Using the disabled parking placard of someone who has passed on? A new bill aims to find you.
A California lawmaker announced new legislation Wednesday to rein in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ disabled parking program after a state audit found widespread abuse of the system.
The probe discovered that nearly 35,000 people with active DMV-issued disabled parking privileges as of June 2016 were likely dead. Some 26,000 cardholders were 100 years or older, grossly outnumbering the state’s documented centenarian population.
Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said he intends to amend existing legislation, Senate Bill 611, to carry out California State Auditor Elaine Howle’s recommendations to clean up the program.
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“Taking unfair advantage of our state’s disabled placard program is an act of fraud,” Hill said in a statement. “We must ensure that the DMV is equipped with the tools to effectively oversee the program so that it properly serves disabled drivers and works to eliminate abuse of the system.”
The bill requires the DMV to crosscheck medical records with state health boards and death records with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s death database. The bill mandates that the DMV must complete quarterly audits of applications. It also says permanent placard holders have to reapply every four years and provide proof of their full legal name, according to Hill’s office.
The audit also found that the state was issuing too many replacement placards. In response the bill would limit placard replacements to two in a two-year period.
Hill attempted similar legislation, AB 2245, back in 2010. The bill was amended before its first policy committee to deal with aftermarket car horns.
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