How Many Handicap Parking Signs Does a Parking Facility Need to Have?

Most people know that businesses are required to have handicap accessible parking spaces, but is there a certain number that they must have? The answer to this is yes, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a certain number of handicap accessible parking spaces for businesses and government buildings. The required number of accessible parking spaces varies depending on how many parking spaces there are, the type of building that it is, and whether or not it’s new construction.

In addition to the requirements for accessible parking spaces, there is also a requirement for van-accessible parking spaces. The rule is that there must be one “van accessible” parking space for every six (or fraction thereof) accessible parking spaces.

For example, if you had six accessible parking spaces, you’d need to make one of those van accessible. If you had seven accessible parking spaces, then you’d need to have two van-accessible parking spaces.

For parking lots or garages that are new construction, the following table outlines how many handicap accessible parking spaces there must be:

Total Amount of Parking Spaces
in Parking Facility (Garage or Lot)
Minimum Amount of Accessible
Parking Spaces Required by the ADA
1 - 25 1
26 - 50 2
51 - 75 3
76 - 100 4
101 - 150 5
151 - 200 6
201 - 300 7
301 - 400 8
401 - 500 69
501 - 1000 2% of total
1001 and over 20, plus 1 for each 100,
or fraction thereof, over 1000

Table provided by ADA National Network.

Accessible Parking Space Requirement Examples

If a parking lot has 250 total spaces, then there would need to be at least seven accessible parking spots. Of those seven, at least two parking spaces must be van accessible.

If a parking lot has 76 total parking spaces, then there must be at least four accessible parking spots. Of those four, at least one parking space must be van accessible.

If a parking lot has 25 total parking spaces, then there must be at least one accessible parking spot, and it must be van accessible.

Accessible Parking Requirements for Medical Facilities

Medical facilities have different accessible parking requirements than other types of buildings, however the rule of maintaining one van-accessible spot for every six accessible spots (or fraction thereof) remains the same.

  • Hospital outpatient facilities need at least 10% of their visitor/patient spaces to be accessible.
  • Rehabilitation facilities and outpatient physical therapy facilities need 20% of their visitor/patient spaces to be accessible.

Federal Van Accessible Sign

As with most things, there are exceptions to these ADA handicap accessible parking requirements. If a parking lot or garage is only used for the following vehicles, then there is no requirement for accessible parking spaces:

  • Buses
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Law enforcement vehicles
  • Impounds
  • Trucks

If a parking facility was built prior to 2010, then these ADA regulations may not apply. There is a “safe harbor” clause that allows existing parking facilities to operate under the ADA regulations that were applicable during the time that the parking facility was constructed. For example, a parking lot that was constructed in 1993 would need to comply with the 1992 ADA regulations.

In the event that an existing parking facility were to undergo a planned alteration, then it must be brought up to the latest ADA regulations. This includes adding additional accessible parking spaces if needed to the "maximum extent feasible."

Refer to the Safe Harbor section of the ADA's accessible parking fact sheet for more information.

Now that you know how many handicap accessible parking spaces you must have in your parking facility, you need to know which signs you must use to properly designate them. To find out which handicap accessible parking signs that you need in your state, check out our help article: Which Handicap Parking Signs do You Need?

To learn more about 2010 ADA requirements, such as accessible parking space dimensions, visit the ADA National Network website.


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