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

Is A Handicap Spot Legal Without A Sign?

Handicap parking infrastructure across America helps millions of disabled people and makes their lives easier. Handicap parking spaces are located in every jurisdiction in the US. Their purpose is to make amenities, buildings, residences, and public areas accessible to disabled people.

In order to use handicap parking infrastructure, you need to be a disabled parking permit holder. For handicap parking programs to work well, it is crucial that everybody understands the rules and knows how to avail of the program effectively.

Handicap parking space signage is a crucial part of handicap parking infrastructure. Signage makes it clear to handicap permit holders and non–permit holders exactly which spaces and areas are reserved for disabled people.

The rules around handicap parking space signs are enshrined in federal law, and it is important that all road users are aware of them. People tend to have several questions about handicap parking signs, such as… Is a handicap spot legal without a sign? What happens if a handicap spot doesn’t have a sign? What makes a handicap sign legal? How tall does a handicap sign need to be? Do handicap signs have to be blue?

Let’s answer these important questions today.

What Law Deals With Handicap Parking Signs?

The federal law that deals with handicap parking space sign requirements, rules, and regulations is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

legal handicap parking sign
Image by JoeBreuer on Pixabay: Is a handicap spot legal without a sign?

Are Handicap Parking Laws The Same In Every State?

Certain handicap parking rules, such as handicap space sign requirements and how many disabled spaces should be in a parking lot, are federal laws. Federal laws apply nationwide. Other aspects of handicap parking laws, such as exact qualifying conditions and the types of permits that are available, vary slightly state by state.

Is A Handicap Spot Legal Without A Sign?

No, a handicap parking space is not legal without a sign. The ADA states that all handicap spaces must be denoted by a handicap parking sign.

What Happens If A Handicap Spot Doesn’t Have A Sign?

Some handicap spots will only have the wheelchair symbol painted on the ground. These spaces, while quite clearly marked as disabled spaces, should still have a sign according to the ADA. If you see a spot without a sign, you should contact your local disabled parking authorities and ask them to install a sign.

What Makes A Handicap Sign Legal?

What are the legal handicap parking signage requirements? The requirements for handicap parking signs are that they must be the correct design and they must be positioned correctly in relation to the space they are denoting.

How Tall Does A Handicap Sign Need To Be?

A handicap parking space sign must be mounted at least five feet above the ground.

Do Handicap Signs Have To Be Blue?

No, handicap parking signs do not need to be blue. However, a blue sign with the International Symbol of Accessibility in white is the most common sign design.

Where Are Handicap Parking Spaces Located?

Handicap parking spaces are located in all public places. They are located on-street and in parking lots in numbers dictated by federal law in accordance with the ADA.

How Do You Get A Handicap Parking Permit?

The easiest way to get a handicap parking permit is to have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional at the Dr. Handicap online clinic. Once the medical professional has verified your disability, they will sign a handicap parking application form that you can submit to your local handicap parking authorities, which, in most states, is the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

parking spaces with no signage
Image by Pexels on Pixabay: What happens if a handicap spot doesn’t have a sign? In that case, it isn’t up to ADA standard.

What Medical Professionals Can Sign A Handicap Parking Application?

The specific medical professionals that can sign a handicap parking application vary state by state. In most states, any one of the following can sign your application:

  • Licensed physician
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced nurse practitioner
  • Chiropractor

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Handicap Parking Permit?

The following medical conditions will qualify you for a disabled parking permit in all states:

  • An inability to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • An inability to walk without the aid of an assistive device such as a cane, crutch, wheelchair, Zimmer frame, or another person.
  • A heart condition classified as Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
  • Lung disease
  • A condition that necessitates the use of portable oxygen
  • Lung disease
  • Legal blindness
  • Any arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition that seriously curtails mobility

Featured image by MichaelGaida on Pixabay

The 3 Different Types Of Disabled Parking Spaces

Disabled parking spaces are vital things. To millions of disabled Americans, handicap parking spaces are invaluable lifelines they simply couldn’t get by without.

Disabled parking spaces ensure a core human right that is essential to wellbeing: equal access to the amenities throughout our country. We are all in this together, and disabled parking spaces enable those of us who lack mobility to partake fully in society.

Handicap parking spaces are rightly recognized as crucially important by jurisdictions and citizens all across America. Their upkeep and proper usage is always a high priority, and they are strictly regulated and protected by federal law.

New disabled permit holders might not know much about disabled parking spaces. They may have questions such as: Are there different types of handicap parking spaces? What are the different types of disabled parking space and how should each be used? How can you recognize the difference between the different types of disabled spaces? Does my disability, type of permit, or the vehicle I’m traveling in limit the type of space I can use?

Let’s answer these questions right now.

Are There Different Types Of Disabled Parking Spaces?

Yes, there are three different types of disabled parking spaces in America. The reason there are three types is so the disabled parking program can serve the widest possible group of disabled parking permit holders. The aim is for all disabilities and all vehicle types to be catered for.

Dr. Handicap - Blue Handicap Parking Sign
Image by arembowski on Pixabay: There are three different types of disabled parking space.

What Are The Different Types Of Disabled Parking Spaces?

The three different types of disabled parking space are:

  • Accessible parking spaces for cars
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (one-sided entry)
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (two-sided entry)

What Law Regulates Disabled Parking In America?

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is the federal law that regulates disabled parking spaces in America. The law covers the types of spaces, their dimensions, the number of spaces there should be in any area, and the positioning and placement of spaces.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between The Different Types Of Disabled Spaces?

Accessible parking spaces for cars are for standard vehicles without a wheelchair ramp or lift. These spaces are marked by the International Symbol of Access (blue and white wheelchair symbol). They have at least a 60-inch-wide aisle to allow a person in a wheelchair room to enter and exit the vehicle.

Accessible parking spaces for vans (one-sided entry) are for vehicles that have a ramp or lift. These spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Access and have a striped access aisle on the driver’s side that is at least 96 inches wide.

Accessible parking spaces for vans (two-sided entry) are similar to those with one-sided entry. The only difference is that they have an access aisle on both sides.

How Can You Know Whether Parking In A Certain Space Is Appropriate For You?

The right parking space depends on whether or not the vehicle you are driving has a ramp or lift, and who is traveling in the vehicle at the time in question. If your vehicle has a side door with a ramp or lift, then you will need to use a van space. The lift or lamp is the pertinent issue, as more space is required to enter and exit a vehicle using one of these devices.

If you are a wheelchair user who does not use a ramp or lift, then you can use a car space, because the 60-inch-wide aisle will be enough. Whether you are traveling in a car, van, or SUV, these spaces will be large enough provided you will not be using a ramp or lift.

If your vehicle has a ramp or lift on both sides, and passengers will be entering and exiting on both sides, you will need to use a van space with two-sided entry.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking sign on wall
Image by StephanieAlbert on Pixabay: How can you know which disabled parking space is right for you? It all depends on your vehicle.

How Many Disabled Spaces Are Parking Lots Required To Contain?

Under the ADA, all parking lots must contain disabled parking spaces, including at least one space for vans. The amount of mandatory disabled spaces increases with the size of the parking lot.

For example, smaller parking lots with 1–25 spaces must contain at least one accessible parking space for vans. For larger parking lots of between 501–1000 spaces, 2% of total spaces must be disabled, including 2–4 accessible parking space for vans.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

If you do not yet have a disabled parking permit, the easiest way to get one is to apply through Dr. Handicap. You’ll have a telemedicine consultation with a registered physician, who will examine you, recommend the type of disabled permit you will need, and provide you with a letter of recommendation.

Featured image by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels

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