The California State Auditor has taken on the cause of those disabled placards issued by the DMV, the validity of which many a TV news magazine and local news broadcast have questioned over the years given that perfectly able-bodied people can often be seen using them just to score prime parking. And wouldn't you know, a quick sample of 96 applications found that 70 of them failed to provide sufficient medical information to justify a placard, as ABC 7 reports. Also among the applications were some signed by unauthorized medical providers, and this is the best finding: Some 26,000 placards were issued to people over the age of 100, even though census data puts the number of centenarians in California at about 8,000. And you can bet a lot of them don't drive!
It appears that many placards were issued to people who have since deceased, and they should have been revoked, but some family member is likely still using them.
As the LA Times notes, there are currently 2.9 million disabled license plates and placards issued around the state, and per the audit, as many as 1.1 million placards that were approved between July 2013 and June 2016 were potentially issued under bogus pretenses.
In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature, Auditor Elaine Howle wrote, "DMV does not sufficiently ensure that applications for placards or plates are legitimate." And, Howle added, "By not establishing reasonable goals to conduct regular sting operations, DMV fails to detect and deter as much of the continued placard misuse as it can."
Ye another scam? There's no limit to the number of replacement placards one can request. The audit found at least nine individuals who received 16 or more replacement placards over a three-year period.
Reportedly, per the LA Times, DMV Director Jean Shiomoto had already had an advanced look at the auditor's report and changes at the department are already underway.