Disabled placard changes coming this fall to curb fraud
KY TRANSPORTATION CABINET
FRANKFORT — Significant improvements are coming this fall to Kentucky’s familiar blue and red disabled parking placards, aimed at improving parking access for disabled populations and curbing potential fraudulent use.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing is working to implement software system, design and operational changes for the production and issuance of disabled placards statewide. The changes were set in motion by House Bill 81. Kentuckians can expect to see program changes launch Sept. 17 at county clerk offices across the state.
“The extended renewal cycle of permanent placards from two years to six years called for a more durable material to handle normal wear and tear and regular transfer between vehicles,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “Software changes are complete and the remaining work is limited to procedural changes, printing and distributing the new placards to all 120 counties.”
Expiration dates on existing placards are currently handwritten and could be susceptible to potential alterations. New permanent and temporary disabled placards will feature a decal with a printed expiration date to minimize fraud.
With strong support from legislators and advocacy groups, like the Center for Accessible Living, HB 81 reintroduces a $10 fee for duplicate or replacement placards to reduce the number of placards on the roads that may be used by non-disabled drivers not transporting a disabled person.
In 2009, Kentucky stopped charging for additional placards; and in one year, the number of placards issued surged from nearly 32,000 to more than 209,000.
“Charging a fee for additional placards and linking placards to individuals, not vehicles, are steps we hope will cut down on the number of placards issued and help disabled populations find designated spots,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jerry T. Miller.
Notable Improvements of HB 81:
• Replacement or duplicate placards will cost $10.
• Permanent handicap placards will be valid for six years, maximizing convenience.
• The parent or guardian of a disabled person may apply for a placard on his or her behalf.
• Permanent placards will expire on the placard-holder’s birth month.
• Permanent and temporary disabled placards will be linked to the applicant instead of a vehicle, eliminating the need for additional placards for multiple vehicles the disabled person may use.
• Organizations will be allowed to obtain a placard.
Initial placards will still be issued at no cost and temporary placards will remain valid for three months.