ILLINOIS – Black Friday shopping could lead to large crowds and packed parking spaces, depending on where you venture. In Illinois, drivers should think twice about where to park.

Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois police agencies have teamed up for a statewide parking sting for the 15th year, targeting people who park in handicapped parking spots illegally.

The annual operation aims to enforce rules for handicapped parking in several Illinois cities, including Chicago, Fairview Heights, Peoria, Rockford, Schaumburg and Springfield, among others.

“Our mission is not to issue tickets, but to ensure that accessible parking spaces are available to those who need them,” said White. “Parking illegally in a space reserved for people with disabilities means a possible driver’s license suspension and a hefty fine, money which could otherwise be used on gifts. Remember, if you don’t belong there, don’t park there.”

Drivers caught misusing a placard or illegally parking in a handicapped spot could face a six-month driver’s license suspension and up to a $600 fine.

As of 2022, the Secretary of State’s Office said there are 521,038 permanent disability placards and 47,940 disability license plates registered in Illinois.