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Audit of disabled parking placard applications shines light on fraud

California auditor Elaine Howle said the state gives disabled parking placards to people who don’t provide enough medical proof that they need them.

During a review of about 100 applications approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles, she found 3/4’s failed to describe the disability.

She said nearly one in five had signatures that didn’t match medical professionals on file with a licensing health board.

The report also said the DMV has not canceled permits issued to as many as 35,000 people who may no longer be alive.

Dan Van Lith said he has seen able-bodied people take up disabled spaces where he is permitted to park.

“I’ve had 5 surgeries on my knees and my back and all that,” said Van Lith.

His passenger Jim Marcus said there are dishonest people taking up spaces meant for people with illnesses or disabilities.

Both men think the Department of Motor Vehicles should do more to prevent misuse. The DMV has cited more than 2,000 in California in the past few years. The fine range from $250 to $1,000.

Anyone who suspects misuse may report by calling 1-800-777-0133. Van Lith hopes heavy fines will prevent placard and license plate fraud.

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