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DMV warns pregnant parking passes are fake

6:37 PM, May 11, 2012   |    comments
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A man who identified himself as Kyle Thomas with a company called Brio Birth of Castle Rock contacted 9NEWS to announce his plans to start selling disabled-parking placards designed for pregnant women.

The plastic placard is blue and pink with an image of a pregnant woman walking on the front and bears the words "Colorado Temporary Courtesy Parking Pass."

Thomas claims he received authorization from officials with the Colorado DMV to issue the passes. He told 9NEWS that for a fee, his company would add an official DMV sticker and mail it to you.

Officials with the DMV say the pass is not valid and the only way to get a real placard is to get a DMV form signed by your health provider.

DMV spokesman Mark Couch says there is no other way to get a genuine pass sanctioned by the state of Colorado.

"We charge $19.95 for the convenience," Thomas told 9NEWS reporter Brandon Rittiman as he explained his plans to start taking orders for the placard online Friday.

"The passes will be available online through Brio Birth starting on Mother's Day weekend," a news release bearing the company's logo said. "Expectant mothers can quickly & conveniently get their pass online."

As of Friday afternoon, the Brio Birth website sported an ad offering one of the placards for free as an incentive to buy a $49.95 pregnancy class.

Thomas said part of the cost of the placard would go to cover the costs of having doctors review the application and part would go to the DMV.

DMV spokesman Couch says the real placards are always free, in fact your doctor is not allowed to bill you for the consultation to fill out the form under Colorado law.

When we confronted Thomas with what the DMV told us he got flustered and walked off, but then kept trying to convince us.

"A woman's going to put this in her dash. She's going to park in a handicapped spot and it's fake and she's going to get towed. How's that helping anybody?" Rittiman asked.

"We're actually not going to send this out until it's approved," Thomas said.
"You just told me I can go order one," Rittiman said.

"I did not say that it was going to be sent out," Thomas replied.

You can watch some of the confrontation in the video story above.

Disability lawyer Kevin Williams, who uses an electric wheelchair, told 9NEWS that the law doesn't allow just any pregnant woman in her third trimester to get a placard. There have to be complications.

"It is not about convenience. In my case, if I can't get in my space, I can't park," said Williams, who works for the Colorado Cross-Disabilities Coalition. "It is a necessity. That's what the law is designed to address."

That is why the state says if you want a disability placard, always start with your health care provider.

Dr. Joshua Kopelman, an officer with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, tells 9NEWS it's not uncommon to sign off on disability placards for pregnant women, but only in cases where complications arise that make it difficult for an expectant mother to move around.

Kopelman says only about 10 percent of pregnancies have complications that rise to the level of disability.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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