How to Determine if a Handicap Placard is Fake

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If you suspect someone is using a fake handicap placard, contact the proper authorities.
If you suspect someone is using a fake handicap placard, contact the proper authorities. (Image: handicap image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com)

Using a fake handicap placard is not only immoral, but also illegal. In many states, using a fake handicap placard carries with it a large fine and community service hours. If you see a fake placard, take note of all the details, compare it to your state's official handicap placard, and contact the Department of Motor Vehicles if you believe it to be a fake. Many people use fake placards to gain access to convenient parking spots without considering the impact they're having on the lives of those living with disabilities.

Look closely at the handicap placard. Note all identifying details, including the pictogram, color, shape and any numbers on it. Be sure to write down the permit number, if there is one. You may also wish to write down the license plate number for the car.

Take a picture with your cell phone or camera, if possible. Having a physical record of the fake will help you describe it later.

Look up handicap placards on your state's DMV website. Compare the placard you believe to be fake with the official one.

Contact your local DMV if you believe the placard was indeed fake. Provide the permit number, and ask the DMV to authenticate it. If the placard is authentic, the DMV will have a record of the number in the system.

If the DMV verifies your suspicions, contact your local police department and report the fake placard. Provide any additional details about the car, including the license plate number and where you saw it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never directly confront the person you believe to be using the fake placard. Always contact the proper authorities.

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