Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 226
       By Senator Margolis
       35-00056-12                                            2012226__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to disabled parking permits; amending
    3         s. 318.18, F.S.; providing for a parking enforcement
    4         specialist or agency to validate compliance for the
    5         disposition of a citation issued for illegally parking
    6         in a space provided for people who have disabilities;
    7         amending s. 320.0848, F.S.; revising requirements for
    8         renewal or replacement of a disabled parking permit;
    9         prohibiting applying for a new disabled parking permit
   10         for a certain period of time upon a second finding of
   11         guilt or plea of nolo contendere to unlawful use of
   12         such permit; requiring the Department of Highway
   13         Safety and Motor Vehicles to audit disabled parking
   14         permitholders, verify certain information, and
   15         invalidate the permit of a deceased permitholder;
   16         directing the department to implement a means for
   17         reporting abuse of disabled parking permits; providing
   18         for the department to conduct a public awareness
   19         campaign; providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Subsection (6) of section 318.18, Florida
   24  Statutes, is amended to read:
   25         318.18 Amount of penalties.—The penalties required for a
   26  noncriminal disposition pursuant to s. 318.14 or a criminal
   27  offense listed in s. 318.17 are as follows:
   28         (6) One hundred dollars or the fine amount designated by
   29  county ordinance, plus court costs for illegally parking, under
   30  s. 316.1955, in a parking space provided for people who have
   31  disabilities. However, this fine shall will be waived if a
   32  person provides to the law enforcement agency or parking
   33  enforcement specialist or agency that issued the citation for
   34  such a violation proof that the person committing the violation
   35  has a valid parking permit or license plate issued pursuant to
   36  s. 316.1958, s. 320.0842, s. 320.0843, s. 320.0845, or s.
   37  320.0848 or a signed affidavit that the owner of the disabled
   38  parking permit or license plate was present at the time the
   39  violation occurred, and that such a parking permit or license
   40  plate was valid at the time the violation occurred. The law
   41  enforcement officer or agency or the parking enforcement
   42  specialist or agency, upon determining that all required
   43  documentation has been submitted verifying that the required
   44  parking permit or license plate was valid at the time of the
   45  violation, must sign an affidavit of compliance. Upon provision
   46  of the affidavit of compliance and payment of a dismissal fee of
   47  up to $7.50 to the clerk of the circuit court, the clerk shall
   48  dismiss the citation.
   49         Section 2. Paragraph (d) of subsection (1), paragraph (e)
   50  of subsection (2), and subsection (8) of section 320.0848,
   51  Florida Statutes, are amended, present subsections (9) and (10)
   52  are renumbered as subsections (11) and (12), respectively, and
   53  new subsections (9) and (10) are added to that section, to read:
   54         320.0848 Persons who have disabilities; issuance of
   55  disabled parking permits; temporary permits; permits for certain
   56  providers of transportation services to persons who have
   57  disabilities.—
   58         (1)
   59         (d) Beginning October 1, 2012 April 1, 1999, the department
   60  of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall renew the disabled
   61  parking permit of any person certified as permanently disabled
   62  on the application if the person applies for renewal in person
   63  and provides a current certificate of disability pursuant to
   64  this subsection.
   67         (e) To obtain a replacement for a disabled parking permit
   68  that has been lost or stolen, a person must appear in person,
   69  submit an application on a form prescribed by the department,
   70  and must pay a replacement fee in the amount of $1 $1.00, to be
   71  retained by the issuing agency. If the person submits with the
   72  application a police report documenting that the permit was
   73  stolen, there is no replacement fee.
   74         (8) A law enforcement officer or a parking enforcement
   75  specialist may confiscate the disabled parking permit from any
   76  person who fraudulently obtains or unlawfully uses such a
   77  permit. A law enforcement officer or a parking enforcement
   78  specialist may confiscate any disabled parking permit that is
   79  expired, reported as lost or stolen, or defaced, or that does
   80  not display a personal identification number.
   81         (a) Beginning April 1, 1999, The permit number of each
   82  confiscated permit must be submitted to the department of
   83  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and the fact that the permit
   84  has been confiscated must be noted on the permitholder’s record.
   85  If two permits issued to the same person have been confiscated,
   86  the department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall refer
   87  the information to the central abuse hotline of the Department
   88  of Children and Family Services for an investigation of
   89  potential abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the permit owner.
   90         (b) A confiscated permit must be held as evidence until a
   91  judicial decision about the violation has been made. After a
   92  finding of guilt has been made or a plea of nolo contendere has
   93  been entered, the charging agency shall destroy the confiscated
   94  permit. A confiscated permit may not, under any circumstances,
   95  be returned to its registered owner after a finding of guilt has
   96  been made or a plea of nolo contendere has been entered in
   97  court. If a finding of guilt has been made or a plea of nolo
   98  contendere has been entered for fraudulent or other unlawful use
   99  of a disabled parking permit after a prior finding of guilt or
  100  plea of nolo contendere for fraudulent or other unlawful use of
  101  a disabled parking permit issued to the same registered
  102  permitholder, the permitholder may not apply for a new disabled
  103  parking permit for 4 years. The permit number of each destroyed
  104  permit must be reported to the department, and the department
  105  must record in the real-time disabled parking permit database
  106  that the permit has been invalidated.
  107         (9)(a) At least once every 6 months, the department shall
  108  randomly audit disabled parking permitholders to ensure that all
  109  required criteria for the ownership and possession of such
  110  permit remain valid. As a component of the audit, the department
  111  shall, at a minimum:
  112         1. Review death records maintained by the Department of
  113  Health to ensure that the permitholder has not died.
  114         2. Review the number of times the permit has been
  115  confiscated for fraudulent or unlawful use, if at all.
  116         3. Determine if the permit has ever been reported lost or
  117  stolen and, if so, determine the current status of the permit.
  118         (b) At least annually, the department shall verify that the
  119  owner of each disabled parking permit has not died. Such
  120  verification shall include, but need not be limited to,
  121  consultation of death records maintained by the Department of
  122  Health. If a disabled parking permitholder is found to be
  123  deceased, the department shall promptly invalidate the
  124  decedent’s disabled parking permit.
  125         (10) The department shall develop and implement a means by
  126  which persons can report abuse of disabled parking permits by
  127  telephone hotline or by submitting a form online or by mail.
  128         Section 3. (1) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor
  129  Vehicles shall make a public announcement and conduct a public
  130  awareness campaign regarding the abuses of disabled parking
  131  permits and the burdens such abuses inflict on disabled persons
  132  throughout the state. The public awareness campaign shall also
  133  inform the public about:
  134         (a) The requirement to appear in person to renew an expired
  135  disabled parking permit or replace a lost or stolen disabled
  136  parking permit.
  137         (b) The implementation of the new periodic disabled parking
  138  permit audit system.
  139         (c) The implementation of the new complaint process for
  140  reporting abuses of disabled parking permits.
  141         (2) The public awareness campaign shall commence by August
  142  1, 2012, and shall continue for at least 6 months.
  143         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.