Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

The Texas disabled parking program exists to equal the playing field and make the lives of disabled people easier. All jurisdictions in the Lone Star State are well-equipped with ADA-compliant disabled parking infrastructure. The Texas disabled parking rules are firm but fair, and this enables the program to run smoothly.

Accessible Parking In Texas

The Texas disabled parking program caters to residents of the state who have both short-term and long-term disabilities. It also caters to visitors to Texas who have a disability and a disabled parking permit from their home state.

What Are The Texas Disabled Parking Rules?

People who are new to accessible parking in Texas tend to have several questions. Who can park in handicap parking in Texas? What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas? What is the fine for parking in a handicap spot in Texas? Below, we will answer these important questions and many more.

houston city texas
Image by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash: Who can park in handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

Handicap parking spots in Texas adhere to standards set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Handicap spots are located in every jurisdiction and are marked with a signpost emblazoned with the International Symbol of Access.

The following people can park in handicap parking in Texas:

  • Texas disabled parking permit holders
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by all other US states and overseas territories
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by Canada, Mexico, EU, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan

Can Handicap Permit-Holders Park In Metered, On-Street Spots In Texas?

In Texas, disabled parking permit holders can park for free in metered, on-street parking spots for an unlimited amount of time.

What Is The Fine For Parking In A Handicap Spot In Texas?

The fine for illegally parking in a handicap spot in Texas ranges from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $750.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit In Texas?

To get a Texas disabled parking permit, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the clinic, you will have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional who will verify your suitability to use disabled parking.

Once your suitability is verified, you will be emailed a signed application form that you can complete and submit to the Texas DMV.

What Qualifies For Handicap Parking In Texas?

In Texas, a person qualifies for disabled parking if they have any of the following disabilities:

  • They cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • They cannot walk without the use of or assistance from an assistance device, including a brace, cane, crutch, another person, or a prosthetic device.
  • They are restricted by lung disease to the extent that their forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air at rest.
  • They use portable oxygen.
  • They have a cardiac condition classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the American Heart Association.
  • They are severely limited in their ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
  • They have a foot disorder that limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have another debilitating condition that, in the opinion of a physician licensed to practice medicine in Texas or a state adjacent to Texas, or authorized by law to practice medicine in a hospital or other health facility of the Veterans Administration, limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
  • They have visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
view over river in texas
mage by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash: What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Verify An Application For Handicap Parking In Texas?

The following medical professionals can verify an application for disabled parking in Texas:

  • Physician
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced practice nurse

The professional must meet one of the following conditions:

  • They are licensed in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma
  • They practice medicine in a U.S. military installation based in Texas
  • They practice medicine in a hospital or health facility of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available In Texas?

  • Permanent disabled parking placards (blue) – valid for four years
  • Temporary disabled parking placards (red) – valid for six months
  • Permanent license plates
  • Disabled Veterans license plates
  • Institutional permanent placard (blue)

Featured image by 12019 on Pixabay

5 Handicap Parking Sign Requirements

Prior to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Americans with disabilities had a lot more issues when it came to finding accessible parking. The ADA was designed to ensure that all Americans with disabilities were given equal rights in all areas of their lives, including parking.

Accessibility is a vital component to leading a normal life for those with mobility issues or those who have disabilities that make it difficult to gain access to certain public spaces without assistance. ADA guidelines state that every public area has to have accessible parking for people with disabilities so that they can make their way to and from their destination, and also so they can get around, in and out of their vehicle with ease. To make disabled parking places clear and visible, there are many different rules and regulations in place for handicap parking sign requirements.

What makes a handicap spot official?

There are handicap parking spots available all around the country, and each spot has to meet certain criteria for it to be considered an official disabled parking space. For example, according to the ADA, the spot needs to be designated with a clearly marked sign and proper identification that includes the international symbol of accessibility (the wheelchair symbol that is widely recognizable to the majority of people). For a spot to be official, it has to be signposted clearly with this symbol.

disabled parking sign near building
Image by Bernardo Lorena Ponte on Unsplash: How high do handicap parking signs need to be?

Does a handicap parking spot need a sign?

There are a few rules that need to be followed for spots to adhere to handicap parking regulations. For example, as well as handicap parking spots being clearly identified by signs that have the international symbol of accessibility, van-accessible spots need to have the same sign plus the phrase “van-accessible” clearly outlined.

There are couple exceptions to this rule, though. Parking lots that are small and have four or fewer spaces are required by law to have accessible spaces, but those spaces can be used by anyone with or without a disability and do not need a sign. Residential areas such as apartment buildings that have assigned parking spots do not have to have signs at their accessible spaces, either. In both instances, accessible parking is still required, though the spots just don’t need to be marked with signage.

What are the main handicap parking sign requirements?

Aside from the rule that states that public places are required to have accessible parking spaces, no matter how big or small their lots are, there are some requirements that need to be met for a disabled parking sign to be legal. The first requirement involves the height of the sign. To ensure that people with and without disabilities can see disabled parking spaces clearly, the signs must be mounted a certain way so that the lower edge of the sign is at least five feet off the ground.

Visibility is important when it comes to accessible handicap parking, and having the signs sit high enough makes them easier to see. The signs must also be clearly viewable and unobstructed. As mentioned above, if the spot is designated for those with vans, that must also be clearly stated in either text or as a symbol so that who can use that spot is specifically outlined.

parking lot with cars
Image by John Matychuk on Unsplash: All parking lots, both big and small, are required by law to have accessible parking spots.

In summary, handicap parking signs must follow these five requirements:

  1. Be clear and visible by motorists
  2. The bottom of the sign must be at least five feet off the ground
  3. Have the international symbol of accessibility
  4. Cannot be obstructed by vehicles or any other objects
  5. Van-accessible signs must be clearly marked with text or a symbol

When it comes to accessibility, handicap parking spaces are crucial for helping people with disabilities get around to where they need to go with ease. Without clearly marked signs that have all the official markers, it would be more difficult for people to find the parking they need. That’s why strict handicap parking sign requirements are enforced by law.

Featured image by Nicolas Torres on Unsplash

Can I Use My Handicap Placard In Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a tropical island located in the Caribbean. It is a popular tourist destination for Americans thanks to its warm, sunny weather, sandy beaches, and stunning mountains, waterfalls, and rainforests.

Puerto Rico is a US territory, which means it is under the jurisdiction of the United States government. But are Puerto Rico’s disabled parking rules and regulations different from those in other parts of the US?

Disabled drivers who are visiting Puerto Rico tend to have several questions… Is there disabled parking in Puerto Rico? Can I use my handicap placard in Puerto Rico? How do I use a disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico? Are disabled placards good in all states? Today, we will answer these important questions.

Disabled Parking In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a disabled parking program and handicap parking infrastructure. These are overseen by the Puerto Rico Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). All jurisdictions on the island, including all urban and rural neighborhoods and areas of natural beauty, are stocked with designated disabled parking spots.

street with puerto rico flag
Image by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash: Can I use my handicap placard in Puerto Rico?

Can I Use My Handicap Placard In Puerto Rico?

So, can I use my disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico? Happily, the answer to this question is yes! If you are visiting Puerto Rico from any other US state, you can use your handicap placard to avail of Puerto Rico’s disabled parking infrastructure.

Using A Disabled Parking Permit In Puerto Rico

Using a disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico is similar to in any other state. The Puerto Rico disabled parking program is overseen and implemented by the local DMV and the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Can I Use My Handicap Permit In All US Territories?

You can use your handicap parking in all US overseas territories. The five permanently inhabited US overseas territories are:

  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands

Are Disabled Placards Good In All States?

Disabled parking permits issued by any US state are also valid in all other US states and overseas territories. But, as we mentioned earlier, each state has its own unique disabled parking program, so remember to research the specific details of the program in any state you plan to visit.

Can I Use My Disabled Parking Permit In A Foreign Country?

You can use your US disabled parking permit in the following countries:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • EU
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan

What Rights Does A Handicap Permit Afford Its Holder?

A disabled parking permit entitles its holder to park in any designated disabled parking space in the US. These spaces are indicated by signs that are posted five feet above ground level and are marked with the International Symbol of Access.

In most jurisdictions, as well as being able to park in disabled spots, permit holders are also entitled to park in metered, on-street spaces for free. This is not the case everywhere, though, so always check before you travel.

What Laws Deal With Disabled Parking?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the federal law that deals with disabled parking. All US states must adhere to ADA regulations. As a US foreign territory, Puerto Rico also adheres to ADA regulations.

How Do I Apply For A Handicap Parking Permit?

To apply for a disabled parking permit in your state, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the Dr. Handicap clinic, you will have a video consultation with a licensed medical professional in your state, who will verify your suitability for disabled parking.

Once your suitability has been verified, the medical professional will fill out the relevant sections of your state’s handicap parking application form and email it to you. You can then complete the rest of the application form and submit it to your local DMV.

san juan puerto rico
Image by Wei Zeng on Unsplash: Can I use my disabled parking permit in Puerto Rico?

What Types Of Handicap Parking Permits Are Available?

Most states offer the following types of disabled parking permits:

  • Temporary placard
  • Permanent placard or license plate
  • Disabled Veteran’s license plate
  • Organizational placard

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit include:

  • An inability to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • An inability to walk without the aid of an assistive device or another person
  • Lung disease
  • Portable oxygen tank usage
  • Heart condition
  • Legal blindness
  • Substantially restricted mobility due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition

Featured image by Zixi Zhou on Unsplash

Is Handicap Parking Free In Hawaii?

Hawaii has a modern handicap parking infrastructure that helps to make the lives of local and visiting permit-holders easier. All of Hawaii’s urban areas, rural areas, and attractions are well stocked with disabled parking spaces.

Applying for a disabled parking permit from the State of Hawaii is a simple process. Applications are processed quickly, and there are several types of disabled permits. Each permit is tailored to a specific set of needs and circumstances.

People who are new to disabled parking in Hawaii, such as newly disabled residents or first-time visitors to the state, tend to have several questions about disabled parking in the Aloha State.

What are the Hawaii handicap parking rules and regulations? Is handicap parking free in Hawaii? Can you park free at a meter with a handicap placard in Hawaii? Can I use my handicap placard in Hawaii? How do I get a handicap placard in Hawaii? Today, we will answer all of these questions and more.

Hawaii Handicap Parking Rules And Regulations

Handicap parking is a federal law. Disabled parking programs in all states must adhere to guidelines set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but each state decides the specifics of its own handicap parking program. So, in practice, while all states adhere to the ADA, each state has its own unique version of a disabled parking program.

Hawaii, like all other US states, has its own set of handicap parking rules and regulations. These adhere to ADA guidelines but take Hawaii’s unique circumstances into consideration.

honolulu hawaii with rainbow overhead
Image by little plant on Unsplash: Is handicap parking free in Hawaii?

Is Handicap Parking Free In Hawaii?

It is free to park in designated disabled parking spaces in Hawaii. Designated disabled parking spaces are clearly signposted and marked with the International Symbol of Access. However, parking in metered, on-street spaces in Hawaii is not free.

Can You Park Free At A Meter With A Handicap Placard In Hawaii?

Parking in a metered space in Hawaii is no longer free for disabled permit holders. On July 1st, 2021, the law changed, and disabled permit holders are now required to pay to park in metered spaces in the state. However, certain people will qualify for a Disabled Paid Parking Exemption Permit (DPPEP).

A DPPEP will entitle its holder to park in a metered space for free for up to 2.5 hours. To qualify for a DPPEP, a person must:

  • Be unable to reach above their head to a height of 42 inches from the ground due to a lack of finger, hand, or upper extremity strength or mobility; or
  • Be unable to approach a parking meter due to use of a wheelchair or other mobility device; or
  • Be unable to manage, manipulate, and insert coins, bills, or cards in a parking meter or pay station due to a lack of fine motor control in both hands.

To apply for a DPPEP, you will need to submit an application form to:

DCAB
P.O. Box 3377
Honolulu
HI 96801

You can renew an expired DPPEP, or replace a lost or damaged permit, by submitting a new application form to the same address.

Can I Use My Handicap Placard In Hawaii?

If you are visiting Hawaii from another US state, you can use your disabled parking permit to avail of Hawaii handicap parking infrastructure. Hawaii recognizes disabled parking permits from all other US states and also from several other countries, including:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Great Britain
  • EU
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
sunset over water in honolulu hawaii
Image byjaspion82 on Pixabay: Can you park free at a meter with a handicap placard in Hawaii?

How Do I Get A Handicap Placard In Hawaii?

To apply for a Hawaii handicap parking permit, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic and have a consultation with a state-licensed physician.

Once the physician verifies your suitability for handicap parking, they will email you a signed copy of the Hawaii disabled parking permit application form. You then complete the form and submit it to the Hawaii Department of Health. You can submit your application in person at any Satellite City Hall or by mail to:

Motor Vehicle Licensing & Permits
ATTN: Special Services Section
P.O. Box 30310
Honolulu, HI 96820

Are Hawaii Disabled Parking Permits Free?

The fee for a Hawaii temporary disabled permit in Hawaii is $12. Permanent Hawaii disabled permits are free.

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