SB 1144 Revises the law relating to disabled license plates and placards and the use of designated disabled parking spaces
LR Number:4205L.05C Fiscal Note:4205-05
Last Action:05/14/04 - H Calendar S Bills for Third Reading w/HCS Journal page:
Title:HCS SCS SBs 1144, 919, & 874
Effective Date:Varies
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Current Bill Summary

HCS/SCS/SBs 1144, 919 & 874 - This act revises the procedures relating to disabled license plates and placards and the use of designated disabled parking spaces.

Under this act, fraudulent procurement or use of a disabled license plate is a Class B misdemeanor. Under current law, it is a Class C misdemeanor.

Physicians or health care practitioners will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor if they issue, sign, or furnish a physician's statement or certificate to enable a person to obtain disabled license plates or windshield placards for any person who does not meet established conditions required by law or if there is no basis for a diagnosis, or state a condition or diagnosis which is outside the scope of the provider's license. Under current law it is a Class C misdemeanor for a health care practitioner to certify an individual for a disabled plate or placard if the diagnosis is outside the practitioner's scope (Section 301.141).

This act allows other health care practitioners (chiropractors, podiatrists, and optometrists) to certify individuals for disabled license plates and placards (Section 301.142).

Under this act, age, in and of itself, shall not be a factor in determining whether a person is entitled to a disabled license plate (Section 301.142.1(f)).

This act provides that other authorized health care practitioners may furnish disabled persons a statement for only those health care conditions for which the practitioner is authorized to treat. The act establishes record maintenance requirements for physicians and health care practitioners who issue physician statements. Such records shall be available to inspection to the practitioner's licensing board, the Department of Revenue and appropriate law enforcement officers. Such records shall be confidential unless required to be disclosed by law.

Under this act, a physician's statement shall:

1. Be on a form prescribed by the Director of Revenue;

2. Set forth the specific diagnosis which renders the person physically disabled;

3. Include the physician's license number; and

4. Be signed by the physician or health care practitioner (Section 301.142.3).

No more than two removable windshield handicap placards may be issued by the Director of the Department of Revenue to any one person. Placards shall be renewable only by the person to which the placard was originally issued. The placard shall only be used when the person is in the motor vehicle at the time of parking or when the person is being delivered.

The Director also will be required to issue a registration certificate identifying the name, address, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Director. The Director shall furnish the applicant with a notice which sets forth that plates or placards are non-transferable, what the restrictions of use are, and the penalties for violating this act. The validated registration receipt given to the applicant shall serve as the registration certificate.

Every new applicant for a disabled plate or placard shall be required to present a new physician's statement dated no more than 90 days prior to such application. Renewal applicants will be required to submit a physician's statement dated no more than 90 days prior to such application upon their first renewal occurring on or after August 1, 2005. Upon completing subsequent renewal applications, a physician's statement dated no more than 90 days prior to such application shall be required every 4th year.

Under this act, a personal representative of a decedent who comes into possession of disabled plates shall return th plates to the director of revenue. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.

Under this act, the fee for a replacement windshield placard is increased from $2 to $4.

Under this act, a person who cannot produce the certificate which authorizes him or her to park in a disabled parking space shall be guilty of an Class A misdemeanor. If a person can later produce a valid certificate in court, the person shall not be found guilty. Under this act, a placard shall only be used when the vehicle is parked in a disabled parking space (Section 304.601).

The disabled license plate and tag provisions can be found in the truly agreed to version of SB 1233 (2004).The disabled license plate provisions have an effective date of January 1, 2005.

FALSE STATEMENTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE - This act makes it a Class A misdemeanor to make false unsworn statements or affidavits to the Department of Revenue (302.230).

FRAUD UPON THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IN LICENSING PROCESS - This act provides that any person who commits fraud or deception during the licensing examination process or otherwise commits a fraud in the application for a license shall be guilty of Class A misdemeanor. The act also provides that any person who is found guilty of violating this section shall not be licensed to operate a motor vehicle for one year after such conviction. This provision has an emergency clause.

DRIVER'S LICENSE PHOTO EXEMPTION - This act requires applicants for driver's licenses to have their photograph taken unless the applicant qualifies for a religious exemption. No photograph or digital image shall be taken of a person wearing anything that cloaks the facial features of the person. An applicant may receive a driver's license or nondriver's license without a photograph if the applicant's photograph is taken and maintained on file with the Department of Revenue. In order to qualify for the exemption, the applicant must submit a form verifying that the exemption is required as part of their religious affiliation. The applicant must also submit proof that he or she has been a U.S. citizen for a minimum of five years and resident of Missouri for at least one year, except that an applicant possessing a valid driver's license from another state without a photograph shall be exempt from the one year residency requirement. The application for a driver's license without a photograph shall be made at license offices prescribed by the director. The Department of Revenue shall allow an applicant to have their photograph taken by a photographer who is of the same sex of the applicant in a segregated location.

These provisions can be found in the truly agreed to version of SB 1233 (2004) and are substantially similar to SS/SCS/HB 598 and SB 343 (2003).