We all know what it looks like. The stenciled white wheelchair against the blue background. The handicap symbol or disabled person's symbol is nationally recognized, and rightfully so.

So many people were fraudulently using disabled people's placards, that in 2017, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker had to up the penalties for the misuse.

On November 22, 2017, Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation, Chapter 137 of the Acts of 2017, increasing the penalties for the fraudulent use of disabled persons’ parking placards and enhancing the ability of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to prevent ineligible people from receiving or using the placards. -mass.gov

Handicap Parking Sign
Eric Hood
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SO, JUST HOW BIG IS THE FINE FOR ILLEGALLY USING A DISABLED PERSON'S PLACARD?

Stiff.

Let's say a disabled family member dies and you "use" their placard to avoid steep parking prices in metropolitan areas. You will pay dearly.

  • Imposes criminal penalties for forging, counterfeiting or stealing a placard.
  • Prohibits using a deceased person’s placard, imposing a $500 fine for first-time violators and a $1,000 fine for a second violation.
  • Increases the driver’s license suspension for a person wrongfully displaying a placard to 60 days for a first offense and 120 days for a second offense. Prior to enactment, first-time violators’ faced a 30-day suspension and those caught a second time received a 90-day suspension.
  • Imposes a $50 fine on individuals obstructing the number or expiration date of a placard.
  • Allows the RMV to request additional documentation or information from an applicant to support the medical necessity for a placard.

Information courtesy of mass.gov

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