Accessible Parking Awareness

Beginning June 30, the process of renewing permanent disability parking placards in California will change in an effort to reduce fraudulent usage across the state. Nationwide, improper use of accessible parking spaces is increasing.

According to a BraunAbility survey conducted in 2018 as part of the “Save My Spot” campaign, 74% of people had seen an accessible parking space being used improperly. In addition, striped lines next to a accessible parking spot indicate it is intended for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. However, 42% of respondents were unaware of this purpose. 15% of the respondents were unaware that the lines had any meaning at all.

Every six years, owners will be asked to sign a form provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles attesting to their continued existence and the need for a tag. According to the California DMV, anybody who acquired their original permanent disabled person parking placard before January 2019 will be part of the first renewal cycle.

Disabled license plates and placards allow disabled people and veterans, as well as transportation groups that help such individuals, to park in designated areas.

Senate Bill 611, initially passed in October 2017, permits the California DMV to automatically renew placards every two years at the end of June.

To be eligible for a placard, you must submit a certificate of disability signed by a physician and surgeon or another medical practitioner. The California DMV is set to conduct a random annual audit to validate the documents.

The California DMV compares its data to the vital statistics records of the California Department of Public Health once a year and removes the renewal placards if someone is deceased.

If a temporary placard is lost or stolen, the department can issue an unlimited number of temporary placards to persons who are temporarily or permanently disabled. SB 611 will require holders to submit a free renewal form to the California DMV once every six years for the first time this year.

To verify holders, the California DMV will compare its placard records against the Social Security Administration’s master files of social security numbers. People will be limited to four replacement placards within a two-year renewal period. If you need more tags, you will have to reapply for a new one and submit a new certificate verifying your disability.

Disabled people want to be members of their communities. Accessible parking is one tool that makes this possible. Please make sure that you are mindful of accessible parking spaces when you are out.


“Handicap Parking Campaign Save My Spot.” BraunAbility, 4 June 2021,

Taylor, Brianna. “California DMV Is Cracking down on Disabled Parking Fraud. How a New Rule Is Meant to Help.” The Sacramento Bee , 5 June 2023,

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