What Are ADA Handicap Parking Sign Requirements?

Posted by Rochelle Harris on Apr 12th 2021

Handicap Parking Facilities Required When Restriping

Business owners who are attempting to restripe their parking lots must now remove parking barriers and get their businesses ADA compliant. If you are one of these you may ask, what are ADA handicap parking sign requirements? This is due to the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design, a set of regulations that describe amendments meticulously developed for the current state of the nation. In addition, state laws sometimes have their own requirements for accessible parking spaces.


The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed into law in 1990 by then president George H.W. Bush, and was designed to bring us closer to equality for everyone. Specifically, this bill addresses those people with disabilities or handicaps, both in the workplace as well as in practically all public businesses, including government agencies. Today, all new construction must be built with the 2010 standards for accessible design, moving us that much closer to unity and inclusion for everyone.

These days, the proper term to define these public sections or spaces with this in mind, instead of saying handicapped, we now say accessible. Therefore the proper way to define a restroom would be an accessible restroom, or an accessible parking space. But for this article, we will use several different terms to ensure "equality" for all readers.


The International Symbol of Accessibility, also called the International Symbol of Access or the ISA, is the person in a wheelchair pictogram on blue background we all recognize and relate to as symbolizing a person with a disability. When making ADA compliance alterations to your business, remember that there are different types of disabilities. Therefore, with regard to signage, there are different disabilities that must be addressed.

When in doubt about handicap parking space signs, or any ADA compliant signage, contact us here at ADA Central, our expertise is unmatched.

Parking Signs

Handicap parking signs have their own requirements, as do the spaces. They must be placed at least 60" inches from the ground surface, and be obviously visible and unobscured, and have accompanying signage. All accessible parking spaces must bear the ISA symbol identifying them. Van parking spaces must include the additional text underneath the pictogram with the words: "van accessible" in the specified lettering standards.

There are also regulations for handicap parking spaces themselves (see below).

We can help you with all your custom ADA signage, and at wholesale prices! We are the authority on ADA compliant signage. Request a free quote right here on our ADA Central website, your source for ADA compliant signs.

Parking Spaces

Generally Speaking

Every parking lot or garage has a minimum number of accessible parking spaces required, depending on the total amount of parking spots there are. In addition, there are a minimum number of van accessible parking spaces. Of the accessible spaces required, one of six regular car accessible parking spaces must be a van accessible space. Accessible parking spaces and access aisles in parking lots must follow specified ADA measurement guidelines, as well.

Standard Accessible Parking Spaces

Each standard car accessible parking space must measure at least 8' feet wide or 96" inches wide, and needs to have an adjacent access aisle. In addition, access aisles for each standard regular handicap parking space mustbe at least 5' feet in width. The access route aisle should be at least 3' feet wide and on flat ground or surface area. Businesses need approximately 2% of the total number of spots to be accessible, and one in every six or 1/6th of the 2% to be van accessible.

Van Accessible Spaces

Each van accessible parking space should measure 132" inches in width, with an adjacent 60" inches wide access aisle. Alternately, van accessible parking spaces can measure just 96" inches wide, if the adjacent access aisles also measure 96" inches wide. Otherwise, the van parking space must have a 60" inch access aisle. In addition, van parking spaces must have a vertical clearance of 98" inches for the handicap parking spots, aisles, and vehicular route to and from the van parking spots.

Location Of Handicap Parking Spaces

Each accessible space in parking lots, including every van accessible space and every access aisle, must be located at the shortest accessible route to the building entrance. This is not just because a disabled person is navigating with a significant impairment, but also to accommodate vehicle parking space for delivery vehicles, law enforcement vehicles and even handicap drivers, at places like hospital outpatient facilities, physical therapy facilities and rehabilitation facilities.

It is also important to make sure every access aisle located on the accessible route is kept free of obstructions or debris at all times. Any parking lot, parking structure or parking facility must have this accessible route in place, including ramp or level surface from the handicap parking spots to the entrance of the business.

Ratio Of Spaces Needed

Any parking facility or parking lot of a business that is not already ADA compliant and/or is restriping their parking lot, is now required to include a certain amount of handicap parking spaces per total number of spots. For example, if you have up to 25 total spots, only one must be accessible, but it must be van accessible. 151 to 200 spaces would require six standard (car) accessible parking spaces and one van parking space.

To find out how many handicap spots are required for your specific number of spaces, or have any other ADA related questions, you can contact us right here at ADA Central. We specialize in ADA compliant signs and regulations, and are happy to help answer any questions regarding converting your business to becoming ADA compliant.

ADA Compliance and ADA Central

Here at ADA Central, you can trust our extensive knowledge and experience to give you accurate information and advisement on ADA signs, both with placement and more specific measurements concerning things like typeface, or whether particular ADA signs in question need braille included, or not. We manufacture customized ADA compliant signs for your business fast, at wholesale prices. 

So if you need ADA signs for your business, you can fill out the short form right here on our website and request a free quote, anytime. Don't delay, as the fines for non-compliance are steep, even for first time offenders. Plus, you open your business up to possible lawsuits, loss of reputation and negative P.R. If you cannot afford to meet ADA requirements as they are now specified, you must still make alternative reasonable accommodations showing acknowledgement and effort.

Having ADA compliant signs is one of the requirements considered impossible to overlook, since any business should be able to do this without any "undue hardship". The time has come for us to come together in unity, and take a giant step towards equality and opportunity for everyone. Also check out the most popular ADA signs of 2021handicap parking signs for 2023.

If you are restriping your parking lot; you can check out this link:

https://www.ada.gov/restriping_parking/restriping2015.html - or; -

you can download the ADA regulations here: