Fighting disability parking fraud is difficult, but technology is making the job easier across Maryland. Last August, Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration database became available in all law enforcement vehicles. Lucille Baur, Montgomery County spokeswoman, says previous enforcement suffered because police checking a placard’s legitimacy had to contact the MVA. Then they had to wait for the MVA to run the placard and get back to them.

Now when a fraudulent placard is suspected, an enforcement officer enters the placard’s identification number, and the name, address and photo of the permit holder is displayed in the law enforcement vehicle. The information must match the certification card that permit holders are required to carry. Baur says only people without an obvious disability will be checked. Those found illegally using a parking placard can be fined up to $140.

Baur says it’s a common sense issue. “If there are people out there taking advantage of the situation, we’