Vehicle Code 4461 CVC – Misuse of Handicap Placards or License Plates

If you’ve recently gotten a citation saying that you are guilty of a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC, you might be curious about what it means, what it means, and what you can do about it. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know, including the following details:

What is Vehicle Code 4461 CVC?

The first thing is to figure out what the code means in a formal sense. The California legislation states this violation as: “A person shall not lend a certificate of ownership, registration card, license plate, special plate, validation tab, or permit issued to him or her if the person desiring to borrow it would not be entitled to its use, and a person shall not knowingly permit its use by one not entitled to it.”

If you’re looking for that in simpler terms, this particular violation is saying that you can’t give your own personal identifying plate, tab, or permit for handicapped parking to anyone to use if that person is not eligible to use it. The handicapped parking pass or license plates are intended only for the person to whom they are registered and can’t be just passed around to whoever needs them.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 4461 CVC?

There are a few ways that a peace officer could issue this kind of violation. Using our imaginary California driver, Thomas, let’s explore what those options are and how they can be applied to Thomas.

Thomas has a legal and above-board handicapped parking pass. His roommate wants to go to the movies but doesn’t want to have to park in the back of the parking lot. Thomas loans him his handicapped placard so that he can park in the front in the available parking spots. In this case, Thomas is guilty of a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation.

In another situation, Thomas’s handicapped plates and/or placard are temporary but he keeps them after they’ve expired. Sometime later, he drives to the grocery store but all of the spots are full except for the handicapped ones. He parks in the available spot and displays his placard/license plate as his permission to park there. However, they are no longer valid and he is violating Vehicle Code 4461 CVC.

Similarly, Thomas’ roommate pulls into a parking spot and discovers Thomas’ old placard. He hangs it up and heads into the store. Even if it’s still valid, this also counts as a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation because the placards and/or plates aren’t registered to him. In this situation, we’ll pretend that Thomas doesn’t know that his roommate has used his information.

In the last version of this, violating Vehicle Code 4461 CVC can also apply to Thomas if he parks in a handicapped parking spot but doesn’t have (and has never had) handicapped plates or placards that allow him to do so. He is knowingly and illegally parking in a handicapped spot.

In any and all of these situations, Thomas and/or his roommate are guilty of a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation because they are knowingly misusing the placard and/or plates. If, however, Thomas didn’t know his roommate took his plates, he didn’t know that his placard had expired, and he didn’t know that he was parked in a handicapped spot, the violation wouldn’t stand.

Similarly, if Thomas’ roommate is driving Thomas around for errands on Thomas’ behalf, he is allowed to park using the handicapped spot. This is because his driving is directly related to Thomas’ transportation and needs, who is disabled and allowed to have an up to date placard.

What can I do about this violation?

If you receive a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation, this can be considered either an infraction or a misdemeanor, depending on the peace officer and their interpretation of the offense. If it’s an infraction, there is a fine ranging between $250-$1, 000. If it’s considered to be a misdemeanor, this carries a penalty of up to 6 months in county jail and the fine.

If you receive this violation, regardless of how it is considered, and are guilty of it, it’s best to plead guilty as soon as you can and take the punishment as directed. If you believe that you are innocent and it was an honest accident or misunderstanding, however, you can plead your case.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

There are a couple of violations that are similar to a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation. These can include:

  • Vehicle Code 4463b VC: This violation means that Thomas forged or falsified a placard that was not DMV-approved, making it invalid.
  • Vehicle Code 4463c VC: In this situation, Thomas would be guilty of displaying a counterfeit placard for handicapped parking.
  • Vehicle Code 31VC: This means that Thomas technically and knowingly provided false information to a police officer.

Depending on the situation and the peace officer and court issuing the ticket, one of these offenses may be added on top of a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC, or they may be used in place of it. It depends on what the peace officer determines to be more relevant to the situation.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

Unfortunately, no, this ticket is not eligible for traffic school. In order for it to be eligible for any accredited traffic school, such as MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, you must receive a moving violation (ie: failing to stop at a stop sign). Since this is not a moving citation, it wouldn’t be eligible for traffic school.

If you have any questions on that, or you’d like to get more information on your ticket, please feel free to contact us and we will happily help you out however we can. You also may find it helpful to contact the court issuing your ticket, as they’ll most likely be more knowledgeable.

How can I avoid a citation for a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation?

The best way to make sure you don’t get a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation is to make sure that you are always using a handicapped placard or license plate responsibly. Understand its rules and any possible violations (such as Thomas giving it to his roommate). Also make sure that you pay attention to any expiry dates or disqualifications that are there, as using it after expiring is considered a violation (assuming you knew it expired).

Similarly, if you get a new car that has handicapped plates or a placard in the car itself, the best thing to do is hand it into the DMV. Since neither are registered to you as an individual, surrendering them is the safest way to make sure that you don’t accidentally get this kind of violation. Keep in mind: receiving a Vehicle Code 4461 CVC violation means that you are knowingly misusing a handicapped placard or license plate. If you aren’t knowingly misusing it (for example, you are driving a disabled friend around in their car and you park in a designated spot while they are in the store), the violation wouldn’t be valid.



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