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

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 | dmvpublicaffairs@dmv.ca.gov

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2018

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 2017/18Citations IssuedDrivers Contacted
July1701,596
August1451,676
September5553,700
October1351,622
November1712,016
December1502,106
January1851,822
February1531,582
March1672,050
April3814,951
May1331,574
June1401,548
Totals2,48526,243

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:

DateCityCitations IssuedDrivers Contacted
6/5Delano329
6/6Oxnard1885
6/7Oroville1285
6/12Livermore385
6/12Rohnert Park260
6/13Hawthorne761
6/13San Diego9160
6/14Northridge540
6/16Sacramento892
6/19Alhambra760
6/19Irvine431
6/19Redwood City4116
6/19Watsonville/Capitola130
6/20Chula Vista7111
6/20Mountain View490
6/20Oceanside282
6/20Pomona755
6/21Tracy850
6/25Fresno273
6/26Los Angeles1460
6/27Rancho Cucamonga591
6/28Walnut Park839
Totals:22 operations1401,548

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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