Agency officials conducted the sting at a parking lot in Glendale Galleria, where one woman was cited for using a placard that belonged to her mother.
"Her mom wasn’t in the premises at all," investigator Ricardo Hernandez told KTLA. "Sometimes, we go that extra mile. If the mom was in Target, we would actually go out and verify that.”
Statewide, the DMV has given out 1,664 citations related to disabled parking abuse since July 1, 2017, the agency said in a news release.
"Individuals assigned a disabled parking placard are the only people allowed to use one – anyone else is breaking the law," the statement said.
Those cited need to appear in court and could face fines from $250 to $1,000. They also risk receiving a notation on their driver record.
"If you were disabled and you legitimately needed that parking placard, and somebody was illegally in that spot, how would you feel?” DMV spokesperson Jaime Garza said.
Garza said some people even buy illegal placards online.
The agency, which hoped that a monthly enforcement operation and a new social media campaign would discourage offenders, said it has also implemented new rules:
• Disabled parking placard applicants must now provide proof of their true full name and birthdate.
• Placard holders are now limited to four replacements without a medical recertification every two years and they must submit a renewal notice every six years beginning with placards that expire in June 2023. Currently, permanent disabled parking placards expire in June 2019 and are automatically renewed every two years.
In its statement, the DMV warned abusers: “We will catch you."