7/19/2005Sixteen Percent of Indiana Drivers Have Disabled Plates
Indiana's Inspector General says the handicapped parking system is being abused.
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has conducted an inquiry into the state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles and concluded the agency is handing out too many handicapped license plates. "The issuance of these disability privileges reserved for truly disabled Hoosiers is being abused," his report concluded.
Thomas estimates that sixteen percent of registered drivers have obtained the special plates that allow parking in reserved spaces close to shops and work locations. The motor vehicle department is issuing plates to thousands of individuals who need no assistance walking to and from their vehicle. Since 2000, the number of handicapped plates issued has jumped 31 percent without a corresponding increase in the number of registered drivers.
The Inspector General report recommends more specific auditing of Bureau of Motor Vehicle records and procedures as well as new legislation that would require a physician to verify disabilities before plates are issued. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) created the Office of Inspector General in January to look into issues of waste, fraud and abuse in government.
From the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles:
Disability License Plates/Placards
Eligibility: Persons who: a) have a permanent disability that requires the use of a wheelchair, walker, braces or crutches, b) have permanently lost the use of one or both legs, c) have a permanent restriction due to a pulmonary or cardiovascular disability, arthritic condition, orthopedic condition or neurological impairment, d) are permanently blind or visually impaired as defined by state law in Indiana Code cites 12-7-2-21 or 12-7-2-198. This requires a Practitioners Certification.
Additional fees: None
May be used on: passenger cars, trucks up to 11,000 pounds, recreational vehicles, motorcycles
How to obtain: Can self-certify if applicant already has a permanent parking placard, has a permanent disability that requires the use of a wheelchair, walker, braces, crutches or cane, or has permanently lost the use of one or both legs. All others require a practicioner's certification on the Application for Disability Parking Placard or Disability Plate - State Form 42070.