Assistance for the Disabled at Self-Service Gas Stations
The United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Section issued a release in May, 1999 to inform self-service gas stations of their duty to assist disabled persons to pump gas. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that self-serve stations provide equal access to their customers with disabilities. Gas stations are public accommodations and therefore subject to the ADA.
If necessary to provide equal access, gas stations must:
- Provide fueling assistance upon request to an individual with a disability (one who has either a disability placard or license plate). A service station or convenience store is not required to provide such service at any time that it is operating on a remote control basis with a single employee, but is encouraged to do so, if feasible.
- Let patrons know (e.g., through appropriate signs) that customers with disabilities can get fueling assistance by either honking or otherwise signaling an employee.
- Provide the fueling assistance without any charge beyond the self-serve price.
Other rules governing gas stations also provide that:
- Employees are not required to pump gas for drivers with a disability if someone able to pump gas is also in the car.
- Attendants are not required to perform additional full-service duties such as cleaning windshields and checking oil.
- Gas stations may have policies that limit the hours they can provide alternative service.
Look for a blue poster in the window of the gas station that signals they serve drivers with disabilities, then look for a sign beside the poster displaying the hours the service is available.
If denied assistance, customers may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (1-800-514-0201, TDD 1-800-514-0383) or they may file a private lawsuit.