An aggressive crackdown on the fraudulent use of disabled person parking placards resulted in 1,987 misdemeanor citations being issued between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) caught the offenders during 217 enforcement operations conducted statewide.
Those found to be misusing placards have them confiscated and receive a misdemeanor citation that carries a $250 to $1,000 fine. The violation also appears on the individual’s driver record.
“When someone misuses a disabled person parking placard, they disrupt the lives of those with disabilities and interfere with their mobility,” said acting DMV Director Kathleen Webb. “Through education and enforcement, we hope the number of offenders our enforcement team cites decreases I want to remind Californians to save the space.”
California state law mandates that a disabled person parking placard only be used by the person to whom it is assigned. Investigators are able to verify that a disabled parking placard is being appropriately used by comparing the placard assignment number with an accompanying registration card and personal identification.
Typical abuses include drivers parking in a marked disabled parking spot without a placard, drivers using a placard issued to a family member or friend and using the access area to load and unload passengers who do not have a disability.
The DMV holds as many as 24 enforcement operations each month throughout the state. The department also launched an awareness campaign to educate the public about the proper use of a disabled person parking placard.
Here are the results of enforcement operations:
Fiscal Year Citations Issued Operations
2018/19 1,987 217
2017/18 2,485 256
2016/17 1,625 165
2015/16 738 113
Anyone who suspects a person might be misusing a disabled person placard is urged to report it using an online complaint form or by contacting their local DMV Investigations office. Submissions are confidential. It is important to note that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse might be unfounded.