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DMV official responds to complaints of placard abuse

I read Chuck Doud’s article that was published April 28 about disabled placards and wanted to share some information that I think could have added some balance and accuracy to it.

In particular, I want to respond to his finale written assumption: “But you can bet the DMV, after this state report, is not going to ignore handicapped parking abuse in the future as in the past.”

We have investigators, who are sworn peace officers, who conduct enforcement operations throughout the state and throughout the year. During the past three fiscal years, the DMV has conducted 270 enforcement operations and issued 2,019 misdemeanor citations. Just this month of April 2017, the DMV conducted eleven enforcement efforts in 9 cities. Investigators verified placards being used by more than 2,300 people and issued approximately 324 misdemeanor citations.

The bottom line is that the DMV is not “ignoring” disabled placard abuse as stated in the Editor’s Corner. It’s also important to point out that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded.

If anyone believes a person has been issued a placard in error or suspects abuse, we urge them to file a written complaint with the DMV, and it can be anonymous. We ask for the public to provide as much information as possible, such as license plate number, vehicle make and model and where this alleged abuse is taking place. An investigator must witness the abuse in order to issue a citation.

Also, with the help of the public, we conduct enforcement operations in areas where there appears to be consistent abuse. I would recommend that your reporters sign up for DMV News Alerts at We will be issuing statewide statistics on our enforcement efforts in order to raise awareness and education the public about our efforts.

You can always contact the DMV Office of Public Affairs to verify information or get a better understanding of DMV related issues while researching topics that you plan to write about. You can reach us at 916-657-6437. Thank you.

-- Jaime Garza

California Department of Motor Vehicles

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