People with disabilities displaying Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) placards or plates have certain parking privileges in Arlington to ensure accessibility to businesses, services and residences.
The Residential Disabled Parking Program was created as a convenience to drivers with disabilities who can document the need for a disabled-accessible on-street parking space.
- A disabled person may apply for an on-street space near his or her residence.
- If the disabled person isn’t able to apply for himself or herself, a designated representative may apply on his or her behalf.
- The disabled plate or placard must have been issued by the DMV to the disabled person. In case of a disabled plate, the plate must be issued to a vehicle registered at the address where the space is requested.
- If an off-street space is available to the resident, the applicant must state the reason this space is inadequate to meet the disabled person’s needs.
- All disabled-accessible on-street parking is public parking and anyone with a disabled plate or placard may use the space. The space is not reserved for any individual person or vehicle.
- Spaces will be re-evaluated periodically and may be removed if the disabled placard/plate issued by the DMV expires, or if the placard/plate holder moves, or if some other operational or safety issue arises that warrants such removal.
An application for disabled-accessible parking on a residential street may be faxed, mailed or emailed with the required supporting documentation.
Metered Parking Spaces
A metered space can be designated for people with disabilities at their request. In 1998, in close cooperation with advocates of the disabled community, the County Board created a new law that required motorists displaying handicapped placards or license plates to pay at all Arlington parking meters. The purpose of this law is to improve the availability of parking for people with physical disabilities by eliminating the chief incentive to fraudulently use handicapped parking placards and plates, namely free parking. Before the law was passed, abuse of metered parking by fraudulent use of handicapped parking placards or plates was widespread and adversely affected those with legitimate needs.
The disabled meters:
- Are approximately 42 inches high.
- Are placed at convenient locations such as near curb cuts and building entrances when possible.
- Have double the maximum allowable time as compared with nondisabled meters in the same area.
All on-street disabled spaces have single-space meters that can take credit cards.
To request a metered space be designated as a space for disabled drivers, email us or call 703-228-3344. An investigation will be conducted to determine if there’s barrier-free, off-street parking to serve the need. If there is none, and it can’t reasonably be provided, then a parking space for disabled drivers will be provided.
If convenient barrier-free parking isn’t available at government buildings, the Metrorail system, churches and other public facilities, restricted parking spaces for people with disabilities may be provided on public streets where parking is normally allowed. A study must show that the parking spaces are normally occupied and that people with disabilities don’t have a reasonable opportunity to use a convenient, barrier-free space.
Fines and Ticketing for Parking in a Space for Disabled Drivers
Arlington County Code Chapter 14.2-38.1 establishes a fine of $500 for parking in a handicapped parking space. If you feel you’ve been wrongly ticketed for parking in a handicapped parking space and wish to contest your ticket, you must appear in General District Court, Traffic Division.