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Disabled-Drivers Placard Legislation Heads to Governor

The bill gives RI doctors the ability to give out a temporary disability placard while a patient waits for a permanent placard from the DMV.

Legislation sponsored by a Cranston senator to allow doctors to issue temporary disabled-drivers placards to patients is heading to the governor for his signature.

The Senate bill, 2013-S 0238A, was sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick). The House bill 2013-H 5119Aaa was sponsored by Rep. Jan Malik (D-Dist 67, Barrington, Warren). They cleared the House of Representatives and Senate last week.

Under the current law, eligible disabled drivers who apply for a disability placard face a waiting period before receiving it from the Division of Motor Vehicles. The new legislation gives a person applying for a permanent disability placard a preliminary placard immediately from a physician who determines that a patient’s condition merits it.

The preliminary placard would be effective for 21 days and would bridge the time between the application and issuance of the permanent disability plate by the DMV.

The temporary placard, as prescribed in the legislation, will be an orange placard with a white international symbol of access, bearing the expiration date. It is to be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle. There is to be no fee for obtaining or using the placard.

The bills have been transmitted to the governor for his action. If enacted into law, the issuance of the temporary placards will begin Jan. 1.

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