[box type="shadow"]Federal government laws on handicapped parking were established in order to provide guidelines to the states when they passed their own state laws. The aim of the federal government was to lay the groundwork for a uniform system for handicapped parking. The Americans with Disability Act, enacted to provide access for handicapped persons to all public facilities, specifies the regulations for accessible parking. [/box]
Minimally, handicapped is defined as persons who are blind, have a limited ability to walk, are parents of a handicapped child, or any organization that transports handicapped persons.
States are required to issue a special license plate to any disabled person who applies for one. The first application has to include a doctor’s certification that the applicant meets the legal definition of a disabled person with a diminished ability to walk. Organizations can also apply for a special license plate for a vehicle that is mainly used to transport people with disabilities affecting their ability to walk.
States are required to provide disabled people with a removable windshield placard if they apply for one. Applicants who don’t have a special license plate can request an extra placard. As with the application for a special license plate, the initial application has to include a doctor’s certification that the applicant meets the legal definition of a disabled person with a diminished ability to walk.
All states will ticket anyone using a space without the handicapped designation. If the handicapped member of your family is not with you, you are not permitted to use the handicapped stall.
Only vehicles with special license plates, removable windshield placards or temporary removable windshield placards that show the International Symbol of Access are allowed to use parking spaces reserved for the disabled.
The design and construction of disabled parking spots is determined by each state. The federal government requires, however, that parking spaces be accessible, usable and safe for people with disabilities. Signs must comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices For Streets and Highways (23 C.F.R. part 655, subpart F). If federal funds are used for the parking spaces, they must meet the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards.