2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 56 - Motor Vehicles
Chapter 3 - MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION AND LICENSING
Section 56-3-1960 - Temporary and permanent parking placards; illegal duplication or forgery.
(A) A person who is "handicapped" as defined in Section 56-3-1910 may apply to the department for issuance of a temporary or permanent placard. A person may be issued a temporary placard if the condition causing his handicap is expected to last for at least four months. No applicant may be denied a placard if the applicant follows the procedures established by the department and if the application is accompanied by a certificate from a licensed physician that certifies that the individual is handicapped and whether the handicap is temporary or permanent. The placards must indicate that the person is qualified to use reserved handicapped parking spaces. Applications for placards must be processed through and issued by the department's headquarters. Only one placard may be issued to an applicant. The certification procedure shall adhere to the requirements set forth in Section 56-3-1910. In conjunction with the issuance of a placard, applicants also must be issued a placard registration certificate that must be carried at all times in the vehicle driven by or transporting the handicapped individual. The certificate will display the name of the individual to which the placard was issued. A placard only can be displayed on a vehicle driven by or transporting the disabled individual whose name appears on the placard registration certificate. The department shall charge a fee of one dollar for a placard. An agency, organization, or facility that transports a disabled or handicapped person may receive a placard for each vehicle registered upon proper application and the payment of the appropriate fees.
(B) The placards authorized by this section also may be issued for a vehicle of special design and equipment designed to transport a disabled person who is certified as meeting the requirements of this section for a vehicle used by an agency, organization, or facility that is designed to transport a handicapped or disabled person if the vehicle is titled in the name of the agency, organization, or facility. Proof that the agency, organization, or facility transports a handicapped or disabled person must be in a manner prescribed by the department. A certificate from a licensed physician is not required to apply for placards issued to an agency, organization, or facility. At the time of qualification, applicants qualifying for a placard under this section also must be issued a placard registration certificate that must be carried at all times in the vehicle transporting handicapped or disabled individuals. The certificate will display the name of the agency, organization, or facility to which the placard was issued.
(C) The placards shall conform to specifications set forth in the standards established for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The design must incorporate a means for hanging the placard from a vehicle windshield rearview mirror, and:
(1) contain the International Symbol of Access;
(2) be color coded to reflect user status in the following manner:
(a) dark blue--permanently disabled; and
(b) red--temporarily disabled.
(D) Blue and red placards shall contain the qualified user's photograph. The photograph must be taken from the qualified user's driver's license or identification card on file with the department. However, a photograph is not required for a placard issued to an agency, organization, or facility.
(E) Each placard shall contain the placard's expiration date.
(F) When qualified users park in designated spaces, the placard must be displayed in the windshield of the vehicle by hanging it from the rearview mirror. In vehicles in which hanging may not be feasible, the placard must be placed on the side of the dashboard so that it is clearly visible through the windshield. When more than one placard holder is transported in the same vehicle, only one placard needs to be displayed.
(G) Placards used for parking in designated handicapped spaces must be displayed on vehicles driven by or transporting the handicapped individual whose name appears on the placard registration certificate. When parked in designated spaces, the driver of the vehicle displaying the placard must present the placard registration certificate when requested by law enforcement entities or their duly authorized agents.
(H) Placards and placard registration certificates for permanently disabled persons may be issued and renewed for a maximum period of four years and are renewable on the owner's birth date. Placards issued to an agency, organization, or facility must be renewed every four years.
(I) A vehicle displaying a valid out-of-state handicapped license plate or placard or other evidence of handicap issued by the appropriate authority as determined by the department is entitled to the parking privileges provided in this section. Handicapped individuals from other states seeking permanent residence in South Carolina have forty-five days after becoming a resident to obtain South Carolina certification.
(J) Placards issued prior to the effective date of this section must be renewed by the expiration date on the placard or by January 1, 2013, whichever is sooner. To renew the placard and receive the certificate, the person must be certified as permanently handicapped as provided in Section 56-3-1910. Upon renewal, the department will issue a certificate as required by this section. Failure to carry a certificate as required by this section by a person using a placard issued prior to the effective date of this section is not a violation of the provisions of this section until after the placard is renewed or January 1, 2013, whichever is sooner.
(K)(1) Except as provided in item (2), a person that violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both, for each offense.
(2) A person who illegally duplicates, forges, or sells a handicapped placard or a person who falsifies information on an application form for a handicapped placard is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for thirty days and fined not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars.
HISTORY: 1978 Act No. 462 Section 2; 1986 Act No. 530, Section 2; 1990 Act No. 492, Section 1; 1990 Act No. 514, Section 1; 1990 Act No. 597, Section 2; 1993 Act No. 82, Section 2; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1376; 2009 Act No. 24, Section 3, eff six months after approval (approved June 2, 2009).
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