The Dos and Don’ts of Handicap Parking Signs

Posted by Rochelle Harris on Mar 25th 2021

The Dos and Don’ts of Handicap Parking Signs

If your business has customers, disabled employees, or 15+ employees, you need to include handicap parking signs. It’s not only adherence to ADA sign regulations, it’s good and fair business practices.

After all, no one wants to turn away a customer, and to make your business inaccessible to the disabled is cruelly thoughtless at best.

But sometimes even when businesses make an attempt to include ADA handicap parking signs, they miss important steps because they’re not familiar with what they should and shouldn’t do.

It’s for this reason that we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to handicap parking. Let's get into it:

DO Check Recent ADA Sign Regulations First

As our society evolves, so do our ADA sign regulations.

If you want to make sure that you’re truly being compliant, you’ll want to take a look at the ADA sign regulations for 2019 before you start to set up your handicapped parking spots.

The worst thing you could do is to assume that you already know and find out only after an accident or when charged a hefty fee that you had missed something.

In fact, learning the current ADA sign regulations will help you in the long run with the rest of this list.

DON’T Just Paint a Symbol on the Parking Spot

You may have seen some parking lots that include painted handicap symbols on the pavement of the parking spot itself.

While this is visible in most cases — provided it hasn’t become faded and that the driver is paying attention to the ground — this is not ADA compliant.

There are no regulations about symbols painted on the pavement, but ADA sign regulations do require you to have an actual sign denoting a handicap parking spot.

DO Include the Minimum Amount of Handicap Spots

The minimum number of handicap parking spaces required depends on the size of your parking lot or garage.

For instance, if you have twenty-five or fewer spaces, you only need one accessible parking space and one van-accessible parking space.

However, parking lots with 401-500 parking spaces need at least nine accessible parking spaces and two van-accessible parking spaces.

The ADA National Network website includes a chart that will show you the minimum number of spaces you need.

DON’T Neglect The Minimum Number of Non-Accessible Spaces Needed

If you want to include more than the minimum amount of parking spaces available, great! Just make sure that you also take into account how many spaces you’ll need for your own employees, guests, customers, and so on.

If you don’t have enough spaces for those who don’t need accessible parking, they may park in your accessible parking spaces instead, taking those away from employees or customers who need them and potentially endangering your business.

Other Handicap Parking Considerations

Parking requirements are different in every state, so keep that in mind. Sometimes, even local areas have different requirements, so cover those bases first.

Other considerations include the color of the paint and signage around your handicapped parking. While no specific color is often required, it should be easy to see and stand out from its surroundings.


Need help staying ADA compliant with handicap parking signs? ADA Central has you covered with custom signage and our knowledge of current ADA sign regulations.

Contact us today for more information or check out our selection. Also, find out the ADA bathroom requirements here if you are unsure.