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Use a California handicapped placard in Italy?????

Use a California handicapped placard in Italy?????

Old Apr 24th, 2009, 11:24 PM
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Use a California handicapped placard in Italy?????

In a reply to another post, Zeppole suggested "PS: If you have a handicapped sign for your car, you should bring it." I have read in other posts that a U.S. handicapped placard is not recognized in Italy and can actually result in parking fines/tickets if used. We have a placard and my husband uses it all the time in California - because he needs it. Is it safe to bring it with us to Italy and/or Croatia?
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 12:15 AM
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Well of course it's safe to bring a badge that claims to be an announcement from a foreign provincial legislature. No-one's going to search your luggage.

But if you've read the previous posts on this subject, you must have read that it's completely unsafe to assume anyone will take any notice

There's an international system of handicap badges. American states don't think it's necessary to conform to that system, and there's no mechanism in Europe for issuing compliant badges to non-residents.

Italian traffic wardens are instructed to honour badges that conform to the international system. You might charm a warden into ignoring illegal parking by waving a piece of paper in a foreign language you tell him means something. But you've no way of knowing whether whoever takes over his shift while you're sightseeing will agree with him.

Without an international badge, your Californian badge might be better than useless, and might help in an emergency. But you can't rely on it, and need to plan your time in Italy on that basis.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:31 AM
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I completely agree with flanneruk.
If you have EU blue disabled parking badge, it will be honoured in Italy. At best, your Californian sign may be accepted at the discretion of the local authorities (commune). But unless you get a written confirmation from them and display it in your car window together with your sign, there is no way of knowing how a parking attendant who happens to be on duty will deal with it. They may still ignore it and give you a ticket, and it will be up to you to fight it with the local authority (parking law is now enforced by civic authorities, rather than by the police). And Italian authorities are zealous in pursuing parking tickets issued to foreign tourists - they employ an enforcement agency to trace you through the car rental company. And getting permission to park in one town doesn't mean it will be valid in other towns and cities. You have to clear with each commune you hope to use your badge in.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 04:17 AM
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The Blue Handicapped Placard with the Handicapped symbol that hangs from front mirror when car is parked is an International Placard and IT IS ACCEPTABLE in Europe. We have used it everywhere, including Italy, Spain, Norway, Russia, France, Sweden, etc, etc.... Do what Zeppole told you. If in doubt, ask a local authority/police. Another hint; we never paid for parking while in Ronda (Spain) because of the BLUE PLACARD. It is part of a nationla campaign to promote the social welfare of handicapped citizens. Reason # 178,237 why I LOVE SPAIN!
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 05:11 AM
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If it is not an EU blue card then do not use it.
Even with a EU blue card the rules are different for each country.(The parking zones and the level of disability)
http://www.iam.org.uk/IAM+Policy+and...ngineurope.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=432&langId=en
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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You are supposed to apply for a temporary local one in Italy.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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We used a red temporary one in France with my husband's broken foot. It was issued by the state of Michigan and hung from our mirror. It worked great. We parked in handicapped spots (check if you still need to feed the meter or not) and we waved it at a policeman who allowed us to drive to the top of a castle instead of walk. Now that was in France of course. Maybe if you put money in the meters even if you don't have to that might help.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 06:49 AM
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Hi mac,

Bring it with you.

See http://disabled-travelers-services.s...arking_permits

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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I always bring mine (from Washington State) and it really comes in handy. I have asked AAA if I need to do something special, but the answer is always "no, your sign will work". I have never had a problem with it and it makes life easier.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 07:50 AM
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as long as you both don't leap out of that parked car and sprint to the next attraction pushing others out of the way in the process...
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Wow! Thank you to everyone who responded! What a great diversity of responses and information! We have decided to take the handicapped placard with us based on the several responses from people who have successfully used a U.S. placard in Europe. My husband does need it otherwise he would not have it so no concerns about sprinting from the car - those days are long gone! I will let folks know if we encounter any difficulty in Italy or in Croatia.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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The difficulty you may encounter may be a pricey one.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Some people don't seem to get it:
For more than 12 years now, (among other countries' handicapped placards) the US placards are recognized in each and every EU Member State. That includes Italy.

It does not include Croatia, since it is not in the EU. The situation may vary or not, I don't know. You can probably e-mail the Croatian tourist information.

While the US placard is honored to use designated parking spots, it is not necessarily a ticket for FREE parking. You will have to check wherever you park if you can park for free or not.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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However,in SPAIN, there are certain disabled parking spaces that are designated to one particular driver and his personal car, as it is in front of his home.

Be sure you are parking in a space that does NOT have a registration number also written on it, which is designated only for that particalur Spanish handicap permit.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Cowboy you may want to explain that to SOME of the various parking lot attendants we encountered driving all over Italy. Some of the smaller towns did not recognize the card whether it was official or not, maybe they didn't get the notice.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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It looks like this issue is 2 years old and I wanted to share the latest update. I contacted the Lucca tourist bureau and checked on the use of a NYC handicap permit and was told the police would honor it and allow parking in resident spots.

I will try tourist bureaus in other cities.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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I took my blue handicap placard to Scandinavia in October and had no trouble parking in Handicap Spaces. However I did not park at any meters.
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