People with disabilities displaying Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) plates or placards have certain parking privileges in Arlington to ensure accessibility to businesses, services and residences.
The Residential Disabled Parking Program was created as a convenience to drivers with disabilities who can document the need for a disabled-accessible on-street parking space.
A disabled person may apply for an on-street disabled space near his or her residence. If the disabled person is not able to apply for him or herself, a designated representative may apply on behalf of the disabled person. A disabled plate or a placard must have been issued by the Virginia DMV to the disabled person. In case of a disabled plate, the plate must be issued to a vehicle registered at the address where the space is requested. If an off-street space is available to the resident, the applicant must state the reason this space is inadequate to meet the disabled person’s needs. All disabled on-street parking is public parking and anyone with a disabled plate or placard may use the space. The space is not reserved for any individual person or vehicle. Spaces will be re-evaluated periodically and may be removed if the disabled placard/plate issued by the Virginia DMV expires, or if the placard/plate holder moves, or if some other operational or safety issue arises that warrants such removal.
An Application for a Disabled Parking Space (41KB PDF) on a Residential Street may be downloaded and then faxed, mailed or emailed to the Arlington County Transportation Division with the required supporting documentation.
At the request of a person with disabilities, a metered space can be designated for people with disabilities. In 1998 in close cooperation with advocates of the disable community, the County Board created a new law which required motorists displaying handicapped placards or license plates to pay at all Arlington parking meters. The purpose of this law is to improve the availability of parking for persons with physical disabilities by eliminating the chief incentive to fraudulently use handicapped parking placards and plates, namely free parking. Before the law was passed, abuse of metered parking by fraudulent use of handicapped parking placards or plates was widespread and adversely affected those with legitimate needs.
The disabled meters are approximately 42 inches high and are placed at convenient locations such as near curb cuts and building entrances, when possible. Disabled meters also have double the maximum allowable time as compared to non-disabled meters in the same area.
Arlington is currently replacing the meters at disabled spaces with new meters that can take credit cards. The County also sells iPark devices which are pre-payment parking devices that hang above a car’s dashboard thus eliminating the need to put coins or credit cards in meters.
To request a metered space to be designated as a disabled space, contact park(at)arlingtonva.us or telephone 703-228-3344. An investigation will be conducted to determine if there is barrier-free, off-street parking to serve the need. If there is none, and it cannot be reasonably be provided, then a disabled parking space will be provided.
If convenient barrier-free parking is not available at government buildings, the Metro system, churches and other public facilities, restricted parking spaces for persons with disabilities may be provided on public streets where parking is normally allowed. A study must show that the parking spaces are normally occupied and that persons with disabilities do not have a reasonable opportunity to use an alternative convenient, barrier-free space.
County Code 14.2-38.1 establishes a fine of $500 for parking in a handicapped parking space. If you feel you have been wrongly ticketed for parking in a disabled parking space and wish to contest your ticket, you must appear in General District Court, Traffic Division. Click here for more information about contesting tickets.