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New handicap placard law starts soon


Changes will be coming soon to the placards that allow people to park in handicapped spaces.

The Kentucky Transportation

Cabinet’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing is working to implement software, design and operational changes for the production and issuance of disabled placards statewide to be in compliance with a bill passed this spring.

Kentuckians can expect to see the changes Sept. 17 at County Clerk’s offices across the state.

“The extended renewal cycle of permanent placards from two years to six years called for a more durable material to handle normal wear and tear and regular transfer between vehicles,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “Software changes are complete and the remaining work is limited to procedural changes, printing and distributing the new placards to all 120 counties.”

Expiration dates on existing placards are currently handwritten and could be susceptible to potential alterations. New permanent and temporary disabled placards will feature a decal with a printed expiration date to minimize fraud.

The bill also returns a $10 fee for duplicate or replacement placards to reduce the number of placards on the roads that may be used by non-disabled drivers not transporting a disabled person.

In 2009, Kentucky stopped charging for additional placards and the number of placards issued jumped from nearly 32,000 to more than 209,000 in one year.

“Charging a fee for additional placards and linking placards to individuals, not vehicles, are steps we hope will cut down on the number of placards issued and help disabled populations find designated spots,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jerry T. Miller, R-Louisville.

Other changes under the new law include:

— The parent or guardian of a disabled person may apply for a placard on his or her behalf.

— Permanent placards will expire on the placard holder’s birth month.

— Permanent and temporary disabled placards will be linked to the applicant instead of vehicle, eliminating the need for additional placards for multiple vehicles the disabled person may use.

— Initial placards will still be issued at no cost and temporary placards will remain valid for three months.

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