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Parking with disabled veterans plates

This week’s question came in via email:

“I am a disabled veteran rated 100% by the Veterans Administration. The good folks of Michigan have been kind to recognize those of us in these circumstances by granting some benefits such as a license plate for a vehicle. The plate is designated with the prefix DV followed with a number. As a disabled veteran with this plate, is it legal to park in a designated handicap parking space?”

Typically, for a vehicle to be parked in a “handicap” parking space, the vehicle must have a disability license plate or parking placard. However, if a veteran would like the Disabled Veteran plate, there is a specific statute to cover this plate.

Michigan Vehicle Code, statute 257.803f, covers special registration plates for totally disabled veterans. Under this statute, in Section 1, it describes what a qualifies as a disabled veteran status. It states, “A person who is a totally disabled veteran with an honorable discharge from the armed services may make an application to the secretary of state if he or she owns a private passenger motor vehicle, and the secretary of state may issue a special registration plate inscribed with special identification numbers preceded by the letters ‘DV’ and the words ‘disabled veteran’ inscribed beneath the registration number …”

Under Section 6 of this statute, it states, “The secretary of state may issue to a disabled person who has been issued a special registration plate under this section a tab for persons with disabilities. The tab for persons with disabilities must be an adhesive tab displaying the international wheelchair symbol or a reasonable facsimile of that symbol. The tab for persons with disabilities may be attached only to the special registration plate issued to the disabled person under this section.”

Section 7 states the application process for the tab. “An application for a tab for persons with disabilities shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall require the same proof that the applicant is a disabled person as is required for issuance of a permanent windshield placard under section 675 …”

A tab for person with disabilities will be issued free of cost to the disabled veteran and renews at the time the special registration plate is renewed at the Secretary of State office.

To answer the question, only having a disabled veteran plate does not allow the veteran to park in a “handicap” parking space in front of a store. However, if the disabled veteran completes the process for the special tab for persons with disabilities and displays the tab in the proper location, the disabled veteran would be allowed to park in the “handicap” parking spaces.

Ashley Simpson is a community service trooper for the Michigan State Police-Alpena Post. If you have a question for Trooper Simpson, you can email her at asktroopersimpson@gmail.com or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police-Alpena Post, 3283 W. Washington Ave., Alpena, Michigan, 49707.