To allow for access for persons with disabilities, a person with a disability may qualify for, obtain, and display a parking placard or special license plate in order to utilize a parking space or stall designated for use by persons with disabilities. If you do not have the placard or license plate and use one of these spots, you will be subject to penalties such as a monetary fine.
If you have a disability and have the required placard or license plate, then you are permitted to park in certain parking zones or areas, typically subject to a time limit or metered, for an unlimited amount of time. However, there are still areas where you are not permitted to park for an unlimited amount of time. These areas include areas where stopping, parking or standing of all vehicles is prohibited, areas reserved for special types of vehicles and areas where parking is limited under RCW 46.19.050(5).
The Rules of the Road governing parking for persons with disabilities are as follows:
RCW 46.61.581: Parking spaces for persons with disabilities—Indication, access—Failure, penalty.
A parking space or stall for a person with a disability shall be indicated by a vertical sign with the international symbol of access, whose colors are white on a blue background, described under RCW 70.92.120. The sign may include additional language such as, but not limited to, an indication of the amount of the monetary penalty defined in RCW 46.19.050 for parking in the space without a valid permit.
Failure of the person owning or controlling the property where required parking spaces are located to erect and maintain the sign is a class 2 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW for each parking space that should be so designated. The person owning or controlling the property where the required parking spaces are located shall ensure that the parking spaces are not blocked or made inaccessible, and failure to do so is a class 2 civil infraction.
RCW 46.61.582: Free parking for persons with disabilities—Exceptions.
(1) Any person who meets the criteria for special parking privileges under RCW 46.19.010 must be allowed free of charge to park a vehicle being used to transport the holder of such special parking privileges for unlimited periods of time in parking zones or areas, including zones or areas with parking meters that are otherwise restricted as to the length of time parking is permitted, except zones in which parking is limited pursuant to RCW 46.19.050(5). The person must obtain and display a parking placard or special license plate under RCW 46.19.010 and 46.19.030 to be eligible for the privileges under this section.
(2) This section does not apply to those zones or areas in which the stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited or that are reserved for special types of vehicles.
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