Home health aides in New Jersey are now eligible for placards that give them special parking privileges when they're on the job.

The yellow placards, which the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is beginning to issue, will allow employees actively providing home care to park at meters for up to 24 hours, use spots reserved for municipal residents, and use municipal parking lots.

"As the population ages, more and more New Jerseyans are receiving care at home," said MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. "It's critically important for home health workers to be able to park legally, safely and efficiently to provide that care."

The move is part a New Jersey law approved in 2018.

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"Having the ability to receive parking placards will not only improve parking for home health employees, but it will also help improve access to care for the home bound, and help home health agencies recruit and retain staff," said Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, D-Burlington, who wrote and sponsored the legislation.

The placards are meant to be hung from the rearview mirror of a vehicle, MVC said. Employees who misuse the placard — displaying it for privileges when they're not on the job, for example — are subject to a $250 fine for a first offense.

The placards cannot be obtained from MVC by individuals. A home health business or agency must apply for the placards.

Each placard will display a specific employee's name and the name of the home care service agency. Each placard costs $50, with a $20 renewal fee every two years.

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