Handicapped parking spots can be of great use to those hindered by a disability. These spots, which are generally closer to the entrance of a building or establishment than other spots, are designed to make it easier for disabled persons to make it to their destination. In Georgia, there are certain rules and regulations that govern the use and placement of these spots. This is to ensure that the spots are saved for use by disabled persons and that enough are available.
In order to park in a handicapped parking spot in Georgia, drivers must have a placard issued by the Department of Revenue (See Reference 1). In order to obtain one of those placards, drivers must fill out a DV-9D disabled-parking affidavit. Filling out this form requires drivers to provide their driver's license, license plate number, and address and residence information. It also requires disabled drivers to receive a notarized signature from their doctor or health-care provider certifying that they meet the standards to receive a handicapped parking placard (See Reference 2).
In order to receive a handicapped parking placard, drivers must meet the eligibility standards set forth by Georgia law. Drivers must either be hearing impaired, sight impaired, unable to walk without an assisting device such as a cane or wheelchair, or unable to walk for more than 200 feet. Those who have significant heart disease or respiratory problems may also qualify for a handicapped-parking placard, as do those who use portable oxygen or are limited by arthritic or orthopedic problems. Again, in order to be certified as eligible, drivers must get a notarized signature from their health-care provider confirming their condition.
In Georgia, all businesses and parking lots commissioned after 1995 must meet the requirements for handicapped parking spaces laid out by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications A117.1 (See Reference 3). This mandates the number of spots that must be available in each parking lot in order for it to be considered "handicapped accessible." Parking lots under 25 spots must have at least one van-accessible handicapped space. Between 26 and 50 spots requires two handicapped spots, and between 51 and 75 requires three. This number continues to increase by roughly one handicapped spot per 25 parking spots until there are between 501 and 1,000 spots. Then, the number of handicapped spots required is two percent of the total number. Any lots over 1,000 spots must have at least 20 handicapped spots with one additional spot per extra 100 spaces (See Reference 4).