A new state law will impact Texans with Disabled Veteran license plates who wish to park in spaces reserved for people with disabilities in 2022.
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, starting January 1, anyone parking in a space reserved for people with disabilities must have a license plate or a disabled parking placard that features the International Symbol of Access.
Prior to the new law, Disabled Veteran license plates did not feature the ISA, but all Texans with those plates were able to park in spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
"Currently, any vehicle with a Disabled Veteran license plate may use a designated parking space for people with disabilities. However, there are a limited number of ADA spaces," said Robert Dembo III, Director of the Houston Mayor’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs. "SB792 will address this by limiting the use of the parking spaces to those with mobility impairments. Providing greater access to those who have a vital need for accessibility."
Who is eligible for a plate featuring the ISA?
According to TxDMV, not all disabilities that qualify a veteran for a Disabled Veteran license plate will qualify a veteran for a Disabled Veteran license plate featuring the ISA.
The department says placard and plate eligibility is based on a medical condition that meets the legal definition of a disability, meaning a condition in which a person has:
• Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses
• Visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less
• Mobility problems that substantially impair a person's ability to move around; these problems can be caused by:
• Lung disease
• Cardiac deficiency
• Wheelchair confinement
• Foot disorder
• Other medical condition causing a person to use a brace, cane, crutch or other assistive device.
A placard or plate is only valid when being used by the person with the disability or someone who is driving the person with the disability.
How to apply for plates with the ISA
Texans with Disabled Veteran plates who want to use parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities beginning in 2022 may apply for a disabled parking placard or for a new Disabled Veteran license plate with the ISA if they meet the eligibility requirements for an ISA after Jan. 1, 2022, according to TxDMV.
Applicants may submit their paperwork at their local county tax assessor-collector’s office.
TxDMV says currently issued disabled parking placards will remain valid, but the new requirements must be met at the time of renewal.
To download an application and necessary forms, click here.