Can My Doctor Issue Me A Disabled Parking Permit?

Dr Handicap - stethoscope

Handicap parking permits are a huge help for individuals with a disability. If you have a disabled parking permit, you can park in designated spots so you won’t have to walk as far in a parking lot; in some states, you might even receive additional extra perks, such as having an attendant pump your gas for the price of self-serve.

The process of getting a disabled parking permit, however, can sometimes be confusing to anyone who hasn’t done it before. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a disabled parking permit and how your doctor can help.

Obtaining A Disabled Parking Permit

The process of getting a handicap parking permit looks a little bit different in every state. In almost every state, however, that state’s DMV is in charge of the program. So your doctor cannot issue you a disabled parking permit – that is, you can’t walk into your doctor’s office and leave with a permit in hand. However, your doctor can still indirectly help you receive your permit in two big ways.

Dr. Handicap - parking place faded

How Your Doctor Can Help

First of all, if you have questions about whether you’re even eligible for a parking permit in the first place, your doctor can help. Next time you have an appointment, ask your doctor whether you are eligible and what the benefits of a handicap parking permit might be in your specific situation.

Your doctor is most likely well-versed in the ins and outs of handicap placards, and he or she can walk you through how the system works and who is eligible for a permit. Medical professionals are familiar with the conditions that might find a handicap placard helpful: things like lung and heart disease, impaired mobility, poor vision, or difficulty walking due to any number of diseases.

If you and your doctor decide a permit is a good idea, you’ll begin the process of obtaining it, and this is the second way your health care provider can help. The DMV will most likely ask for a recommendation letter from your doctor (or optometrist, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, in some cases – although WebMD points out that if you are visibly disabled and go to the DMV office in person, they may not need further documentation of your condition).

If you’re applying for a temporary permit (maybe you just had surgery, for instance), your doctor will also need to mark down a specific date on your application that denotes when you can stop using the permit and go back to driving as normal.

Dr Handicap - doctor

Image by DarkoStojanovic on Pixabay: Several types of medical professionals can write a West Virginia disabled parking letter.

Get A Permit Online

You may feel as if you already spend enough time at your doctor’s office and you don’t want to make a special trip just to get a permit. Fortunately, you can also apply for a disabled parking permit online. Use the Dr. Handicap website to send your medical records and symptoms to a licensed physician; he or she will look over your paperwork and evaluate your medical condition.

Once that step is done, you’ll speak with a doctor in your state via video chat. This doctor will have a casual conversation with you, talking about your health condition(s) and how a disabled parking permit might improve your quality of life. (All of these physicians are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, so no need to worry about sharing your personal information – you’re safe.) After this video call, you will be emailed a copy of your state’s DMV form that’s been signed by the doctor you spoke with.

The process of getting a permit online is a type of telemedicine. According to Chiron Health, telemedicine “allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. The approach has been through a striking evolution in the last decade and it is becoming an increasingly important part of the American healthcare infrastructure.”

Telemedicine has many benefits. It can help people with low mobility, who may struggle physically to get to a brick-and-mortar doctor’s office. It can also help individuals with social anxiety – a condition that can make everyday social tasks very difficult. Telemedicine can even overcome barriers such as lack of transportation or financial issues.

In many cases, telemedicine actually improves the quality of care. A study showed that when patients utilized telemedicine, they had 38% fewer hospital admissions; they were 63% more likely to spend fewer days in the hospital; and they were more engaged in their health care overall. These are a few of the reasons that getting a disabled parking permit from a doctor online might be a good idea.

While doctors can’t issue handicap placards themselves, there’s no doubt that your doctor –  whether it’s your local practitioner, or a remote physician – is an invaluable ally as you go through the process of obtaining a handicap parking permit.