State has defined handicap parking since '83

Hi, I'm curious when the handicap tags and the special parking spots were started. I know you have the answer.

— C. Martin, Medford

Yes, C., we do have the answer.

According to David House, media contact for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Salem, the special handicap tags were approved by the Oregon Legislature in 1983.

The special placards and parking spaces were then issued in September 1985, he said.

"The modern placard hangs from your rearview mirror so people will know why you are parking in handicap spots," he said.

Did you know there actually are two types of handicapped parking spots?

There is the traditional handicapped parking space and a wheelchair-only parking space created by law in 2008.

It's illegal to park in the designated "WHEELCHAIR PARKING ONLY" space unless you have the blue wheelchair-parking-only placard, which you apply for at the DMV.

Violating the rules could land you a $160 fine.

According to the DMV, to apply for a disabled person parking permit you must:

  • Have a valid Oregon driver's license to obtain a renewable, temporary duplicate (travel) or wheelchair permit;
  • Complete the application for Parking Permit for an Individual with a Disability (Form 735-265), including licensed physician's signature; and
  • Submit your completed application in person at a DMV office or by mail to: DMV Driver Issuance Unit, 1905 Lana Ave. N.E., Salem , OR 97314.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering them all.

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