LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Thousands of California’s disabled parking placards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles are being sent to dead people.
The placards allow motorists to park for free or in special designated spaces.
The DMV checks state death records every two years and the Los Angeles Times reports that this year’s crosscheck uncovered about 56,000 deceased placard holders.
The agency misses many of those people because of mismatched birth dates, but the DMV says fraudulent use of disabled parking placards is on the rise. More than a third of the placards displayed in vehicles are used illegally, costing cities millions of dollars in parking revenue.
California law allows cars displaying disabled placards to park for free and exempt from time limits at metered spaces. The placard holder does not have to own or drive the vehicle, but must be within “a reasonable distance.”
The DMV says it’s studying ways to make the process more efficient.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)