2000 News Archive

Registry of Motor Vehicles to Protect Privacy of Disabled

Disabled PlacardRegistrar of Motor Vehicles Daniel A. Grabauskas announced plans to protect the privacy of more than 85,000 people using handicap placards in Massachusetts. All of the handicap placard holders will receive a plastic sleeve designed to cover their photograph and other identifying information currently displayed on the placard.

"The Registry heard from the disabled community and Legislators who were concerned about sensitive information being prominently displayed on the placards and are taking immediate steps to resolve those concerns," said Registrar Daniel A. Grabauskas. "We believe this solution calms those concerns, yet still provides law enforcement with the information they need to crack down on fraudulent use of the placards."

The current handicap placard includes a photograph and the placard holder’s name on the front and is designed to hang from the rear view mirror so that they could be easily seen by law enforcement and parking officials. The previous style placard was placed on a vehicle’s dashboard and the photograph and name were contained on the back of the placard, facing down. Recently, concerns were raised that the information contained on the newer placard could potentially put the placard holder in a vulnerable position, making them targets for those preying on vulnerable citizens.

The new sleeve will conceal all personal information displayed when the placard is hung from the rearview mirror. The sleeve is weather resistant and is designed to stay in place. The sleeve is removable so that law enforcement authorities can verify a placards validity in an effort to eliminate placard misuse.

"I believe that this sleeve device is responsive to the concerns articulated by placard holders while at the same time maintaining the ability of law enforcement authorities to ensure that only those to whom placards have been issued are in fact using those placards," added Grabauskas.

This new initiative grows out of both the Cellucci/Swift Administration’s and the Registrar’s strong advocacy regarding the privacy and sanctity of personal information. As the Director of the office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, Grabauskas made privacy a key issue. Whether it is a consumer who had their identity stolen or a disabled person wanting to protect their personal information, the Registry will continue to make every effort to protect the privacy of those citizens of the Commonwealth.

For information about handicap placards or other Registry of Motor Vehicles initiatives, check out our website at www.massrmv.com.

Here is a sample of the new protective cover for the handicap placards.

Disabled Placard Disabled Placard sleeve Disabled Placard with sleeve
Members of the media, please contact the RMV Public Relations Department for more information: feedback.registry@state.ma.us



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