California ADA Parking Requirements You Need to Know

It's absolutely vital for business owners to understand ADA requirements so they can stay up to code and avoid a costly, time-consuming lawsuit. However, requirements change from state to state and it can be hard to navigate the technical legal jargon to understand what guidelines you need to follow.

Learn how to navigate your next restriping or paving project to ensure you have the correct number of accessible parking spaces required in California and are completely up to ADA parking requirements!

Answering Your Biggest Questions on California ADA Parking Requirements

Does California have any regulations in addition to the ADA?
It's important to know that in the state of California, your parking lot will need to be more than just ADA compliant. The ADA is a federal law regulating accessibility. However, California has its own set of state regulations that go beyond the ADA in the form of the California Building Standards Code. When considering your parking lot, it's important to make sure you meet the requirements of both.

What happens if my parking lot isn't ADA compliant?
In California, a violation of the ADA is considered a civil rights violation. This means that any violation is taken very seriously, with a minimum penalty of $4,000 plus attorney fees.

How many accessible parking spaces are required in California?
When planning out your facility's parking, take the time to ensure you'll have the appropriate number of accessible parking spaces for California requirements. Planning this out now will help avoid a costly restriping project later.

Keep in mind that the number of accessible spaces you need should be calculated for each parking facility, not the total number of parking spaces on your site. For example, if you have a paved lot and a separate parking garage, you would calculate the appropriate number of accessible spaces for them separately.

In general, you should have a minimum of:

  • 1 accessible space for 1-25 parking spaces, which must be van accessible.
  • 2 accessible spaces with 1 van space for 26-50 total spaces.
  • 3 accessible spaces with 1 van space for 51-75 total spaces.
  • 4 accessible spaces with 1 van space for 76-100 total spaces.
  • 5 accessible spaces with 1 van space for 101-150 total spaces.
  • 6 accessible spaces with 1 van space for 151-200 total spaces.
  • 7 accessible spaces with 2 van spaces for 201-300 total spaces.
  • 8 accessible spaces with 2 van spaces for 301-400 total spaces.
  • 9 accessible spaces with 2 van spaces for 401-500 total spaces.
  • For lots with 500-1000 total spaces, 2% of total parking should be accessible, with 1/6th of those van accessible.
  • For lots with 1001 or more total spaces, 20 spaces should be accessible plus 1 additional space for every 100 spaces over 1000. 1/6th of those accessible spaces should be van accessible.

Where should accessible spaces be located?
The accessible spaces in your parking lot should be located to give your visitors the shortest possible route of travel from the space to an accessible entrance. It's important to keep in mind that this needs to be an accessible entrance. So the accessible spaces would be located as close as possible to the top of a ramp or other accessible entrance, which may not necessarily be the same as the front door to your building.

Do I need to have signs indicating accessible parking spaces?
Signs are required for lots that have 5 or more spaces. This signage should include:

  • A reflectionized porcelain enameled steel sign for each space.
  • At each van accessible space, a "Van Accessible" sign mounted below the accessibility sign.
  • Tow away signs at each entrance to the parking area or adjacent to accessible parking spaces.
  • A 36"x36" symbol in white on a blue background on the ground, placed so that it's visible when a vehicle is parked there.

How big should accessible parking spaces be?
The California Building Code sets certain guidelines for the size of accessible parking spaces. These requirements include:

  • Spaces should be a minimum of 216 inches long, 108 inches wide for cars, and 144 inches wide for vans.
  • Spots must have an access aisle of 60 inches wide. Two accessible spaces may share an access aisle.

Is Your Parking Lot up to Code?

JV Lucas Paving can work with you to ensure your lot meets California and ADA parking requirements. Whether you need paving for a new lot, or are interested in restriping a lot that isn’t as accessible as it should be, we can help. Get a quote to get started.