CHICAGO — The city on Thursday will start enforcing a state law giving free metered parking only to those drivers who get special disability placards from their doctors.
Even if a driver has disability plates, parking without the yellow and gray placards from the Secretary of State's office will be ticketed $65 Downtown and $50 elsewhere if the meters aren't fed.
The state law went into effect on Jan. 1, but the city offered a 15-day grace period.
Previously, cars with any type of disability-related placard were able to park in a metered spot for free indefinitely.
To qualify for the new placards, doctors must attest that the driver in question has issues with one of the following:
• Feeding parking meters "due to the lack of fine motor control of both hands."
• Feeding meters because they need to use a wheelchair.
• Reaching above their heads "to a height of 42 inches above the ground."
• Walking more than 20 feet due to an orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular or lung condition.