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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
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Experience:  I have 30 years experience in the practice of law, including representation of clients in Traffic Court.
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In California, is someone with a handicap placard allowed to

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In California, is someone with a handicap placard allowed to park in a private apartment building parking lot in the visitor's section for longer than a visitor is allowed to park there?

Does the answer change if handicap parking spots exist (whether cars or in them or not)?

Good afternoon Scott,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Under CA law, there is no time limit that a vehicle displaying a handicap card/plate may park in a marked handicap space on public property. However, while on private property, if the private property owner has posted the parking lot, or the handicap space with a maximum time allowed for parking, that posting must be obeyed if it conforms to state law:

CA Vehicle Code §22658. (a) The owner or person in lawful possession of private property, including an association of a common interest development as defined in Sections 4080 and 4100 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property to a storage facility that meets the requirements of subdivision (n) under any of the following circumstances: (1) There is displayed, in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign not less than 17 inches by 22 inches in size, with lettering not less than one inch in height, prohibiting public parking and indicating that vehicles will be removed at the owner's expense, and containing the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency and the name and telephone number of each towing company that is a party to a written general towing authorization agreement with the owner or person in lawful possession of the property. The sign may also indicate that a citation may also be issued for the violation.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

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I wish you the best in 2013,


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Doug:


When the law you pasted says "storage facility," does that also mean apartment building?


Here's what my (almost) ex said to me:

Somewhere visible in the lot there were probably general signs saying "unauthorized vehicles towed to such and such place."


She has a placard, was visiting a friend, and the handicap spot was taken, so she parked in visitor parking.

She accidentally fell asleep and didn't wake up until morning. Building said they don't allow overnight parking in visitor spots and that it's up to the tenant to explain the rules to their visitors. The tenant had an empty parking spot in her allocation of spots.


My wife then said they put a note on her car (or a sign up, gosh knows) saying that there's no parking from 12-4AM.

My soon to be ex is known to get things wrong.


All this said, if there's a sign saying where towed cars go on the lot, it's a private apartment bldg, and the have handicap spots (it was taken, but they have them), is it right of a placard holder to take that spot, sleep over and expect her car to be there in the morning in a private lot?

Hi Scott,

Storage facility refers to where the care will be taken---like a garage impound lot.

I would agree with the building management, and the law will hold that your wife was obligated to inquire as to the parking rules from the friend or from management before parking as to what the rules were.

The fact that she has a placard is of no consequence in a private parking lot if she is not in a marked, handicap parking space, and under the law she is bound to abide the parking rules like everyone else. I'm sorry.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

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