Parking for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities displaying a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)-issued disabled parking placard or license plate have certain parking privileges in Arlington to ensure accessibility to businesses, services and residences.

Metered Parking Spaces

In 1998, in close cooperation with advocates for people with disabilities, the County Board created a new ordinance that required motorists displaying disabled parking placards or license plates to pay at all Arlington parking meters. Before that, individuals would often fraudulently use disabled parking placards or plates to park for free, keeping people with legitimate needs from using those spaces. By requiring payment for all metered parking, there was much less reason to use the distinct placards and plates fraudulently, and parking reserved for people with disabilities became easier to find.

Meters reserved for people with disabilities:

  • Are designated by signage with the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) or “Wheelchair Symbol”
  • Are approximately 42 inches high
  • Are placed at convenient locations such as near curb cuts and building entrances when possible
  • Have double the maximum allowed time compared to standard meters on the same block

All on-street spaces for people with disabilities have single-space meters that can take credit cards, coins, and services like Apple Pay and Google Pay through contactless payment technology.

To find metered parking spaces designated for those with disabilities, see this map (zoom in to see which meters are reserved for people with disabilities). Remember: People with disabilities may park at any meter.

To learn more, go to our Paying for Parking page.

The County considers requests to designate a metered or unmetered space near a public facility (like a government building or school) for exclusive use by people with disabilities. To make a request, email or call 703-228-3344. An investigation will determine if there’s barrier-free, off-street parking to serve the need. If there is none, and it can’t reasonably be provided, then an on-street parking space for people with disabilities may be installed.

Meter for people with disabilities
Arlington meter exclusively for use by people with disabilities.

Residential Streets

The Residential Disabled Parking Program was created as a convenience for people with disabilities who can document the need for a specifically designated disabled-accessible on-street parking space in a residential area.

  • A person with a disability may apply for an on-street space near his or her residence.
  • If the person with the disability can’t apply for himself or herself, a designated representative may apply on his or her behalf.
  • A disabled parking plate or placard must have been issued by the DMV to the person with the disability. A disabled parking plate is required for a vehicle registered at the address where the space is requested.
  • If an off-street space is available to the resident, the applicant must state the reason that space is inadequate to meet the person with disability’s needs.
  • All accessible on-street parking is public parking and anyone with a disabled plate or placard may use the space. The space is not reserved for any individual or vehicle.
  • Spaces will be re-evaluated periodically and may be removed if the disabled parking placard or plate expires, or if the placard/plate holder moves, or if some other operational or safety issue arises that warrants such removal.

An application for disabled-accessible parking on a residential street may be faxed or e-mailed or mailed with the required supporting documentation. The proper fax number, address and e-mail address appear on the application form.

Tickets/Fines for Unauthorized Use of a Space for People with Disabilities

Arlington County Code Chapter 14.2-38.1 establishes a fine of $500 for unauthorized parking in a space reserved for people with disabilities. If you feel you’ve been wrongly ticketed for parking in such a space and wish to contest the ticket, you must appear in General District Court, Traffic Division.