A Handicap Parking Permit, also known as a disabled parking placard or disabled parking permit, is a special permit issued to individuals with disabilities that allows them to park in designated accessible parking spaces close to building entrances, facilities, and services. These permits are designed to ensure that people with mobility impairments have convenient access to public places.
The purpose of a Handicap Parking Permit is to provide individuals with disabilities greater accessibility and ease of mobility when accessing businesses, government buildings, medical facilities, and other public areas. These permits are typically issued by the relevant government agency responsible for motor vehicle registration and driver licensing.
To identify a legitimate Handicap Parking Permit and distinguish it from unauthorized or fake permits, consider the following factors:
- Holograms and Security Features: Many legitimate handicap parking permits have security features, such as holograms, watermarks, or other specialized printing techniques. Check for these features to ensure the permit’s authenticity.
- Specific Design and Colors: Handicap parking permits often have a distinct design and color scheme designated by the issuing jurisdiction. Familiarize yourself with the design elements and colors used in your area to identify genuine permits.
- Expiration Date: Legitimate handicap parking permits typically have an expiration date. Check to ensure that the permit is still valid. Expired permits may indicate that the permit holder no longer qualifies for the parking privileges.
- Clear and Legible Information: The information on the permit should be clear, legible, and free from any signs of alteration or tampering. Check for accurate details such as the permit holder’s name, permit number, and the issuing agency’s information.
- Authorized Issuing Agency: Handicap parking permits are issued by authorized government agencies responsible for motor vehicle registration and driver licensing. Verify that the issuing agency’s information on the permit matches official records.
- Permit Holder’s Photo: Some jurisdictions include a photo of the permit holder on the permit. Ensure that the photo matches the person using the permit.
- Proper Display: Handicap parking permits should be displayed as required by local regulations. In many cases, the permit should be hanging from the rearview mirror or placed on the dashboard in a clearly visible manner.
- Accessible Parking Spaces: Check if the vehicle with the handicap parking permit is parked in an accessible parking space designated by the International Symbol of Access (blue and white wheelchair symbol).
- Use by Authorized Holder: Only the individual to whom the handicap parking permit is issued or authorized by law should use the permit. Using someone else’s permit without authorization is illegal and can result in fines and penalties.
- Verification with Authorities: If you suspect a permit might be fake or unauthorized, you can contact local law enforcement or the issuing agency to verify the permit’s validity.
It’s important to treat handicap parking permits with respect and not misuse them. Unauthorized use of a handicap parking permit can prevent those who genuinely need accessible parking spaces from accessing them, and it may result in legal consequences. If you encounter a situation where you suspect misuse or fraud, it’s advisable to involve the appropriate authorities to ensure that accessible parking spaces are available to those who require them.