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Old 02-16-2014, 04:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
169 posts, read 349,709 times
Reputation: 250

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Hello all,

Having just relocated to San Antonio recently, my wife and I have noticed an inordinately high number of Disabled Vet license plates throughout the city. Of course we know there are a lot of military retirees in the area and we are aware of the large military presence. Still, the frequency with which we see these plates is alarmingly high. Driving through any parking lot or even just sitting in traffic, the percentage is huge. I guess we are wondering what exactly is the criteria for being considered a "disabled vet" under Texas law, and also do these privileges apply to family members as well?

I often see young teenagers, soccer moms, and other members of demographics not typically associated with veteran status driving with these plates. Certainly I guess it's possible that the girl driving the VW Beetle who looks about 17 could have served our country in some manner and been permanently disabled in doing so, but my internal BS radar seems to want to conclude otherwise

Can anyone shed any light on this?
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:27 PM
 
447 posts, read 957,256 times
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"Name Disabled VeteranPlate Fee:$3/$0Number Currently Registered:141,523Available Since:1972Eligibility:Certified by the Veterans Administration to have a 50 percent service-related disability, or 40 percent due to amputation of a lower extremity.How to Apply:Submit a completed application and supporting documentation to your local county tax assessor-collector office.Type:TxDMV-Qualifying"

They also get to park for free at airports, att center, parking meters, etc.

"Placard and plate eligibility is based on a medical condition that meets the legal definition of a disability. "Disability" means a condition in which a person has:

Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses
Visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less
Mobility problems that substantially impair a person's ability to move around; these problems can be caused by:
Paralysis
Lung disease
Cardiac deficiency
Wheelchair confinement
Arthritis
Foot disorder
Other medical condition causing a person to use a brace, cane, crutch or other assistive device.
A parking placard or plate is ONLY valid when being used by the person with the disability or someone who is driving the person with the disability.

It is a violation of state law to use the placard or plates for a disabled parking spot without the person with the disability in the vehicle. People who misuse disabled parking placards are subject to fines of up to $1,250 and/or up to 50 hours of community service."

"Free Drivers License for Disabled Veterans
Under Texas Transportation Code Title 7, Chapter 521, Section 521.426, Texas drivers licenses may be furnished free of charge to veterans who have service-connected disabilities rated 60% or more by the VA or by a branch of the Armed Forces of the U.S. Application must be made prior to the time present drivers license expires. Application forms may be obtained from Department of Public Safety's license examining offices located throughout the State. We have provided a link to the to the Texas Department of Public Safety's Drivers License information website. Application forms should be completed by the veteran and forwarded to the VA for verification of service-connected rating of 60% or more. If a veteran was disability-retired from military service and has no VA claim file, proof of disability must come from their respective branch of military service.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Disabled Veterans
Disabled veterans are eligible for special hunting and fishing licenses, at a reduced cost. A disabled veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States is one who has a service-connected disability, as defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, consisting of the loss of use of a lower extremity or of a disability rating of 60% or more, and who is receiving compensation from the United States for the disability. A resident veteran as described in the law may hunt wild turkey and deer without a resident hunting license if he has acquired a resident exemption hunting license. We have provided a link to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for your convenience.

Free Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Free admission to Texas State Parks is available to any veteran who has a service-connected disability, which is rated 60% or more by VA, or a service-connected disability, which has resulted in the loss of a lower extremity. Application may be made at the headquarters office of any Texas State park by providing satisfactory evidence of service-connected disability. If such evidence is not readily available, it can be obtained from the VA regional office where the claims folder is located. The Texas State Parklands Passport is available to any veteran who meets the disability requirements, whether or not he or she resides in Texas. The Passport provides only free admission to the State parks, and does not exempt anyone from payment of other charges, such as camping fees, etc. We have provided a link to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for your convenience."


So as you can see, there are many benefits to having a DV plate. The biggest drawback is that, presumably, one is disabled and paid a price to receive these benefits. However, like with any program, there is fraud and abuse in the system.

Last edited by bigtexan99; 02-16-2014 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
169 posts, read 349,709 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by tortuga29 View Post
Per the application on the TxDOT website :" You must be a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, with a service-connected disability of at least 50 percent, or at least 40 percent due to the amputation of a lower extremity. · You must be honorably discharged, receiving compensation from the U.S. government as a result of such disability. " Other requirements as well.

As a DV myself, I'm female, mid 30's, professional, not as lean but still as mean, so I hope its okay.

You can recieve a plate for one vehicle for the $3 fee, certain others may recieve 2 plates for that fee or even free. You can also request extra plates for additional vehicles for the standard price.
FIrst off, thank you for your service. Second, as per the last two sentences of your reply, it sounds like it's entirely feesible that a good number of these vehicles with the DV plates are family members, ie: the actual DV (mom or dad) has junior or princess' car registered in their name and thus is able to have the DV plate on all of the family cars. That may explain the impressively high number of these vehicles on the road in San Antonio.

As an aside...the one that made me pause curiously today was the Lexus with the DV plate and the 13.1 decal
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,216 posts, read 8,000,132 times
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If DV are like regular handicapped plates/placards, one may have 2 plates/placards.

However, it is amazing the number of people who seem to think that if the car has a disabled plate of some kind, it entitles anyone driving to park in disabled spots, even when the person for whom the plates were issued is not present.

As a city with a large number of military bases and retirees, I'm sure the % of DV plates is above average. I'm just not sure everyone is using them correctly.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: TX
3,968 posts, read 5,163,214 times
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My DH is a disabled veteran who could easily qualify for those plates, but we choose to use regular disabled placards only and have never used the DV plates. So there are even more qualified disabled veterans in the area than people can tell. It's inevitable that a military city like S.A. would have a lot of resident U.S. veterans and many more disabled veterans that are entitled to have the DV plates in the area than the average city in the USA.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:04 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,818 posts, read 3,149,446 times
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I often wonder why shoe stores have disabled parking spots. If you can't walk, you don't need shoes. Joking. But there are many people who get placards that don't need them. If you can walk, you need to not have a placard. I would rather see parking spots for people with kids 4 yrs old and under. Because these kids might just run across the lot and get hit. But of you put the spot closer, it reduces that chance. Just a silly opinion. It will never happen
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
28 posts, read 40,645 times
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I have Disabled Vet plates but I have them on my wife's car. The reason why is if I am incapacitated, she will need to drive. This is also the only time we will utilize a handicap parking spot. Thankfully, it only happened once although last year I was out for a week.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:50 PM
 
6,366 posts, read 7,586,112 times
Reputation: 4353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford72 View Post
Hello all,

Having just relocated to San Antonio recently, my wife and I have noticed an inordinately high number of Disabled Vet license plates throughout the city. Of course we know there are a lot of military retirees in the area and we are aware of the large military presence. Still, the frequency with which we see these plates is alarmingly high. Driving through any parking lot or even just sitting in traffic, the percentage is huge. I guess we are wondering what exactly is the criteria for being considered a "disabled vet" under Texas law, and also do these privileges apply to family members as well?

I often see young teenagers, soccer moms, and other members of demographics not typically associated with veteran status driving with these plates. Certainly I guess it's possible that the girl driving the VW Beetle who looks about 17 could have served our country in some manner and been permanently disabled in doing so, but my internal BS radar seems to want to conclude otherwise

Can anyone shed any light on this?
I have seen people parking in handicapped spots with DV plates or the placard that don't seem disabled at all but I just remind myself that it is none of my business why they have the plates or placard.

I am sure many people have them that don't really need but got them because it is another "perk" they qualified for.

As for the 13.1 decal, maybe the driver was disabled in other places besides his legs? Maybe it is his/her spouse's decal. I don't know.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:23 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
136 posts, read 207,197 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford72 View Post
Hello all,

Having just relocated to San Antonio recently, my wife and I have noticed an inordinately high number of Disabled Vet license plates throughout the city. Of course we know there are a lot of military retirees in the area and we are aware of the large military presence. Still, the frequency with which we see these plates is alarmingly high. Driving through any parking lot or even just sitting in traffic, the percentage is huge. I guess we are wondering what exactly is the criteria for being considered a "disabled vet" under Texas law, and also do these privileges apply to family members as well?

I often see young teenagers, soccer moms, and other members of demographics not typically associated with veteran status driving with these plates. Certainly I guess it's possible that the girl driving the VW Beetle who looks about 17 could have served our country in some manner and been permanently disabled in doing so, but my internal BS radar seems to want to conclude otherwise

Can anyone shed any light on this?
My father is a Vietnam disabled veteran and he has a DV plate on all of his vehicles. The veteran alone is allowed the special privileges that come with having DV plates and those privileges may be used as long as he or she is driving or riding in the vehicle. So if I took my dad's truck somewhere and parked in a handicap space, I am committing fraud. However if I drive my dad somewhere and park in a handicap spot, that is allowed. As far as free parking at the airport and other places, that is much more difficult to exploit because they require ID and paperwork to be signed upon exiting parking garages in order for the fees to be waived. I'm sure that abuse of the system does occur. However, everyone needs to be mindful that a veteran's disability is not always readily apparent and we should not be quick to judge another person because of their license plate, but rather be grateful for the service that he or she, their spouse, or parent did for our country.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,399 posts, read 21,498,214 times
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Considering the large military community in San Antonio, it's not surprising to see a lot of DV tags here.

And since it's the vehicle that tagged, it doesn't matter who is driving unless it's parked in a handicapped spot (allowed under Texas law) as cbeltran428 stated. But my son drove my DV-tagged Jeep while his car was in the shop, and that's perfectly legal. DVs are allowed two tags (the first being tax-free), so I could put a set on our minivan that my wife primarily drives, again all perfectly legal.

By the way, the reasons for my disability rating are not readily visible to the average person; and that rating is issued by the VA so the state has nothing to do with it other than offering the tags. And while DV tagged vehicles are allowed to park in HC spots (as long as the DV is in the vehicle), not all DVs are eligible for handicapped placards/tags. That is a separate process that could be related, but not directly related.

Cheers! M2
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