How to Apply for a Florida Disabled Parking Permit in 2019

Dr Handicap - Miami

If you’re wanting to know how to apply for a Florida disabled parking permit, you’ve come to the right place! Getting a handicap parking placard is actually a pretty straightforward process. Just follow the steps below to apply for your own permit in the Sunshine State.

Step 1: Determine if you have a qualifying condition.

There are a variety of medical conditions that will help you qualify for a Florida disabled parking permit. These disabilities include:

  • The inability to walk without the use of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, or other assistive device or without the assistance of another person
  • The permanent use of a wheelchair
  • A lung disease that restricts to the extent that the person’s forced expiratory volume for one second – when measured by spirometry – is less than one liter or the person’s arterial oxygen is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest
  • The use of portable oxygen
  • A cardiac condition – to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified as Class III or Class IV (according to the standards set by the American Heart Association)
  • A severe limitation in a person’s ability to walk, due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • Being legally blind (as certified by an optometrist)

Your physician can help you determine if your current symptoms or medical condition qualify you for disabled parking in Florida.

Step 2: Apply for a Florida disabled parking permit.

First, determine whether you need a temporary parking permit, which is valid for up to six months, or a permanent placard. The best part is that there’s no fee for applying for a permanent placard and only a $15 fee for temporary placards. Then fill out the application form that can be found at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. You’ll need to fill out some personal information (such as name, date of birth, address, and driver’s license number) and have a medical authority fill out the section of your application that indicates your disability. They’ll also need to include some information, such as their license number and business address. A certified medical authority can be a licensed physician (in the fields of traditional medicine, osteopathy, or chiropractic medicine), a podiatric physician, an optometrist, an advanced practice registered nurse, or a licensed physician assistant. If you don’t have access to a medical professional or if it’s hard for you to make it to appointments in person, consider using the services of Dr. Handicap. They can connect you to a licensed medical professional in your state who can assist you in determining whether you’re a good candidate for a Florida disabled parking permit as well as help you to complete your application.

Step 3: Renew your placard.

After you get a Florida disabled parking permit, you won’t need to renew it for another four years (before your birthday). You’ll get a renewal notice before your permit actually expires. Temporary placards need to be renewed every six months. To renew your placard, you’ll need to complete the application process again and have it signed by a medical authority. If your placard has been stolen or lost, you’re required to submit a separate application for a replacement permit that can also be found on the FLHSMV website.

Dr Handicap - driving by beach

Step 4: Follow all of the Florida disabled parking laws.

In order to make sure you’re sticking to Florida disabled parking laws, keep the following in mind:

  • You are allowed to park in handicap accessible parking places that have the wheelchair symbol on them.
  • You should never lend your placard out to friends and family. Anyone else who uses your placard could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor (which could be a $1,000 fine or up to six months of jail time!).
  • Your placard should be in plain view (e.g. hanging from your rearview mirror) after you’ve parked your car and exited your vehicle. Remember to remove your placard while the vehicle is in motion.
  • You can park for free on the street at turnstile meters for four hours maximum.
  • Facilities can restrict the number of consecutive days in a row that you may park your vehicle in handicap places with a permit. You should check with individual facilities about their time limits.

In order for your placard to be valid, you must have a yellow registration decal attached to both sides of the permit. The placard must also display on one side your driver’s license or ID card number.

After you’ve obtained your Florida disabled parking permit, you’ll quickly see the benefits of having better access to convenient parking places. Just make sure you’re the only one who uses your placard (whether you’re the driver or just the passenger), and stick to the other rules of the road while you’re out cruising the Florida streets.