Handicapped parking decals are a necessity for many, but in California officials say that counterfeit cards run rampant and illegal placards are a major problem.

The parking placards, which are meant to assist individuals with heart, circulatory and respiratory ailments, as well as those with physical or visual impairments hold great perks in California, leading to the rampant misuse. Not only can placard holders access the closest parking spaces, but they are also allowed to park at metered spots for free for as long as they like.

As a result, officials say they find thousands of people misusing legitimate placards or sporting counterfeit ones. That means that the state generates less revenue as fewer people pay meters and people with a legitimate need for special parking are left to circle the block.

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The handicapped parking decals are seen as so valuable, that they are often sold on Craigslist.

Now, lawmakers are seeking to crackdown on the problem. A new law increases fines for those caught misusing the decals to as much as $1,000, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.