OLYMPIA – Changes to the laws governing special parking privileges for persons with disabilities will take effect July 1 and are aimed at reducing the number of people who abuse disabled parking permits.
Changes include requiring a written prescription from a licensed health care provider to obtain disabled parking privileges and requiring a new application for every renewal. The application also includes a new fraud warning on the application to remind applicants and healthcare providers it is a gross misdemeanor if they knowingly provide false information.
The new laws also extend temporary parking placards from up to six months to up to 12 months and increases the penalty of illegally obtaining a disabled parking placard, license plate, tab, or identification card from a traffic infraction to a misdemeanor.
The changes were recommended by a group formed to develop a plan to eliminate abuse of the program. Participants included Department of Licensing, Department of Health, disabled citizen advocacy groups and local governments. The work group also gathered input from the public.
These changes were included in Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2463 passed by the Legislature in 2014. More information is available at dol.wa.gov.