Governor Brown Signs Legislation to Curb Abuse of the DMV’s Parking Placard and License Plate Program for Drivers with Disabilities

October 04, 2017

For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – October 4, 2017

Governor Brown Signs Legislation to Curb Abuse of the DMV’s Parking Placard and License Plate Program for Drivers with Disabilities

SB 611 by Senator Jerry Hill Takes Effect January 1

Sacramento – Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation by Senator Jerry Hill on Wednesday to help prevent abuse and tighten oversight of the DMV’s parking placard and license plate program for motorists with disabilities.

“We must block scofflaws and fraudsters from gaming the DMV’s placard and license plate program for drivers with disabilities and ensure that the motorists who need this important program have access to its benefits,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “These changes to state law, along with changes recently made by the DMV, will go a long way toward reducing fraud and abuse.”

In a report published in April, the California State Auditor detailed a series of abuses that had long been the subject of speculation but had not been quantified. Among other things, the report found that an estimated 35,000 placards belonging to individuals who had died were still being used. Also, there was no limit on the number of replacement placards a person could receive and placards were automatically renewed every two years – making it easy for an individual to obtain multiple placards.

The State Auditor made six recommendations to the Legislature to improve oversight of the program and reduce fraud. SB 611 implements the recommendations by:

  1. Requiring the DMV to conduct quarterly audits of applications and work with state health boards in analyzing the applications to ensure their accuracy.
  2. Requiring the DMV to use the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to help determine which placards holders have died so their placards can be cancelled.
  3. Requiring all permanent placard holders – not license plate holders – to renew their placard every six years.
  4. Requiring applicants to provide proof of their name and date of birth by submitting a copy of their driver’s license, birth certificate, or other documentation approved by the department.
  5. Limiting the number of replacement placards that can be obtained within a two-year period to four placards. If more replacements are needed, placard holders would need to reapply.
  6. Adding podiatrists to the list of medical providers able to certify applications related to disabilities of the foot or ankle.

The new law takes effect on January 1.

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Resources:

Text of Senate Bill 611:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB611

Fact Sheet for SB 611:
http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/sb611_factsheet.pdf

Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404 cell, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov