ADA Accessible Parking – Can I charge a fee?

Living in California, we all know that space comes at a premium and parking facilities are no exception.  Adding a single ADA Van Accessible space can cost you 17 feet of prime real estate and if it is located in a pay-to-park facility you may think you are losing out on revenues as well.  But that’s doesn’t have to be the case.

In California (CVC 22511.5), free parking for unlimited time does not apply to fee-to-park public facilities so long as everyone must pay to use the lot.  The vehicle code applies to on-street parking only and does not provide fee exemption to disabled vehicle operators in public or private fee-facilities.  So, if there is a fee to enter the lot, disabled vehicle operators must also pay the fee to enter the lot; however, they can use the accessible space once inside the parking facility.  Below are a few examples of public agencies enforcing the fee-to-park option.

From Sacramento City Website

“Garages & Surface Lots (Off-Street Parking): DP parking spaces are available in all off-street parking lots and garages. However, patrons who choose to park in these facilities are obligated to pay any applicable parking rates. This applies to both private and public off-street parking garages and parking lots. California Vehicle Code privileges for free parking with DP placards and license plates only apply to on-street parking. For privately owned off-street garages and parking lots which do not charge fees, vehicles with DP placards must abide by any posted ordinances or restrictions for those facilities.” See more at


From Bart Website

“You need to pay a daily fee to park at BART stations. The daily parking fees varies by station and are posted at each station. Daily fee parkers may park in the designated “Fee” area of a station, where fees are required Monday through Friday from 4:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you arrive after 3pm and leave before 4am, parking is free. BART customers using the ADA accessible parking spaces are also required to pay the established parking fees at times when those fees are in effect. To park in the “Permit” area of a parking lot, you need to have purchased in advance a Single Day, Monthly, or Airport/Long-Term permit. Your receipt from your daily fee parking payment does not qualify as a permit. Any empty spot in the Permit area becomes available to the general public after 10am on a first come/first served basis, although you still must pay the daily fee for the station. You pay for the daily parking fee inside the faregates of the station, before boarding BART.” – See more at:


CVC 22511.5.

(a) (1) A disabled person or disabled veteran displaying special license plates issued under Section 5007 or a distinguishing placard issued under Section 22511.55 or 22511.59 is allowed to park for unlimited periods in any of the following zones:

(A) In any restricted zone described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 21458 or on streets upon which preferential parking privileges and height limits have been given pursuant to Section 22507.

(B) In any parking zone that is restricted as to the length of time parking is permitted as indicated by a sign erected pursuant to a local ordinance.

(2) A disabled person or disabled veteran is allowed to park in any metered parking space without being required to pay parking meter fees.

(3) This subdivision does not apply to a zone for which state law or ordinance absolutely prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles, or which the law or ordinance reserves for special types of vehicles, or to the parking of a vehicle that is involved in the operation of a street vending business.

(b) A disabled person or disabled veteran is allowed to park a motor vehicle displaying a special disabled person license plate or placard issued by a foreign jurisdiction with the same parking privileges authorized in this code for any motor vehicle displaying a special license plate or a distinguishing placard issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.


CVC 22507.  

(a) Local authorities may, by ordinance or resolution, prohibit or restrict the stopping, parking, or standing of vehicles, including, but not limited to, vehicles that are six feet or more in height (including any load thereon) within 100 feet of any intersection, on certain streets or highways, or portions thereof, during all or certain hours of the day. The ordinance or resolution may include a designation of certain streets upon which preferential parking privileges are given to residents and merchants adjacent to the streets for their use and the use of their guests, under which the residents and merchants may be issued a permit or permits that exempt them from the prohibition or restriction of the ordinance or resolution. With the exception of alleys, the ordinance or resolution shall not apply until signs or markings giving adequate notice thereof have been placed. A local ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this section may contain provisions that are reasonable and necessary to ensure the effectiveness of a preferential parking program.

(b) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section may also authorize preferential parking permits for members of organizations, professions, or other designated groups, including, but not limited to, school personnel, to park on specified streets if the local authority determines that the use of the permits will not adversely affect parking conditions for residents and merchants in the area.




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