One of several new laws taking effect in Texas this month will change the rules for vets with disabilities regarding accessible parking spaces.
Disabled veteran license plates, also known as DV plates, will no longer be enough on their own to legally park in accessible parking spaces starting Jan. 1, 2022, according to Senate Bill 792, which was passed. signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in May.
Texas law will require that all vehicles with DV plates parked in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible parking space also display a sign with the International Symbol of Access (ISA).
Starting December 1, under this new law, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer automatically issue disability plates with DV plates. A note with a doctor’s signature will be required to obtain a sign.
As of January 1, 2022, parking in an ADA parking spot requires either a new DV license plate with the ISA or an unexpired DV plate along with a current parking plate.
While all of the new legislation that was passed and signed into law by the 87th Texas Legislature took effect September 1, disabled veterans still have a few months before this law is implemented.
“Nothing changed for DV plate holders on September 1, 2021. They can still park in handicapped parking spaces until January 1, 2022,” a TXDMV spokesperson said.
According to the Texas DMV, “eligibility for plaques and plaques is based on a medical condition that meets the legal definition of a disability,” which includes the following:
-Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses.
-Visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
-Mobility problems that significantly impair a person’s ability to move around; these problems can be caused by:
Uses portable oxygen
Arthritis, neurological or orthopedic condition. o Foot disorder.
Any other medical condition requiring a person to use a splint, cane, crutch or other assistive device.
As of August 2021, disabled veterans in Texas had registered 403,000 vehicles with DV plates, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
The use of the parking plate or a license plate with ISA to park in an accessible parking space is only permitted when the disabled person is using the space or the disabled person is being driven by another person .
People who abuse disabled parking signs are subject to fines of up to $1,250 and/or up to 50 hours of community service, according to the TXDMV.
Applications for disabled veteran license plates and parking plates can be found here.
Vehicles with DV plates are still exempt from paying parking fees collected by meters that are charged by a government authority other than a branch of the federal government.
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