Crime Watch

Crime Watch: Blue disabled parking permits must be renewed every four years

 

Special to The Miami Herald

Many of you have emailed and called asking me to republish the information on Disabled Parking Permits. If you have a blue permanent disabled parking permit, you need to be aware of the new requirements put in place by Florida lawmakers in 2012.

Hopefully these new rules have helped stop fraud in obtaining Disabled Parking permits. The below was sent to me by a reader who is disabled, wanting to advise my readers because many disabled people are forced to park elsewhere because the disabled spaces are taken by people who don’t need them. The below statements were issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Any person issued a blue permanent disabled parking permit must renew the permit every four years and, when doing so, provide a certificate of disability completed and signed by a certifying authority within the last 12 months. That means every blue disabled parking permit holder will, at least every four years and within 12 months of the date of their renewal, fill out Form HSMV 83039. Permit holders will not have to pay a renewal fee.

In addition, if your blue permanent disabled parking permit is lost or stolen, a replacement will only be issued if you submit the same documentation required for renewals. The new law does not affect red temporary disabled parking permits, nor people who have disabled (wheelchair) license plates.

The Legislature also has directed DHSMV to collect calls reporting abuse of the permits. Calls should be placed to the DHSMV Customer Service Center at 850-617-3803.

The blue disabled parking permit with a current sticker must be visible from the front and rear of a motor vehicle. One side of the permit must display the applicant’s driver license number or state identification card number along with a warning the applicant must have such identification at all times while using the parking permit. Illegally obtaining or using a permit can result in the loss of the parking permit and carries the potential for criminal penalties as outlined in Florida Statute 320.0848.

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I also received several calls and emails from residents that were receiving calls at home on behalf of Senior Crime Watch program soliciting for funds. Well please be advised that we don’t do any telemarketing at all. We don’t have anyone calling asking for money. The only funding we get apart from the Miami-Dade County is on our website, www.citizenscrimewatch.org, where we do have a donate button for those that want to contribute.

In closing, on Monday we honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the anniversary of two superlative Miami-Dade Police Officers – Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth — killed in the line of duty on January 20, 2011. May we never forget their sacrifice in making this a better world for everyone.

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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