By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A new law takes effect in New Jersey today that requires those using handicapped placards for parking in the state prove that they are, in fact, disabled.

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Those placards are renewed every three years.  The next time yours is up, you’ll have to go to your doctor who will recertify that you still need it.

You’ll also be required to carry a card matching you to your placard, in case a police officer asks for it.

“We have found that there is some fraud and some abuse out there that needed to be addressed, and this system will help to protect those very precious parking spaces,” says Elyse Coffey, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

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If you have a handicapped license plate, the same recertification requirement applies to you.

About a half-million people in New Jersey have access to those plates and placards.  It’s not clear at this point how many people might be abusing the privilege.


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