Time to check and make sure you have the proper placard in your vehicle if you need to use the disabled parking spaces in Texas.

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A new law that went into effect in January could cost disabled veterans hundreds of dollars.

Senate Bill 792

KXAN reports on new disabled parking spot that laws went into effect on January 1 that requires disabled veterans to display the "international symbol of access" on either their handicap parking placard or license plate. Unfortunately, not all disabled veterans are aware of the change, and this is leading to expensive tickets and even having their vehicles towed in some cases.

International Symbol of Access

The new law is designed to help veterans obtain parking spots for the disabled. Clint Thompson, Deputy Director of the Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says,

“The distinction is that prior to the effective date of this bill disabled veterans with disabled veteran license plates statutory could access disabled person parking. The change is that disabled veteran plates in of themselves no longer allow someone to access those disabled person parking places. They must obtain one of the license plates.”

KPRC reports that Texas veterans with current ISA placards and plates are still valid, but must meet the new requirements when renewing.

ISA Eligibility

According to The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, to be eligible for the new placard or plate, a veteran must meet the legal definition of a disability:

- Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
- Visual acuity of more 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 substantially impair a person’s ability to move around.

No Cheating

A parking placard or plate is only valid when being used by the person with the disability or someone who is driving the person with the disability. Parking in a disabled spot without the proper ISA placard or plate can result in a fine of up to $1,250 and or up to 50 hours of community service.

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