The Americans with Disability Act, enacted to provide access for handicapped persons to all public facilities, specifies the regulations for accessible parking.
Minimally, handicapped is defined as persons who are blind, have a limited ability to walk, are parents of a handicapped child, or any organization that transports handicapped persons.
The Department of Motor Vehicles of each state issues placards or license plates with the handicapped emblem and each has some variation on the rules.
You must be "certified" as a handicapped person from a physician or member of the handicapped driver-training unit.
All states will ticket anyone using a space without the handicapped designation. If the handicapped member of your family is not with you, you are not permitted to use the handicapped stall.
All public facilities, including privately owned, are required to provide handicapped parking stalls proportionate to the overall parking spaces.
These spaces must be placed in the closest proximity to the facility entrance. If there are multiple entrances, such as department stores, multiple handicapped spaces must also be provided.
All spaces must be 8 feet deep and have an additional 5-foot striped area for offloading. At least one space must have van access with an 8-foot striped area for wheelchairs.