Parking Permits for People with Disabilities

Handicap SymbolAn article on the abuse of handicapped parking stalls and the abuse of persons with or without tags would be appreciated. I assume that the permit is issued to the person who is disabled. In many cases, the driver is not disabled. What are the regulations concerning the driver of a vehicle who is not handicapped and the use of the handicapped parking stall?

A disabled persons' parking permit may be displayed by hanging it from the rearview mirror or by laying it on the dash in front of the driver's position when the driver or a person who is a passenger in the vehicle has a disability. This entitles the use of a disabled zone for standing or parking only for the purposes of transporting the disabled person.

Based on a medical doctor's recommendation, anyone with a permanent or temporary mobility impairment is eligible for a permit. People who need extra wide parking spaces in order to get in and out of their vehicle, or who cannot walk more than 100 meters, or who are legally blind are also eligible for a permit.

The permit may be issued by a municipality or by an organization designated by a municipality to a person who qualifies as being disabled. In British Columbia, this is most often done by SPARC, the Social Planning and Research Council.

SPARC will take action against those who misuse the permit. In order to do so, they suggest that you politely ask to see the person's wallet card, which is issued to all who have a permanent disability. The person is not obligated to show you the card. Should they refuse, contact SPARC at (604)718-7744 with your explanation and the parking permit number. They will take appropriate action with regard to the permit.

Not all organizations that issue these permits give the holder a wallet card to go with the placard that hangs from the rearview mirror. In this case the person may not be refusing to show you, they many not be able to.

Police action is also a possibility. A traffic ticket may be issued to those who park in a disabled zone when not entitled, to those who use a disabled parking permit when they are not entitled to it and to those who loan the permit to another person, disabled or not. The vehicle may also be towed.


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