ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) — Beginning this year, anyone parking in a handicapped parking spot must have a license plate or handicapped person license plate that features the international symbol of access.
Senate Bill 792 went into effect Jan. 1, and veterans with disabilities who want to use handicapped parking spaces in 2022 will need to apply for a handicapped parking plate or license plate with the ISA symbol.
The bill establishes new requirements for disabled veterans to obtain access to a disabled parking space.
The assistant director of the Texas DMV Division of Titles and Vehicle Registration said the motivation behind the bill was to ensure there were enough handicapped parking spaces.
“The distinction is that prior to the effective date of this bill, disabled veterans with disabled veteran license plates could access disabled parking. The change is that disabled veteran plates no longer allow someone to access these disabled parking spaces. They have to get one of the license plates,” said Clint Thompson, assistant director of the Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Eligibility for the ISA plate and plate is based on a medical condition that meets the legal definition of a disability, such as impaired vision and mobility.
“I think awareness is one of the most important things for disabled veterans who just have the disabled veteran plates who have to keep parking in disabled parking spaces to make sure that they are aware of this change and the requirements to get the ISA plates or the disabled person plate,” Thompson said.
According to the Texas DMV, not all disabilities that qualify a veteran for disabled veteran license plates will qualify a veteran for a disabled veteran license plate with the ISA.
“The main thing I would tell people is don’t assume you qualify or you don’t. again, we have resources available on our website not only regarding the new DV ISA plate, but also for veterans and disabled veterans for a variety of plates. I would recommend people make sure they qualify in some way. This way in advance trying to keep the plates or DV ISA plates they can make sure they are eligible to go to the appropriate doctor before going to the county tax office for try to eliminate multiple trips,” Thompson said.
Texas veterans with current placards remain valid, however, new requirements must be met at the time of renewal.
For more information on how you can request a new plate or disability plate, click here.
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