. Do I go to the DMV with my original placard and find out or is it too early?

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    1. Yes, you should definitely go to the DMV. I usually get my replacement placard a good two months before June. Might have been stolen..or just lost in the mail. Try to make an appointment with the DMV or go a AAA office (if you are a member) to save time. They'll be able to help you right away.

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  79. Why do I have to pay to get a Temp Placard.
    I tore my achilles tendon and cannot walk, I am in cructhes and a wheel chair.
    Now in order for me to go to the store I have to pay to park closer.
    Thanks CA for profiting off of my injury.
    Dicks

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    1. Yes, the temporary placard costs $6, while the permanent ones are free. Sorry you are hurt.

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  80. Don't know if my post got lost. I got a parking pass on my vehicle when I signed my lease that expired before my lease was up. I now have a doctor's note that says I can't walk long distances. I don't qualify for a placard. My management company has refused to extend the date on my parking pass requiring me to park 1/2 mile away. What can I do....what are my legal rights?

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    1. This is the first time I've seen this post, so it may have gotten lost. Sorry! As to your question, I'm not sure. You might be at the mercy of your management company, which can do what it wants on private property. If I were you, would appeal the decision to the higher ups at the company, hoping someone somewhere has some compassion for your situation. Not sure why you can't get a placard. Maybe you could check with your doctor on that. Would there be a disabled spot where you could park if you have one?
      Don't know what type of housing you live in, but there are websites where you can ask a lawyer for answers on various questions. For instance, here is one for condos http://www.condonewsonline.com/Ask_Lawyer.htm Try a google search for the type of housing you have to see if there is some free advice for you. Good luck.

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  81. Hi, I live in CA in the OC in an apartment complex that has three "squares" and addresses and three parking lots outside the gates. There is 1 handicap space in 2 of the parking lots, but none in the third. What is the definition of a parking lot? If they are a block apart doesn't each have to have a disabled space? What about parking that is open to any tenant but behind a gate, do they have to have disabled parking spaces there? Do they have to give me a handicap carport?

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    1. I understand your frustration, but these questions don't have easy answers. I know that complexes with private lots can make their own rules. LIke mobile home parks or HOAs. But your area seems to have a combination of types of lots. There is a hotline at the ADA where you can get answers. 800-514-0301 They answer calls Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thurs 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Good luck and let me know what you find out, please. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

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  82. A friend who had hip replacement surgery in April went to the Stockton, CA Arena to attend her granddaughters graduation tonight only to be turned away. She was not allowed to park in any of the handicapped spaces at the Arena which were empty as they said a hotel had recently purchased the parking area and only hotel guests could use the handicapped parking there. She was further not permitted to be dropped of at the entrance and allow her driver to park elsewhere. Is this even legal??? The Arena was built with public funds and designed with the handicapped spaces close to the entrance. Now this public facility has no accessible parking for any public events. Aren't they in violation of the ADA law? Of course it is too late for her as she missed a milestone event but just for future reference this needs to be resolved.

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    1. That sounds so wrong! And possibly illegal.I can't believe she couldn't use a handicapped space or be allowed to be dropped off. I would first file complaints with the city and the management company, which is SMG Stockton according the stocktonlive.com website, and may be the hotel. Tell them what happened and demand answers. The website says accessible parking is available (under Plan Your Visit FAQs). If you don't get answers, you might consider going to the local media. Because if this is happening, people need to know. Another idea is to call the ADA hotline 800-514-0301. They answer calls Thursdays from 12:30 to 5:30 EST and the other weekdays 9:30 to 5:30 EST. Good luck to you. I hope you get some answers. Let me know what happens, please.

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  83. In regard to this comment in the introduction, "You can also park in any metered street spot without paying at all. (Yippee. One teeny tiny thing that’s good about being handicapped.)"

    I'm not sure that the yippee was warranted. The free on-street parking provision actually works AGAINST the availability of close in parking for legitimate handicapped permit holders. Why? Because many, many people obtain handicapped placard authorization from cooperative doctors or chiropractors to avoid the high price of parking.

    By claiming intermittent back pain that hampers mobility - wink, wink - they are able to legally occupy handicapped and non-handicapped meter spaces for blocks around high parking demand locations. Parking professionals see this problem across the State.

    This practice, of course, makes it very difficult for legitimately limited mobility persons to park close to these destinations. Surely, many readers of this blog have experienced this problem. The primary reason for this abuse? Free parking. In many locations, workers must pay hundreds of dollars a month to park their vehicles. So, there is an strong incentive to find ways not to pay those fees. It is difficult to effectively prevent persons that are not truly disabled from obtaining handicapped placard sign offs from doctors, nurses, and chiropractors.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I agree. Free metered parking has created huge problems in certain areas. Some states that have the same provision have or are considering eliminating this part of the law or establishing a limited number of hours that a disabled placard entitles you to park in a such a spot. It's so discouraging that cheaters or frauds -- including motorists and medical professionals -- are making it tougher for the ones who could really use this provision of the law.

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  84. does my California blue placard make entry into California state parks free

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  85. No. But you do get a 50% discount on vehicle day use, family camping and boat use fees. Here is the link to find out how to apply for a $3.50 lifetime pass: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27241

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  86. If I have handicap plates, do I still need to display a placard?

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    1. No you do not. But you can still use your placard if you are in a vehicle that does not have the plate.

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  87. Laura,

    if I have a mental illness can I get a placer? I cant seem to see that option

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    1. Jennifer, I don't believe mental illness qualifies you for a placard, unless it's a condition which substantially impairs your mobility. In California, the rules include physical, lung, heart or eye disorders. Although each state can make its own laws, the national baseline standards are these:
      (1) inability to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest; (2) inability to walk without the use of or assistance from a device or person; (3) severe lung disease as measured by respiratory volume or arterial oxygen level; (4) use of portable oxygen; (5) cardiac condition of American Heart Association Class III or IV; or (6) severe limitation in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
      If you live in a state other than California, you should check your Department of Motor Vehicles website to make sure.

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  88. Hi, Laura -

    Forgive me if this is a repeat question - I'll ask anyway:

    I will be vacationing in Pennsylvania later this month, and renting a car while I'm there. Can I use my CA placard for handicapped parking in PA?

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    1. Absolutely. States have reciprocal agreements. But you should check the Pennsylvania DMV website to see what the rules are about where you can park, etc.

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    2. Grazie mille!

      Have a Safe and happy 4th!

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  89. I failed to put my placard up and consequently I received a $330.00 ticket. I appealed the fee handed in all my information (copies) and I still received a $25.00 processing fee. Is that legal? Thank you

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    1. Yes, it is. I just found this section of the law while researching another question yesterday. "CVC 40226. An issuing agency may, in lieu of collecting a fine for a citation for failure to display a disabled placard, charge an administrative fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) to process cancellation of a citation in any case where the individual who received the citation can show proof that he or she had been issued a valid placard at the time the citation was received."
      I'm assuming you are in California. Note that the law says "may" so not all agencies must charge it. I've heard from people in other states who say the same thing happened to them. So I guess other states have this provision as well.
      Doesn't seem totally fair, but it's better than paying the full fine.
      Thanks for the timely question.

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  90. I live in the city of Chico, Ca. They have a law that says that you can only park RVs on the street for less than 7 days. My wife has MS and
    I drive her in the rv because she needs to be very near a bathroom at all times. Does the state issued handicap placard override the city law? If it doesn't they will tow me.

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    1. Interesting question. I understand why you need the RV for your wife. State law says a disabled placard entitles you to park at any on-street location with posted time limit zones. Is the 7-day RV limit posted on a sign somewhere? If it is, I think you are OK. But cities can pass ordinances to add to the state laws. To avoid being towed, I would call the city and explain your situation and ask whether it would be considered legal. It's better than testing the law and getting towed. Let me know what you learn.

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  91. Hmm. I'm not tech savvy. I thought I hit publish but don't see my comment so please forgive me if this is a duplicate. I mailed in the application for the placard about a month ago (CA DMV) About how long does it usually take to receive it? Does anybody have any info on that? Thanks in advance!

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    1. I think I answered your question as a comment rather than reply just now. Speaking of not being tech savvy! If you could check my blog site once more mine is the last comment on this topic.

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  92. I can't find any information on the DMV site that says how long it should take after you mail it in, but another site, not official, estimated it would take about two weeks. A month seems a bit long to me, but maybe with budget cutbacks, it's not. You can always go to a local DMV or AAA office if you are a member and they can check on your application. The first time I applied for a temporary placard, I waited forever, only to call the DMV and learn that I had neglected to send in the fee. They didn't send me a letter asking for the fee, they just dragged their feet. You could go that route, too: call the DMV number. As I recall, rather than waiting on hold, you can leave your number and they call you back.

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  93. This is,weird I don't see my question

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    1. Not sure if you can see this! Remind me of the question you asked and I'll try to find it for you.

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