By John Ostapkovich

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey is changing its handicapped placards and license plates in more than just appearance.

The problem with the current system is that, once a handicapped plate or placard is issued, there was no way to check whether it’s still medically necessary.

Raymond Martinez, the chief administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission, announced the change at a Somerville mall where police had founds hundreds of violators with expired or altered plates or placards, or some never assigned to that driver.

The change takes place August 1st.

“The change is a phased-in process. So if you have an existing placard or license plate, it is good through the issued expiration date, which was a three year life-span. And when it comes up for renewal, you will get a renewal notice from Motor Vehicle which clearly explains what the new process is and it gives you 60 days to get recertified,” Martinez explained.

The new markers will have an expiration date clearly visible on them.

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