MACON, Ga. — A 13WMAZ viewer reached out asking us to VERIFY whether the handicapped placard that hangs in the windshield belongs to the vehicle or the person.
Does the handicapped placard or license plate belong to the vehicle?
Our sources are Mark Kushinka, the Houston County Tax Commissioner, and Randy Evans with Warner Robins Police Traffic Division.
"Just like to see people start being more aware and be more respectful to the handicapped,” said disabled veteran Joe De Virville.
He says it's disappointing when he sees people parking in handicapped spots who shouldn't be.
“It's all I can do to walk from one of those handicapped spots to get in the door to get on one of those electric scooters, and if there's not one in there I have to go get in the car and go back home. I cannot walk in the store anymore,” said Virville.
Does the handicapped placard belong to the vehicle?
According to Houston County Tax Commissioner Mark Kushinka, the answer is ‘NO’ -- the placard belongs to the person. The disabled person should be present when it's in use.
“[It] belongs to the person. The vehicle, you can get one if you have like husband and wife and one of them is disabled, they can get a tag put on there. But the car is only supposed to be parked in that spot when that person is in the car,” said Kushinka.
Randy Evans with Warner Robins Police Department says they get calls from time to time about people violating handicapped parking.
“In Georgia law, for such offence of parking in a designated handicapped parking space, absent of a tag or a placard, and they can be issued a citation and upon either appearance in court or the individual elects not to go to court, there can be fines that are levied against them for that violation,” said Evans.
Here's a link to the form that must be filled out to receive a placard or license plate.
Kuskinka says your doctor determines if you qualify for a temporary or permanent one.
“When the form is completed, you bring it back to us, and then from there we process it, we print you a placard which is free. And if you want a tag, it's just the regular price for a normal tag,” said Kushinka.
Evans says treat others the way you want to be treated.
“Continue to be courteous and leave the spaces for people that actually need them,” said Evans.
So we can verify: NO, the handicapped placard or license plate does not belong to the vehicle.