Which Handicap Parking Signs do You Need?
All official traffic and parking signs must meet the standards explained in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), every state is required to have either adopted the MUTCD or have developed a state MUTCD/MUTCD supplement that “is in substantial conformance with the National Manual.” (For more information and a state-by-state guide, visit the FHWA’s resource page on the topic.)
For states that have adopted the national MUTCD, the use of the federally recognized MUTCD R7-8 reserved parking sign is sufficient for compliance. These reserved signs meet design standards set in MUTCD Section 2B.40.
Some states also require supplemental signage that displays information about penalties for those who park illegally in accessible spaces or for other restrictions. Below is an example of the penalty sign required in New Jersey:
States that have adopted the national MUTCD with supplements display signage that is very similar to the federal version. Generally, these signs may only vary in size, image proportion, or legend.
These signs may contain supplemental text regarding penalties or restrictions directly on the reserved sign, instead of requiring the posting of a supplemental sign.
Lastly, there are states that have developed their own MUTCD. These standards have been reviewed and deemed compliant by the FHWA.
Again, each state MUTCD “is in substantial conformance with the National Manual,” and accepted by the FHWA. While there are very few states that have adopted their own MUTCD, the majority of sign designs look very similar to the federal versions.
While some versions do look quite different from each other, all of these reserved parking signs for accessibility achieve their goal of providing parking to anyone that might need it.
To find out what kind of sign you might need in your state, visit our state-specific accessible parking directory.
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