Rules for Handicapped Signs in Michigan

(Image: handicap parking only sign image by jimcox40 from <a href=''></a>)

Michigan adheres to the federal standards, the branch of government by which they set the national standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act when creating and enforcing its sign posting rules for handicapped persons. When you post signs for parking, vehicle use and building accessibility Michigan’s bylaws direct you to federal standards to accurately post handicapped signs.


Spaces designated for handicapped parking must be specifically measured being 8 feet wide with significant space on the passenger side to be accessible for a wheelchair. It should be marked with contrasting colors of blue and white and the international symbol of the wheelchair clearly painted in the middle of the space. The sign in the center of the space should be measured at 12 inches by 18 inches painted either contrasting blue with white or white with blue. As taken from the Uniform Traffic Code (Excerpt), Act 62 of 1956: 257.951 Sec. 1.

Also when creating the handicapped spaces in a parking lot, be sure that all the signs are visible. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, when creating this space you should also install a sign tall enough to be seen over the parked vehicle and it should also have the international symbol of the blue and white wheelchair clearly seen on it. Below it should read the words stating that it is accessible to the handicapped person and their specialized van.

All letters and any numbers on these signs should be raised or indented and be of specific measurements according to Federal Standards. They are to be of a ratio of 3:5 wide and 1:1 high, and the strokes should be 1:5 wide with a 1:10 ratio high.


Under Michigan law, any person that is qualified may receive a handicapped temporary parking permit placard or permanent license plate. What qualifies a person according to Michigan government is blindness, or anything that requires a person to need assistance to walk, like a wheelchair, walker, cane and even crutches. These permits allow a disabled person the ability to park in a designated parking space more convenient for them to reach their destination. The temporary placards are issued for six months or a permanent placard can be issued for four years, depending on whether the person's illness is determined to be one that would improve over time. Caregivers are also issued placards to allow them to sufficiently care for persons. Michigan government states, an application for a disability placard must be filled out completely by a qualified physician. Contact your secretary of state office or the website for copies of these applications.


When owning a small business in Michigan, you must have an entrance that is handicapped accessible. If you have only one entrance, than it should be modified with a hand railing and if possible no steps. If you have two entrances, then only one has to be able to accommodate a disabled person. If it cannot be open during regular business hours, than you must have a way for someone to contact you like a doorbell. Also according to the ADA, a sign has to direct the person to the other door for entrance to your building. This bell or buzzer should be no more than 4 feet above the ground for ease of use as well.

According to federal standards, inside signs should also be very visible to handicapped persons also, being placed at the left side of doorways and being hung not more than 5 and 1/2 feet high from the floor.

Wheelchair accessible
Wheelchair accessible (Image: access sign image by Hao Wang from <a href=''></a>)

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