Bratton, de Blasio Release Guidelines on How to Use Fake Parking Placards


Standing outside 1 Police Plaza this morning, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping expansion of New York City’s fake parking placard program.

“It is deeply, profoundly unfair that an insular cadre of entitled jerks can park in bus stops with impunity, forcing old ladies with canes to shuffle awkwardly into the street to board,” said de Blasio. “With this expansion of the fake parking placard program, now every New Yorker can park in a bus stop with impunity. Every New Yorker with a car, at least.”

New York’s current fake parking placard program is modeled on its official parking placard program. With an official parking placard, public employees can intimidate enforcement agents into giving them a free pass for any parking violation, no matter how brazen — even if they park their personal vehicles in bus stops or crosswalks, in front of fire hydrants, or on the sidewalk:

Fake parking placards work the same way, but they’re completely fraudulent:

This “Amtrak Police Surgeon” parks anywhere for free.

The problem with the current fake parking placard regime, said Bratton, is that “there are no rules” and “it’s a total free-for-all.” He wants to get a handle on the situation by issuing clear and consistent guidelines on the use of fake parking placards that all New Yorkers can follow.

“Fake parking placards are for everyone, just use them the way you’re supposed to,” said Bratton. “We want to be crystal clear: Everyone who plays by the rules can park illegally.”

Only items displayed on top of the driver’s side of the dashboard will be valid as fake parking placards, Bratton said. He then displayed a partial list of items that will be accepted as fake placards:

  • Reflective vests
  • Construction helmets
  • Union membership cards
  • Laminated cards that imply the vehicle owner has a medical degree
  • Shoulder mics
  • Firearms licenses
  • Neatly folded jerseys for any major league sports franchise based in New York, or the New Jersey Devils
  • Any Yankees gear
  • Copies of the NYPD patrol guide
  • Back issues of POLICE Magazine
  • Anything that says “NYPD” on it


“We’re really just looking for orderly presentation — something that says, ‘I put a modicum of thought and effort into this,'” said Bratton. “And it always helps if it says ‘NYPD’ on it.”

When a reporter asked if a better solution might be to shut down the whole placard system, real and fake, and that streets would become more chaotic if more New Yorkers park illegally, Bratton scoffed. “You want to see chaos? Try telling 34,000 cops they have to pay up when a traffic enforcement agent tells them.”


  • Parker

    I was buying this until the bit about the New Jersey Devils. There’s no way they’d honor a Devils logo. The Etch-a-Sketch is a sweet touch.

  • JudenChino

    I’m pretty sure the UPS one works since the City gives them a massive rebate on parking tix each year. Even with that, the UPS truck by my office always parks on the sidewalk, literally across the street from a sign that says “sidewalk closed, use other side.”

  • JudenChino

    Reverse angle:

  • KeNYC2030

    Next up: Bratton issues helpful guidelines on how to exonerate killer drivers regardless of the circumstances.

  • LOL!

  • c2check

    A few months ago I saw two UPS trucks parked back-to-back on one side of 23rd Street, swapping packages. That was a clever parking job there!

  • BridgeTroll

    The etch-a-sketch, LOL. Good knob control.

  • I should have picked a more generic piece of mail to scribble on. The association with UPS illegal parking/stipulated fine program was unintentional.

  • WalkingNPR

    Stages of reading a Streetsblog April Fools’ article

    1. They’re doing placard reform!?! That’s awesome! Must go congratulate @placardabuse on twitter!
    2. Oh wait…it’s April 1.
    3. “‘Fake parking placards are for everyone, just use them the way you’re supposed to,’ said Bratton. ‘We want to be crystal clear: Everyone who plays by the rules can park illegally.'” Actually….that sounds like something I can imagine Bratton saying…

    Well done, sir.

  • This would be even funnier if it weren’t the NYPD’s actual practice.

  • Joe Enoch

    Brilliant! But you forgot another acceptable fake placard — a press credential on the dashboard for members of the press who love free parking but are too lazy to get a press plate.

  • AMH

    Good point. I frequently see UPS, FedEx, and USPS parked on the sidewalk next to a sign that says “No parking on sidewalk”. A sign should not even be necessary, but it’s clearly not enough.


NYPD Still Resisting Attempts to Reform Parking Placard Abuse

Fraudulent parking placards are rampant in NYC, but NYPD remains opposed to a bill that would require the city to include a barcode on placards to ensure proper enforcement. Testifying before the City Council transportation committee today, NYPD Assistant Commissioner Richard Schroeder cited “significant fiscal, operational, and technological issues that… cannot be resolved within the one year effective […]
In his "State of the City" speech on Monday, Mayor de Blasio said he'd soon release a plan to address growing congestion in the city. Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

4 Ways the Mayor Can Reduce Congestion Without Congestion Pricing

Mayor de Blasio's forthcoming congestion plan won't call for traffic pricing, but the mayor has plenty of other options to reduce traffic congestion. Here are four policies that would provide much-needed congestion relief on NYC streets -- it's difficult to imagine any City Hall traffic reduction initiative that doesn't include some of these ideas.