Handicapped Parking User Guide
Bergen County Department of Human Services: Division on Disability Services.
Ensuring a space for all
Phone: (201) 336-6500
TTY: (201) 336-6505
Purpose of this Guide:
Handicapped parking spaces are provided by law to ensure the safety of both the persons with disabilities who use them and the general public at large.
This guide is being provided to the new user of a permanent or temporary Handicapped parking placard to reinforce a few points that, when followed, help to ensure that those who NEED a Handicapped parking space have access to these spots WHEN they need them.
Please take a moment to read this brief guide and familiarize yourself with its contents so that everyone benefits from the proper use of these invaluable spots.
Handicapped parking permits and plates are to be used solely by the person with the qualifying disability. If the person with the qualifying disability is not in the vehicle, that vehicle cannot use a reserved parking space. If someone who does not have a disability uses another person’s permit or plates, they face punishable fines of at least $250.00. In addition, the Motor Vehicles Commission or issuing locality may revoke the violator’s permit/plates or deny renewal.
The striped area next to the parking space is called an access aisle and is strictly off limits for parking to everyone, regardless of whether or not they have a handicapped parking plate or placard. The access aisle must be in place in order to ensure that people who use wheelchairs have room to transfer safely in and out of their vehicles. Even parking a few inches over the lines may prevent someone from using their ramp or lift. The access aisle or striped area next to the parking space is NOT a parking space. Anyone who parks in this area illegally should be reported to a local law enforcement officer.
If the person with the qualifying disability is being transported by car and there are multiple Handicapped spots available, please use a spot that does not have a van accessible sign posted. Whenever possible, these spots should be left for persons who need a lift or ramp to exit their vehicles.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How many accessible parking spaces are required?
A: It depends on the total number of parking spaces in the lot or garage. The New Jersey Barrier Free Subcode and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) both require the following number of handicapped spaces in parking areas:
Total # of Spaces Required # of Spaces
501-1,000 2% of total
Over 1,000 20+ for each 100 over 1,000
*Please note: Spaces should be on the SHORTEST ACCESSIBLE ROUTE from parking to an accessible entrance. Multiple building entrances should provide dispersed accessible parking spaces near each accessible entrance.
Q: Can the handicapped parking spaces be the same size as the other, non-handicapped spaces as long as the appropriate signs are places in front of the space?
A: No. The New Jersey Barrier Free Subcode and the Americans with Disabilities Act require handicapped parking spaces to be at least 8 feet wide, with adjacent striped access aisles at least 5 feet wide. At least one handicapped parking space in each parking lot, and one with an access aisle at least 8 feet wide. The parking spaces and access aisles must be painted in a color (most often blue) contrasting with other spaces. Signage with the International Symbol of Accessibility and the Penalty Sign MUST be provided at each handicapped parking space and must be permanently installed 5 to 7 feet above the ground.
Q: If a parking lot does not have any spaces designated for people with disabilities because it was paved a long time ago, before these requirements were in place, does it now have to provide accessible parking spaces?
A. Yes. Title III of the ADA requires private entitles to remove barriers in order to become compliant. Therefore even if business owners are not planning any type of construction, they are still obligated to remove barriers that are readily achievable.
New Jersey Handicapped Parking Laws
*Prohibit parking motor vehicles in handicapped spaces without a special vehicle identification card; mandate initial and subsequent fines of $250 each and up to 90 days of community services (C.39:4-197.(3)c).
*Authorize municipalities to establish handicapped spaces in front of residences, schools, hospitals, public buildings and in shopping and business districts (C.39:4-197.5).
* Authorize municipalities to establish handicapped parking zones in front of residences occupied by people with disabilities, unless such parking interferes with the flow of traffic (C.39:4-197.6).
*Enable enforcement officers to enforce handicapped parking laws on both public and private property (C.39:4-138.o). Authorize municipalities to set up parking enforcement units that concentrate on shopping centers and malls (C.39.4-197.9).
*Authorize eligible people with disabilities to request law enforcement officers to arrange for the removal and storage of motor vehicles unlawfully parked in handicapped parking spaces or zones(C39:4-207.7).
To apply for permanent plates or placard Contact:
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
(888) 486-3339 (voice) (In-state only)
(609) 292-6500 (voice) (Out-of-state only)
(609) 292-5120 (TTY)
From the Handicapped Parking User Guide of NJ (Bergen County Department of Human Services/Division on Disability Services)
Disclaimer: I have not used this service so I do not have an opinion whether yes or no towards it. Please call the department for more information.