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Nearly 2,500 People Caught Misusing Disabled Parking Placards in One Year


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Sacramento, CA 95818
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July 5, 2018

Nearly 2,500 People Caught Misusing Disabled Parking Placards in One Year

Sacramento – An aggressive crackdown on the fraudulent use of disabled person parking placards resulted in 2,485 misdemeanor citations being issued between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) caught the offenders during 256 enforcement operations throughout the state. During the prior fiscal year, 1,625 citations were handed out during 165 operations.

Offenders have their placard confiscated and receive a misdemeanor citation that carries a $250 to $1,000 fine. The violation also appears on their driver record. 

“We want Californians to understand that a disabled person parking placard can only be used by the person to whom it’s assigned,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “When you illegally use a placard, you disrupt the lives of those with disabilities and interfere with their mobility. I ask you to save the space.”

Last year, the DMV increased its enforcement efforts by holding as many as 24 operations each month. It also launched an awareness campaign to educate the public about the proper use of a disabled person parking placard.

“Through education and compliance, we hope to issue fewer citations,” Acting Investigations Chief Mary Bienko said. “We will keep up our enforcement efforts until Californians stop fraudulently using disabled person parking placards.”

Here are the results of enforcement operations during Fiscal Year 2017/18:

Fiscal Year 2017/18 Citations Issued Drivers Contacted
July 170 1,596
August 145 1,676
September 555 3,700
October 135 1,622
November 171 2,016
December 150 2,106
January 185 1,822
February 153 1,582
March 167 2,050
April 381 4,951
May 133 1,574
June 140 1,548
Totals 2,485 26,243


Statistics show that, on average, one out of 10 people who DMV investigators contacted in the past 12 months were either illegally using a disabled person parking placard or parking in a disabled spot without a placard. The high number of citations issued in September is attributed to an enforcement effort at the Los Angeles County Fair and in April to a crackdown at the Coachella and Stagecoach musical festivals in Indio. Large sporting and music events typically attract offenders who seek prime parking that is often offered at no cost.   

The following results are from enforcement operations held in June 2018:

Date City Citations Issued Drivers Contacted
6/5 Delano 3 29
6/6 Oxnard 18 85
6/7 Oroville 12 85
6/12 Livermore 3 85
6/12 Rohnert Park 2 60
6/13 Hawthorne 7 61
6/13 San Diego 9 160
6/14 Northridge 5 40
6/16 Sacramento 8 92
6/19 Alhambra 7 60
6/19 Irvine 4 31
6/19 Redwood City 4 116
6/19 Watsonville/Capitola 1 30
6/20 Chula Vista 7 111
6/20 Mountain View 4 90
6/20 Oceanside 2 82
6/20 Pomona 7 55
6/21 Tracy 8 50
6/25 Fresno 2 73
6/26 Los Angeles 14 60
6/27 Rancho Cucamonga 5 91
6/28 Walnut Park 8 39
Totals: 22 operations 140 1,548


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.  

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Jaime Garza
DMV Spokesperson



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