Can a Family Member Apply for a Disabled Parking Permit on Your Behalf?
There are many strict rules in place regarding how to apply for and then how to use a disabled parking permit. You might be wondering if a family member is able to apply for a handicap placard on your behalf. Here’s a breakdown of how to apply that will help you ensure you’re following all of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations.
Although a family member can’t complete the entire application on your behalf, there are some steps they can help you with during the application process. Your first step should be to determine if you have a qualifying medical condition that makes you eligible for a disabled parking permit. These qualifying conditions cover a wide variety of medical maladies. One of the most common is limited or complete loss of mobility. If you’re unable to walk a short distance without stopping to rest or if you use assistance to walk (with a cane, wheelchair, or other device), then you’ll likely qualify. It doesn’t matter what your loss of mobility is attributed to (including diagnoses of arthritis, obesity, asthma, serious injury, etc.), but the length you can walk without resting does vary from state to state. For example, in some states, if you’re unable to walk more than 50 feet without stopping, you’ll qualify; while in others, it can be as far as 200 feet. Check with your local DMV to determine specific regulations and to see if your condition qualifies. Other qualifying conditions can include limited or no use of one or both of your arms, use of a prosthesis for a limb, and vision problems. Many other medical issues that aren’t physically visible to others can also still qualify, such as having a cardiac condition or a lung or pulmonary disorder.
Your next course of action should be to visit a medical professional to get evaluated. This step is not something that a family member can assist with (other than going to the appointment with you). A medical professional must be able to verify your condition. They can be a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife – as long as they have knowledge of your condition, they can help with the application. The medical professional then must complete and sign the Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates. If you don’t have a medical professional you trust (or you can’t get yourself to an in-person appointment), consider using Dr. Handicap to get connected with a licensed physician who can help evaluate your need for a disabled parking permit. They’ll help you complete and sign the DMV form without you ever having to leave your house.
A family member can assist in the next step of the process: sending off your application. You’ll need to submit your finished application (with fees if you’re requesting a temporary placard), so your family member can help with this to make sure you have everything enclosed when you send it off to the DMV. If you’d like to submit your application in person at the DMV, a family member can also help with that. Then, you just wait to receive your handicap placard in the mail.
Even if a family member helps you finish up your application for your disabled parking permit, it’s important to remember that you are the only person who is allowed to use your permit. It doesn’t matter if you’re just the passenger and not the driver – only you are permitted to use the placard for your own personal use. You are not allowed to lend your placard to a friend or family member (even if they’re the one that helped you complete your application). It is illegal to lend your placard to someone else; if you do so, you could be subject to citations and fines (as well as losing the right to have a handicap placard altogether). Remember to follow all of the DMV regulations and you should be fine.
If you have a severe disability and are unable to complete most tasks on your own, you should feel free to enlist a family member to help you complete the process of obtaining a handicap parking permit. Just keep in mind that you’ll still be responsible for being evaluated by a medical professional in order to have a valid medical certification on the application. If you’re not sure what your family member can do without you during the application process, it never hurts to ask the DMV for assistance. Explain your disability and they can potentially answer any questions you might have about how a family member can help you apply. As long as you’re only using the handicap parking permit for your benefit once you receive it, there’s no harm in a family member assisting you in the process of obtaining one.
You’ll find a ton of benefits associated with owning a disabled parking permit. You can always find convenient parking and access to businesses and other establishments. And closer parking places mean you can conserve your energy for other physical tasks. Even if you don’t think you can complete the entire application without help from a family member, you should still start the process of getting a handicap placard. There shouldn’t be any hang-ups – just remember to only use your handicap parking permit for yourself, and you should be good to go!