The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Parking Regulations

Reference Number: MTAS-594
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: December 13, 2016
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Parallel parking generally is allowed only on the right side of a street, except a city may, by ordinance, permit parking on the left side of one-way streets and angle parking on any street. The state Department of Transportation must approve angle parking on federal and state highways. T.C.A. § 55-8-161.

Use of Wheel Immobilizers
A municipality apparently may regulate the commercial use of wheel immobilizers on motor vehicles. T.C.A. § 6-54-132.

Handicapped Parking
Any person without the appropriate license plate or placard who parks in a parking space designated with the wheelchair-disabled sign may be punished in a court with state law jurisdiction by a $200 fine, which cannot be waived, and up to five hours of community service work assisting disabled people. T.C.A. § 55-21-108, T.C.A. § 55-8-160(a)(15). In addition to the fine, the vehicle may be towed. Signs designating handicapped parking must indicate that improperly parked vehicles may be towed and the driver fined $200. The signs also must provide the name and number of the property owner, lessee, or agent in control of the property. T.C.A. § 55-21-108(a).

A person is "disabled" for purposes of handicapped parking if he or she is a paraplegic or amputee, cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest, or has not less than 20/200 vision with corrective lenses. T.C.A. § 55-21-102.

A disabled veteran or physically handicapped person displaying a certificate or special license plate is relieved "from liability for any violations with respect to parking" except parking in a designated fire lane or a lane required for morning or afternoon rush-hour traffic. T.C.A. § 55-21-106.

T.C.A. § 55-21-105 purports to regulate the number of accessible and van accessible disabled parking spaces that must be provided, along with certain dimensions for van accessible spots.

Any municipality, county, or metropolitan government may establish a special unit to enforce disabled parking laws and ordinances. Any person age 21 or older, regardless of disability status, may be appointed as a volunteer to enforce parking laws for the disabled. Members of the special enforcement unit must wear a distinctive piece of clothing, law enforcement insignia, and a badge while on duty. These provisions apply only in municipalities, counties, and metropolitan governments that adopt them by a two-thirds vote. T.C.A. § 55-21-110.

Fees Prohibited For Disabled Parkers
A municipality may not charge any parking fee to a disabled vehicle with a handicapped placard or license plate when the disabled person actually is the driver or a passenger. T.C.A. § 55-21-105.

Parking Near Fire Hydrants
A municipality may restrict parking near a fire hydrant only within 7.5 feet to 15 feet of the hydrant. The restricted distance must be appropriately identified. T.C.A. § 55-8-160(a)(4).

Responsible: