Briefing Room: obtaining and displaying disabled placards


Lt. Nicholas,

Can you please list the rules and places for using the handicapped placard for parking? Where you can you use it for unlimited time? What about the beach lots?  Any spot or just the handicap marked spots? Especially in Seal Beach the one-hour parking or streets where resident sticker is required etc.  And are there spots where you cannot use it?

Thank you.  Your column is always helpful!

Best regards,  Gayle

Hi Gayle, thank you so much for your question and kind words.  Qualified, permanently disabled persons may obtain a Disabled Person placard or License Plate for their vehicle from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  Those with a disabled person placard or license plate may park in spaces with  International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol).  They may also park next to a green curb (green curbs indicate limited time parking) for as long as they wish, in an on-street metered parking space at no charge, and in an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit.  This means that in Seal Beach, a person with a disabled person placard or plate may park for as long as they wish on Main Street (or other timed parking areas).  However, the beach lots (and the municipal parking lots on Main Street) are considered off-street metered parking and users must pay to park in those areas, whether they have a placard or not.

Please note there are also places that the disabled person placard or license plate does not allow for parking.  For instance, you may not park in spaces marked with a crosshatched pattern next to wheelchair symbol spaces (those are for loading and unloading), next to red curbs (no stopping, standing, or parking), next to yellow curbs (commercial vehicles to load and unload passengers or freight), or next to white curbs (loading and unloading passengers or depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox). 

To find out more about disabled person placards and license plates, please visit: Thank you Gayle for the interesting question!  Please send me questions at 

Briefing Room: obtaining and displaying disabled placards