57th Legislature

                      2001 Regular Session

Passed by the Senate March 12, 2001 

  YEAS 48   NAYS 0




President of the Senate


Passed by the House April 5, 2001

  YEAS 97   NAYS 0



I, Tony M. Cook, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is  ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5434 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.




Speaker of the

      House of Representatives






Speaker of the

      House of Representatives



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below. 





Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington






             Passed Legislature - 2001 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Senators Oke and Haugen; by request of Department of Licensing)



Removing the photo requirement for special identification cards for persons issued disabled parking permits.  

    AN ACT Relating to special identification cards for persons issued disabled parking permits; and amending RCW 46.16.381.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 46.16.381 and 1999 c 136 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The director shall grant special parking privileges to any person who has a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and meets one of the following criteria, as determined by a licensed physician:

    (a) Cannot walk two hundred feet without stopping to rest;

    (b) Is severely limited in ability to walk due to arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition;

    (c) Is so severely disabled, that the person cannot walk without the use of or assistance from a brace, cane, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device;

    (d) Uses portable oxygen;

    (e) Is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that forced expiratory respiratory volume, when measured by spirometry is less than one liter per second or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air at rest;

    (f) Impairment by cardiovascular disease or cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified as class III or IV under standards accepted by the American Heart Association; or

    (g) Has a disability resulting from an acute sensitivity to automobile emissions which limits or impairs the ability to walk.  The personal physician of the applicant shall document that the disability is comparable in severity to the others listed in this subsection.

    (2) The applications for disabled parking permits and temporary disabled parking permits are official state documents.  Knowingly providing false information in conjunction with the application is a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.  The following statement must appear on each application form immediately below the physician's signature and immediately below the applicant's signature:  "A disabled parking permit may be issued only for a medical necessity that severely affects mobility (RCW 46.16.381).  Knowingly providing false information on this application is a gross misdemeanor.  The penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 or both."

    (3) Persons who qualify for special parking privileges are entitled to receive from the department of licensing a removable windshield placard bearing the international symbol of access and an individual serial number, along with a special identification card bearing the name and date of birth of the person to whom the placard is issued, and the placard's serial number.  The special identification card shall be issued no later than January 1, 2000, to all persons who are issued parking placards, including those issued for temporary disabilities, and special disabled parking license plates.  ((By July 1, 2001, the department shall incorporate a photograph of the holder of the disabled parking permit into all special identification cards issued after that date.  The department, in conjunction with the governor's committee on disability issues and employment, shall assess options for issuing a photo identification card to each person who qualifies for a permanent parking placard, a temporary parking placard, or a special disabled parking license plate and report findings to the legislative transportation committee no later than December 31, 2000.))  The department shall design the placard to be displayed when the vehicle is parked by suspending it from the rearview mirror, or in the absence of a rearview mirror the card may be displayed on the dashboard of any vehicle used to transport the disabled person.  Instead of regular motor vehicle license plates, disabled persons are entitled to receive special license plates bearing the international symbol of access for one vehicle registered in the disabled person's name.  Disabled persons who are not issued the special license plates are entitled to receive a second special placard upon submitting a written request to the department.  Persons who have been issued the parking privileges and who are using a vehicle or are riding in a vehicle displaying the special license plates or placard may park in places reserved for mobility disabled persons.  The director shall adopt rules providing for the issuance of special placards and license plates to public transportation authorities, nursing homes licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW, boarding homes licensed under chapter 18.20 RCW, senior citizen centers, private nonprofit agencies as defined in chapter 24.03 RCW, and vehicles registered with the department as cabulances that regularly transport disabled persons who have been determined eligible for special parking privileges provided under this section.  The director may issue special license plates for a vehicle registered in the name of the public transportation authority, nursing home, boarding homes, senior citizen center, private nonprofit agency, or cabulance service if the vehicle is primarily used to transport persons with disabilities described in this section.  Public transportation authorities, nursing homes, boarding homes, senior citizen centers, private nonprofit agencies, and cabulance services are responsible for insuring that the special placards and license plates are not used improperly and are responsible for all fines and penalties for improper use.

    (4) Whenever the disabled person transfers or assigns his or her interest in the vehicle, the special license plates shall be removed from the motor vehicle.  If another vehicle is acquired by the disabled person and the vehicle owner qualifies for a special plate, the plate shall be attached to the vehicle, and the director shall be immediately notified of the transfer of the plate.  If another vehicle is not acquired by the disabled person, the removed plate shall be immediately surrendered to the director.

    (5) The special license plate shall be renewed in the same manner and at the time required for the renewal of regular motor vehicle license plates under this chapter.  No special license plate may be issued to a person who is temporarily disabled.  A person who has a condition expected to improve within six months may be issued a temporary placard for a period not to exceed six months.  If the condition exists after six months a new temporary placard shall be issued upon receipt of a new certification from the disabled person's physician.  The permanent parking placard and identification card of a disabled person shall be renewed at least every five years, as required by the director, by satisfactory proof of the right to continued use of the privileges.  In the event of the permit holder's death, the parking placard and identification card must be immediately surrendered to the department.  The department shall match and purge its disabled permit data base with available death record information at least every twelve months.

    (6) Each person who has been issued a permanent disabled parking permit on or before July 1, 1998, must renew the permit no later than July 1, 2003, subject to a schedule to be set by the department, or the permit will expire.

    (7) Additional fees shall not be charged for the issuance of the special placards or the identification cards.  No additional fee may be charged for the issuance of the special license plates except the regular motor vehicle registration fee and any other fees and taxes required to be paid upon registration of a motor vehicle.

    (8) Any unauthorized use of the special placard, special license plate, or identification card is a traffic infraction with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars.

    (9) It is a parking infraction, with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for a person to make inaccessible the access aisle located next to a space reserved for physically disabled persons.  The clerk of the court shall report all violations related to this subsection to the department.

    (10) It is a parking infraction, with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for any person to park a vehicle in a parking place provided on private property without charge or on public property reserved for physically disabled persons without a special license plate or placard.  If a person is charged with a violation, the person shall not be determined to have committed an infraction if the person produces in court or before the court appearance the special license plate or placard required under this section.  A local jurisdiction providing nonmetered, on-street parking places reserved for physically disabled persons may impose by ordinance time restrictions of no less than four hours on the use of these parking places.  A local jurisdiction may impose by ordinance time restrictions of no less than four hours on the use of nonreserved, on-street parking spaces by vehicles displaying the special parking placards.  All time restrictions must be clearly posted.

    (11) The penalties imposed under subsections (9) and (10) of this section shall be used by that local jurisdiction exclusively for law enforcement.  The court may also impose an additional penalty sufficient to reimburse the local jurisdiction for any costs it may have incurred in removal and storage of the improperly parked vehicle.

    (12) Except as provided by subsection (2) of this section, it is a traffic infraction with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for any person willfully to obtain a special license plate, placard, or identification card in a manner other than that established under this section.

    (13)(a) A law enforcement agency authorized to enforce parking laws may appoint volunteers, with a limited commission, to issue notices of infractions for violations of this section or RCW 46.61.581.  Volunteers must be at least twenty-one years of age.  The law enforcement agency appointing volunteers may establish any other qualifications the agency deems desirable.

    (b) An agency appointing volunteers under this section must provide training to the volunteers before authorizing them to issue notices of infractions.

    (c) A notice of infraction issued by a volunteer appointed under this subsection has the same force and effect as a notice of infraction issued by a police officer for the same offense.

    (d) A police officer or a volunteer may request a person to show the person's identification card or special parking placard when investigating the possibility of a violation of this section.  If the request is refused, the person in charge of the vehicle may be issued a notice of infraction for a violation of this section.

    (14) For second or subsequent violations of this section, in addition to a monetary fine, the violator must complete a minimum of forty hours of:

    (a) Community service for a nonprofit organization that serves the disabled community or persons having disabling diseases; or

    (b) Any other community service that may sensitize the violator to the needs and obstacles faced by persons who have disabilities.

    (15) The court may not suspend more than one-half of any fine imposed under subsection (8), (9), (10), or (12) of this section.


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