Are Disabled Parking Permits Automatically Renewed?

Dr Handicap - permit renewal
Dr Handicap - permit renewal

Having a handicap placard means a whole new world can be opened up to you – one where you don’t have to spend all of your energy walking across a parking lot to get to your doctor’s office or go to a restaurant. With more convenience and accessibility, a handicap placard can ensure that you’re using your valuable stamina on more important tasks during your busy day. Chances are you’re not going to want to let your permit lapse anytime soon. So, are disabled parking permits automatically renewed? This can be a tricky question – read on for more information!

Are disabled parking permits valid for life?

If you’ve been issued a handicap placard because of a qualifying condition that limits your mobility (ranging from things like cardiac and lung conditions to paralysis or arthritis), you have access to closer parking places to the businesses, retailers, and offices you frequent. In order to receive your placard, you were probably required to fill out an application by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This process typically asks that you undergo a medical evaluation by a licensed physician who can verify that you would benefit from a disabled parking permit.

Once you’ve completed the application process, submitted it to the DMV, and received your placard, you probably have the question, “Do I have to renew my disabled parking permit?” The answer to this question depends on the state you live in. Some states do allow you to have a permanent permit that does not need to be renewed once it’s been issued. However, the majority of states in the U.S. do require you to renew your permit every couple of years (the specific time period depends on your state’s regulations).

Dr Handicap - laptop

Image by Christin Hume on Unsplash: To renew your permit, head to your state’s DMV website for specific instructions.

How often do you have to renew your disabled parking permit?

How frequently you need to renew your handicap placard also varies from state to state. It’s pretty standard that temporary placards need to be renewed at least every six months. However, for permanent permits, the validity time changes depending on the state you live in. You could be asked to renew anywhere from every year to every three years to every six years. Some states have automatic renewal, but most require you to go through a process to complete your renewal application.

What’s the process for renewing your handicap placard?

To answer the question “How do I renew my disabled parking permit?”, you’ll need to access your specific state’s DMV website. The site will describe the exact steps you need to take to renew your permit. Some states do require you to go through the process as if it’s the first time you’re applying, which can mean another medical certification.

On the other hand, some states will have all of your information still stored in their database and you’ll only be required to fill out a separate renewal application. These are generally to verify your personal information (name, address, type of disability, etc.). For the most part, states don’t ask for additional fees to process a renewal, but there are some exceptions, such as if you’re requesting a disability license plate.

Can you renew your disabled parking permit online?

This also depends on your particular state. Some states do offer an easy online renewal process directly through the DMV website. Others will require you to submit a paper application that you have to mail into the DMV or drop off in person at their offices. You can check out your state’s DMV website or call the DMV to find out what the requirements are for your renewal application.

What happens if you don’t renew your permit?

If you’re thinking about letting your permit expire or you’re just not sure if you want to renew, you should know what happens if you don’t renew your placard. In most states, failure to renew your permit means it will lapse and no longer be valid. You can certainly get a ticket from law enforcement if you park in a handicap parking place with an expired placard (and yes, they do check the dates on the placards!).

Dr Handicap - police car

Image by Yucel Moran on Unsplash: Avoid getting a parking ticket from the cops by keeping your permit up-to-date.

Letting your permit lapse means you’d be losing out on the many benefits of having a handicap placard. There are some states that do have a grace period of a short amount of time directly after your placard expires – you can contact your DMV to see if you can still renew your placard during this time. However, if you miss this window of opportunity, you might have to start the application process from the very beginning. This could mean you’ll need to get medically certified again (which would just be more hassle than you need).

Your best bet to make sure you’re covered is to stay fully up to date with your permit at all times. That means you should always know exactly when your placard will expire (it usually says so right on the placard), and allow yourself plenty of time to go through whatever renewal process is set up in your specific state. Keep in mind that DMVs are usually notoriously slow at processing, so give yourself plenty of time to get a replacement placard before your present one expires.

Don’t make more work for yourself by letting your permit lapse – it would be a shame to have to go through the application process all over again. Stay current with your placard and you won’t have to worry about not knowing when to renew ever again!

Featured image by Arembowski on Pixabay

Ready to Sign Up?