Disabled people in every state, including Utah, use handicap parking spaces. The state of Utah’s laws on handicapped parking let people know where they can park, how wide the spaces are and the requirements they need to meet to get a handicap placard and/or disabled plates.
Business owners are responsible for ensuring that their parking lots and spaces are compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that a parking lot must have a specific number of accessible parking spaces, meet certain space and distance requirements, and have proper signage.
Utah’s Requirements for a Handicap Placard and Plates
To get a handicap parking permit in Utah, a disabled person must have certain medical conditions:
- They must not be able to walk more than 200 feet without resting.
- They must not be able to walk, or need assistance from a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair or another individual.
- They must be restricted by lung disease to a degree that one second of their forced expiratory volume (measured through spirometry) is less than one liter, or their arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on rest in room air.
- They must need portable oxygen.
- They have a cardiac condition to the degree that their functional limitation is Class III or Class IV in severity, according to the American Heart Association.
- Their ability to walk must be limited due to a neurological, orthopedic or arthritic condition.
- They have other temporary conditions that will allow them to qualify.
Applying for Disabled Plates or Placards in Utah
Disabled Utah residents can apply for a disabled parking permit through the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by filling out a Disabled Person And Physician Disability Certification Form TC-842. A licensed physician must fill out the Physician’s Disability Certification section on the form.
Placards are free, but if the applicant also wants a disabled plate, it costs $17. Other standard motor vehicle registration fees may also apply. There is an extra $4 fee for postage to receive plates through the mail, and lost plates cost $17 to replace. Disabled persons' placards and their replacements are free.
Applicants can drop off their completed applications at a local DMV office or mail them to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles, Mail and Correspondence, P.O. Box 30412, Salt Lake City, UT 84130.
ADA Parking Space Requirements
ADA parking space requirements ensure that disabled people can easily exit and enter their vehicles and travel to a business’ accessible entrance. According to the ADA, parking stalls must be on level ground. Parking lots must have a clearly marked access aisle connecting an accessible route to a building.
Parking spaces in medical offices must be 10 percent disabled parking, and hospitals must have 20 percent of their parking spaces dedicated to disabled parking. Apartment buildings must keep 2 percent of their parking spaces available for disabled parking.
All handicap parking spaces must offer the least travel distance for disabled people to the facilities they serve. Parking lots, wherever possible, must allow individuals who park in disabled stalls to access a building without crossing traffic areas. The distance between a building’s most remote entrance and a disabled stall must not be more than 200 feet.
Parking Spot Width Requirements
Handicap parking spaces must not be less than 8 feet wide and must have an adjacent access aisle that is also not less than 8 feet wide for the first aisle and 5 feet wide for each aisle thereafter. These aisles must provide the disabled person an accessible route of travel to and from a building. Handicap parking spaces and aisles must be marked to identify their use.
ADA Parking Sign Requirements
The ADA also dictates signage specifications for disabled parking. A clearly mounted disabled parking sign must carry the international symbol of accessibility and be a minimum of at least 60 inches from the ground. Van-accessible parking spaces must have signage designating a stall to be “van accessible.”
Every parking space must have a sign centered 3 feet to 5 feet high at the head of the parking space, with the international symbol of accessibility. Signage must be at least 12 inches high, with lettering not less than 1 inch or more than 2 inches in height on a contrasting background.
Difference Between Permanent Placards and Temporary Placards
Applicants can get permanent or temporary placards from the DMV. Permanent placards are valid for two years from the date of issuance and must be renewed every two years. A physician’s statement is not needed to renew a permanent placard.
Temporary placards are valid for six months from the date of issuance. A physician’s statement is needed to describe the nature and potential duration of the disability. This type of placard cannot be renewed, but if an individual’s temporary disability continues beyond six months, they can apply for another temporary placard with a new certification from their doctor.
If a person has disabled license plates, they are allowed one permanent disabled parking placard for transporting a qualified disabled person. If they do not have disabled license plates, they can have two placards. Disabled placards are hung from the rear-view mirror so they are visible from the front of the vehicle’s. They must be removed while driving. Utah grants parking privileges to disabled people from other states, as well as Mexico and Canada.
- Utah DMV: Disabled Plates and Placards
- Utah DMV: Disability Certification
- Find Law: Utah Code Title 41 Motor Vehicles, Section 41-1a-414 Parking Privileges for Persons With Disabilities
- Ogden, UT: 15-12-4: Handicap Parking Requirements
- Legal Beagle: Utah Vehicle Safety Inspection Procedures
- Legal Beagle: How to File a Complaint Against the DMV
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.