Do Handicap Spots Have To Have Blue Lines?

Accessible parking is vital to many people, especially those with a disability that impacts mobility. If you’re new to the world of accessible parking, then you may have a lot of questions. “Do handicap spots have to have blue lines?” is just one of the many things that are important to know for those who utilize disabled parking. There are many things to understand about the different visual designation requirements for disabled parking spaces.

If you’re wondering how to know if a spot is a handicap parking spot, then keep reading. That and many other questions will be answered here!

The ADA and You

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in conjunction with state laws, requires public agencies and private businesses to provide accessible parking. The number of spaces in each lot, as well as how they are marked, is dictated by the ADA, which is why signage is universal. Even older lots built before the law took effect to have to meet these requirements if lot is upgraded or a new one is built.

The location of disabled parking spots is also specified by law. They must be in a location that allows the most accessible and shortest route to a building. They also have to be a minimum of eight feet wide and have an aisle adjacent that is five feet wide; spots accessible for handicap vans must be 11 feet wide. A path to the building must also be provided.

disabled parking symbols and signage
Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: What do blue lines in a parking lot mean? It means you shouldn’t park there!

Do Handicap Signs Have To Be Blue?

Under the ADA, every disabled parking space has to be properly designated with signage. These signs must have the “Universal Symbol of Accessibility” on them – the standard image that comes to mind when you think about disabled parking spaces of a person in a wheelchair: a blue sign with white letters and symbols.

These signs must be blue – it’s the universal color so that they are recognizable no matter where you are in the United States. Aside from color, they also must be at least five feet off the ground so they can be seen even when a car is parked in the space. Spaces for accessible vans must say “van accessible” on the sign.

What Are The Yellow Lines Next To Handicapped Parking?

You may also have noticed yellow or blue lines next to disabled parking spots. What are those? The explanation is fairly straightforward: these are stripes that denote no one should park there because the extra space is needed in order for wheelchair users to deploy a ramp to get out of their van, or to have easier access in and out of their vehicle when transferring to and from their wheelchair.

Remember, if you see yellow or blue stripes in parking lots, those are for the use of disabled persons who may need the extra space to get in and out of their vehicles. They are not parking spots, and they are not areas where you can leave shopping carts or otherwise block in any fashion.

What If There’s No Handicap Parking Sign?

You may come across parking spaces that have handicap symbols printed on the ground but no other signage denoting that it is a handicap parking spot. This is against the ADA rules, as every parking space for disabled persons is supposed to be marked by a sign. There are no regulations for symbols on the pavement.

There are exceptions to signage laws under the ADA for parking lots that have four or fewer parking spaces. Residential lots with assigned parking spots also do not need to have signage denoting spaces as handicap parking spaces.

disabled parking universal access symbol
Image by AbsolutVision on Unsplash: How do you know if a spot is handicap parking? This Universal Symbol is the key!

The Americans with Disabilities Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. Violations of the ADA rules when it comes to parking spots against both businesses and individuals who don’t comply with parking requirements can be severe. There are civil penalties for non-compliance up to $150,000 – and that’s just for a first violation. The best rule of thumb if you own or operate a business or other public facility under the purview of the ADA is to understand the laws and follow them to the letter.

Disabled parking is very important to those who need it, and luckily, it’s pretty easy to spot the signs that let those with disabilities know where they can park for the best access.

Featured image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

The Texas disabled parking program exists to equal the playing field and make the lives of disabled people easier. All jurisdictions in the Lone Star State are well-equipped with ADA-compliant disabled parking infrastructure. The Texas disabled parking rules are firm but fair, and this enables the program to run smoothly.

Accessible Parking In Texas

The Texas disabled parking program caters to residents of the state who have both short-term and long-term disabilities. It also caters to visitors to Texas who have a disability and a disabled parking permit from their home state.

What Are The Texas Disabled Parking Rules?

People who are new to accessible parking in Texas tend to have several questions. Who can park in handicap parking in Texas? What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas? What is the fine for parking in a handicap spot in Texas? Below, we will answer these important questions and many more.

houston city texas
Image by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash: Who can park in handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

Handicap parking spots in Texas adhere to standards set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Handicap spots are located in every jurisdiction and are marked with a signpost emblazoned with the International Symbol of Access.

The following people can park in handicap parking in Texas:

  • Texas disabled parking permit holders
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by all other US states and overseas territories
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by Canada, Mexico, EU, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan

Can Handicap Permit-Holders Park In Metered, On-Street Spots In Texas?

In Texas, disabled parking permit holders can park for free in metered, on-street parking spots for an unlimited amount of time.

What Is The Fine For Parking In A Handicap Spot In Texas?

The fine for illegally parking in a handicap spot in Texas ranges from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $750.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit In Texas?

To get a Texas disabled parking permit, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the clinic, you will have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional who will verify your suitability to use disabled parking.

Once your suitability is verified, you will be emailed a signed application form that you can complete and submit to the Texas DMV.

What Qualifies For Handicap Parking In Texas?

In Texas, a person qualifies for disabled parking if they have any of the following disabilities:

  • They cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • They cannot walk without the use of or assistance from an assistance device, including a brace, cane, crutch, another person, or a prosthetic device.
  • They are restricted by lung disease to the extent that their forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air at rest.
  • They use portable oxygen.
  • They have a cardiac condition classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the American Heart Association.
  • They are severely limited in their ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
  • They have a foot disorder that limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have another debilitating condition that, in the opinion of a physician licensed to practice medicine in Texas or a state adjacent to Texas, or authorized by law to practice medicine in a hospital or other health facility of the Veterans Administration, limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
  • They have visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
view over river in texas
mage by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash: What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Verify An Application For Handicap Parking In Texas?

The following medical professionals can verify an application for disabled parking in Texas:

  • Physician
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced practice nurse

The professional must meet one of the following conditions:

  • They are licensed in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma
  • They practice medicine in a U.S. military installation based in Texas
  • They practice medicine in a hospital or health facility of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available In Texas?

  • Permanent disabled parking placards (blue) – valid for four years
  • Temporary disabled parking placards (red) – valid for six months
  • Permanent license plates
  • Disabled Veterans license plates
  • Institutional permanent placard (blue)

Featured image by 12019 on Pixabay

5 Handicap Parking Sign Requirements

Prior to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Americans with disabilities had a lot more issues when it came to finding accessible parking. The ADA was designed to ensure that all Americans with disabilities were given equal rights in all areas of their lives, including parking.

Accessibility is a vital component to leading a normal life for those with mobility issues or those who have disabilities that make it difficult to gain access to certain public spaces without assistance. ADA guidelines state that every public area has to have accessible parking for people with disabilities so that they can make their way to and from their destination, and also so they can get around, in and out of their vehicle with ease. To make disabled parking places clear and visible, there are many different rules and regulations in place for handicap parking sign requirements.

What makes a handicap spot official?

There are handicap parking spots available all around the country, and each spot has to meet certain criteria for it to be considered an official disabled parking space. For example, according to the ADA, the spot needs to be designated with a clearly marked sign and proper identification that includes the international symbol of accessibility (the wheelchair symbol that is widely recognizable to the majority of people). For a spot to be official, it has to be signposted clearly with this symbol.

disabled parking sign near building
Image by Bernardo Lorena Ponte on Unsplash: How high do handicap parking signs need to be?

Does a handicap parking spot need a sign?

There are a few rules that need to be followed for spots to adhere to handicap parking regulations. For example, as well as handicap parking spots being clearly identified by signs that have the international symbol of accessibility, van-accessible spots need to have the same sign plus the phrase “van-accessible” clearly outlined.

There are couple exceptions to this rule, though. Parking lots that are small and have four or fewer spaces are required by law to have accessible spaces, but those spaces can be used by anyone with or without a disability and do not need a sign. Residential areas such as apartment buildings that have assigned parking spots do not have to have signs at their accessible spaces, either. In both instances, accessible parking is still required, though the spots just don’t need to be marked with signage.

What are the main handicap parking sign requirements?

Aside from the rule that states that public places are required to have accessible parking spaces, no matter how big or small their lots are, there are some requirements that need to be met for a disabled parking sign to be legal. The first requirement involves the height of the sign. To ensure that people with and without disabilities can see disabled parking spaces clearly, the signs must be mounted a certain way so that the lower edge of the sign is at least five feet off the ground.

Visibility is important when it comes to accessible handicap parking, and having the signs sit high enough makes them easier to see. The signs must also be clearly viewable and unobstructed. As mentioned above, if the spot is designated for those with vans, that must also be clearly stated in either text or as a symbol so that who can use that spot is specifically outlined.

parking lot with cars
Image by John Matychuk on Unsplash: All parking lots, both big and small, are required by law to have accessible parking spots.

In summary, handicap parking signs must follow these five requirements:

  1. Be clear and visible by motorists
  2. The bottom of the sign must be at least five feet off the ground
  3. Have the international symbol of accessibility
  4. Cannot be obstructed by vehicles or any other objects
  5. Van-accessible signs must be clearly marked with text or a symbol

When it comes to accessibility, handicap parking spaces are crucial for helping people with disabilities get around to where they need to go with ease. Without clearly marked signs that have all the official markers, it would be more difficult for people to find the parking they need. That’s why strict handicap parking sign requirements are enforced by law.

Featured image by Nicolas Torres on Unsplash

Can I Use My Handicap Placard In Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a tropical island located in the Caribbean. It is a popular tourist destination for Americans thanks to its warm, sunny weather, sandy beaches, and stunning mountains, waterfalls, and rainforests.

Puerto Rico is a US territory, which means it is under the jurisdiction of the United States government. But are Puerto Rico’s disabled parking rules and regulations different from those in other parts of the US?

Disabled drivers who are visiting Puerto Rico tend to have several questions… Is there disabled parking in Puerto Rico? Can I use my handicap placard in Puerto Rico? How do I use a disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico? Are disabled placards good in all states? Today, we will answer these important questions.

Disabled Parking In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a disabled parking program and handicap parking infrastructure. These are overseen by the Puerto Rico Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). All jurisdictions on the island, including all urban and rural neighborhoods and areas of natural beauty, are stocked with designated disabled parking spots.

street with puerto rico flag
Image by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash: Can I use my handicap placard in Puerto Rico?

Can I Use My Handicap Placard In Puerto Rico?

So, can I use my disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico? Happily, the answer to this question is yes! If you are visiting Puerto Rico from any other US state, you can use your handicap placard to avail of Puerto Rico’s disabled parking infrastructure.

Using A Disabled Parking Permit In Puerto Rico

Using a disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico is similar to in any other state. The Puerto Rico disabled parking program is overseen and implemented by the local DMV and the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Can I Use My Handicap Permit In All US Territories?

You can use your handicap parking in all US overseas territories. The five permanently inhabited US overseas territories are:

  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands

Are Disabled Placards Good In All States?

Disabled parking permits issued by any US state are also valid in all other US states and overseas territories. But, as we mentioned earlier, each state has its own unique disabled parking program, so remember to research the specific details of the program in any state you plan to visit.

Can I Use My Disabled Parking Permit In A Foreign Country?

You can use your US disabled parking permit in the following countries:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • EU
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan

What Rights Does A Handicap Permit Afford Its Holder?

A disabled parking permit entitles its holder to park in any designated disabled parking space in the US. These spaces are indicated by signs that are posted five feet above ground level and are marked with the International Symbol of Access.

In most jurisdictions, as well as being able to park in disabled spots, permit holders are also entitled to park in metered, on-street spaces for free. This is not the case everywhere, though, so always check before you travel.

What Laws Deal With Disabled Parking?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the federal law that deals with disabled parking. All US states must adhere to ADA regulations. As a US foreign territory, Puerto Rico also adheres to ADA regulations.

How Do I Apply For A Handicap Parking Permit?

To apply for a disabled parking permit in your state, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the Dr. Handicap clinic, you will have a video consultation with a licensed medical professional in your state, who will verify your suitability for disabled parking.

Once your suitability has been verified, the medical professional will fill out the relevant sections of your state’s handicap parking application form and email it to you. You can then complete the rest of the application form and submit it to your local DMV.

san juan puerto rico
Image by Wei Zeng on Unsplash: Can I use my disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico?

What Types Of Handicap Parking Permits Are Available?

Most states offer the following types of disabled parking permits:

  • Temporary placard
  • Permanent placard or license plate
  • Disabled Veteran’s license plate
  • Organizational placard

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit include:

  • An inability to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • An inability to walk without the aid of an assistive device or another person
  • Lung disease
  • Portable oxygen tank usage
  • Heart condition
  • Legal blindness
  • Substantially restricted mobility due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition

Featured image by Zixi Zhou on Unsplash

Is Handicap Parking Free In Alabama?

Alabama has a well-run and user-friendly disabled parking program. The Alabama program adheres to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and is similar to the disabled parking programs you will find in other US states.

The Alabama disabled parking program exists to improve the lives of disabled Alabama residents and disabled visitors to the state. In order for the program to operate optimally, it is important that all users understand and abide by its rules and regulations.

There are several questions that all Alabama disabled parking permit-holders, and visitors to the state, need to know the answers to, such as… Is handicap parking free in Alabama? Can you park free at a meter with a handicap placard in AL? Can you park in a handicap spot with disabled veteran plates in Alabama? What is the fine for parking in a handicap spot in Alabama without a permit?

Read on to discover the answers to these important questions.

Alabama Handicap Parking Laws

Although each US state abides by the ADA, each also implements its own unique handicap parking program. Alabama has its own disabled parking program rules, regulations, and laws. It is important that people who intend to use Alabama handicap parking infrastructure understand the specific Alabama handicap parking laws.

city of birmingham in alabama
Image by 12019 on Pixabay: Is handicap parking free in Alabama?

Is Handicap Parking Free In Alabama?

It is free to get a handicap parking placard in Alabama. It is also free for permit holders to park in Alabama if they are parking in a designated disabled parking space.

How Do You Recognize An Alabama Disabled Parking Spot?

Alabama disabled parking spots are signposted with the International Symbol of Accessibility. According to the ADA, all official disabled parking spaces must be clearly signposted with a sign that sits at least five feet off the ground.

Can You Park Free At A Meter With A Handicap Placard In AL?

Unlike in many other US states, disabled parking permit holders cannot park for free in metered, on-street spaces in Alabama. Disabled drivers must pay if they want to park in metered spaces in this state.

What Is The Fine For Parking In A Handicap Spot In Alabama Without A Permit?

If a person parks in an Alabama disabled parking spot without a permit they will be fined $50 for their first offense, $200 for their second offense, and $500 for any future offenses.

Can You Park In A Handicap Spot With Disabled Veteran Plates In Alabama?

Unlike in other states, a Disabled Veterans tag on its own does not entitle its holder to park in disabled spaces in Alabama. To park in disabled spaces, a disabled veteran in Alabama must have a disabled license plate or have a wheelchair symbol added to their Disabled Veteran tag.

How Do You Get A Handicap Parking Permit In Alabama?

To get a disabled parking permit in Alabama, you need to have a consultation with a qualified medical professional who will verify your disability. This is easy to do remotely through the Dr. Handicap online clinic. You, and the examining medical professional, will then need to complete an application form and submit it to a Local County Licensing Office.

Who Can Verify An Application For Disabled Parking in Alabama?

The only type of medical professional who is qualified to verify an application for an Alabama disabled parking permit is a licensed physician.

What Types Of Handicap Parking Permits Are Available In Alabama?

There are three types of disabled parking permits available in Alabama:

  • Long-term disabled placards and plates (valid for five years)
  • Temporary placards (valid for six months)
  • Organizational plates
city street in Alabama
Image by 12019 on Pixabay: How do you get a handicap parking permit in Alabama?

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For Disabled Parking In Alabama?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit in Alabama are:

  • The applicant cannot walk two hundred feet without stopping to rest
  • The applicant cannot walk without the use of a walking assistance device
  • The applicant suffers from a cardiac condition that is classified in severity as Class III or Class IV by the American Heart Association
  • The applicant is limited in their mobility by an orthopedic, arthritic, or neurological condition
  • The applicant suffers from lung disease to the extent that their forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest
  • The applicant uses a portable oxygen tank

Featured image by Zach Farmer on Unsplash