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August 2015
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  • Know the Law when Patients with Disabilities Request “Meter Exempt” Parking Placards


    Avoid prosecution, suspension of driving privileges and fines! 

    Beware: The Illinois Secretary of State’s office is cracking down on physicians who authorize unwarranted eligibility for handicapped parking placards. Recently the Chicago mayor's office sent letters to the city’s physicians asking that they carefully review disability criteria for "meter-exempt" placards, noting that non-compliance will lead to penalties.   

    Let’s review the law that took effect Jan. 1, 2014, that created the two-tiered disability parking placard program for Illinois. In a nutshell, the new regulations will no longer allow a person with a disability parking placard to qualify automatically for "meter-exempt" parking in cities and municipalities: 

    TIER 1

    • "Meter-Exempt" Permanent Placards (yellow-and-gray-striped): Individuals with permanent disabilities that prevent them from physically accessing parking meters are exempt from having to feed the meters. 

    TIER 2

    • Permanent Placards (blue): Individuals who have permanent disabilities that do not affect their ability to reach a paybox and insert payment are not eligible for free metered parking and must feed the meters.
    • Temporary Placards (red): Individuals must now pay meters.
    • Organization Placards (green): Designed for organizations that transport persons with disabilities; authorized holders must pay the meters. 

    Persons with disability license plates will also be issued either a meter-exempt or non-meter-exempt parking placard. 

    Penalties for misuse 

    Physicians must conduct a careful review of the eligibility criteria outlined in the law before certifying that their patients are eligible for disability placards. Physicians who falsely certify an application for any person who does not meet the disability criteria face penalties, including prosecution for misdemeanor, suspension of driving privileges and fines of up to $2,500

    Learn more by visiting Illinois' Persons with Disabilities Parking Programs webpage and accessing this brochure

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