This year’s Coachella Valley and Stagecoach Music Festivals started out on a sour note for 172 concertgoers who received citations for fraudulently using disabled person parking placards. The offenders were caught during a series of enforcement efforts that took place over several weekends.
Violators had their placard confiscated, received a misdemeanor citation with fines that range from $250 to $1,000, and the violation will appear on their driver record.
This is the third consecutive year that investigators with the Department of Motor Vehicles have teamed up with the Indio Police Department to crack down on disabled person parking placard abuse at the annual music festivals. This year, they verified 2,459 placards by comparing the placard’s assignment number to its accompanying registration card and the individual’s identification.
DMV investigators verify disabled person parking placards during an enforcement effort at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival. “It’s against the law to fraudulently use a disabled person parking placard and we will continue our enforcement efforts until people understand how their illegal actions are impeding the mobility of those with disabilities,” said DMV Investigations Chief Tom Wilson. “I’m asking every Californian to save the space.
The DMV carries out as many as 24 enforcement efforts throughout the state each month. In addition, the department has a comprehensive public awareness campaign.
The DMV has also implemented procedures aimed at reducing fraud. Disabled person parking placard applicants must now provide proof of their true full name and birthdate. Placard holders are limited to four replacements every two years without a medical recertification and they must submit a renewal notice every six years beginning with placards that expire in June 2023. Currently, permanent disabled parking placards expire in June 2019 and are automatically renewed every two years.
Individuals who suspect disabled parking placard misuse are urged to inform the DMV by using an online complaint form or contacting their local DMV Investigations office. It is important to note that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse might be unfounded.
Information about disabled parking placards: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/disabled.