Parking Space Regulations for Handicapped Vans - The Mobility Resource

People with disabilities have a right to accessible public parking for handicapped vans and vehicles. In the US, the rules and regulations were established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These federal laws apply nationwide. Many states have additional laws. Every state’s requirements must meet or exceed the ADA guidelines.

Be aware of what you or a disabled loved one are entitled to. Non-compliant businesses are liable. If you stroll upon a public lot that doesn’t meet legal mandates, contact your state department of transportation.

 Parking Spaces for Handicapped Vans


Where parking is available to the public, designated handicapped van parking spots are required. This assumes they can reasonably be provided. The ADA mandates they be closest to the handicapped-accessible entrance. Exceptions are made if the terrain around these spots isn’t suitable. These spaces must be clearly marked with the international handicapped symbol. Each space needs an adjoining access lane. It has to be at least five feet wide.

Handicapped spaces should be on flat ground. There must be an unobstructed, level, easily navigable path from these parking spaces directly to the entrance. The path should have a stable, slip-resistant surface. If it crosses a traffic lane, it may need to be marked. Parking lots are required to have one handicapped van parking space per every 25 parking spots up to 100. There must be an additional handicapped spot per every 50 parking spaces after that, up to 200. Further requirements are in place for larger lots.

Specific Regulations for Handicapped Vans

The ADA established specific rules for parking spots for handicapped vans. One out of every eight handicapped parking spots must be for these larger vehicles. When there are fewer than eight handicapped spots, one must meet van regulations. Even if there’s only one handicapped space, it should meet van specifications. In lots with more than 400 total parking spaces, at least two spots must meet van regulations.

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 Like standard handicapped parking spaces, those for handicapped vansmust be at least eight feet wide. However, the adjoining access lane must also be at least 8 feet wide. This provides an area where a person in a wheelchair or scooter can safely get in and out of their vehicle. These spots should be visibly labeled “van accessible.” This is in addition to displaying the international handicapped symbol. Vertical clearance to and from the space, as well as over the space itself, should be at least 98 inches.

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