Your handicap placard means you can get the very best, closest parking spaces at all the places you need to go to. Chances are you’re pretty comfortable using your placard in your hometown. But you probably have a bunch of questions about using your handicap permit when traveling. It’s important to know the rules surrounding your handicap placard so that you can make sure you’re never on the wrong side of the law. So if you’re wondering, “Can I use my disabled parking permit in a rental car?”, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for everything you need to know about using your handicap placard when you travel.
Can I use my disabled parking permit in a rental car?
The answer to this first question is fairly simple. As long as you are always the driver or the passenger in a rental car, you are absolutely permitted to use your disabled parking permit. Placards are easy to switch from one car to another because the DMV knows that you might be riding in other cars at different times. However, your need for close parking spaces won’t change even if you’re in a different car.
As long as you place your placard on your rearview mirror when you’ve parked in a handicap-accessible parking place (and remove it when the vehicle is in motion), you’re definitely using it appropriately. This goes for rental cars too. As long as your placard is valid and not expired, you should be able to use it when you’re present in a rental car as the driver or as a passenger. Please note: you should still never lend your placard to anyone, even someone else that’s traveling with you. You must be present in the car for the placard to be used.
Is my disabled parking permit registered to my car?
Unless you have a specific license plate that was issued as part of your permit, your permit is not registered directly to your car. This means you can use your placard in any vehicle you choose, whether it’s registered to you or not. So if you’re asking yourself, “Can I use my blue badge in any car?”, the answer is yes! If you’re borrowing a friend’s car or traveling in a rental car while on vacation, you should be able to use your placard without any issues.
Can I use my disabled parking permit when traveling?
There are a few important things to keep in mind if you want to use your handicap placard when traveling. First off, if you’re staying in the U.S., your permit should be valid in all 50 states. As long as you’re parking in designated handicap parking places (marked with the blue and white wheelchair signs posted or painted on the ground), you can use your placard without worrying about your permit being valid.
However, it’s crucial to note that there are different laws regarding specific handicap regulations that can vary from state to state. For example, some states allow folks with handicap placards to park for unlimited amounts of time even in parking places that have specific time limits posted. Or some states allow permit owners to park for free at street metered parking. Because these types of restrictions can change from place to place (even within specific cities), you should always follow posted signs unless you know the particular exemptions.
The same can be true for traveling in other countries. Some countries, like parts of Mexico and Canada, might honor your handicap placard and avoid giving you tickets if you’re parked in handicap parking places. However, you might run into some situations where law or parking enforcement are stricter and might not permit you to have the same privileges.
To be on the safe side (and avoid getting a ticket, getting fined, or having your car towed), it can be really helpful to research the places you’ll be traveling to ahead of time. A quick internet search or a call to local law enforcement at the destination can help you determine which regulations will be present in the places you’re visiting. Most places will be more than happy to help accommodate tourists and can point out ways to make your trip easier as an individual with a disability. Bottom line: it never hurts to do a little research!
While you’re at it, try reaching out to the rental car company you’ve chosen to see if there are any accommodations they can also make for you (such as modified vehicles). Even though you can definitely use your handicap placard in a rental car, there might be some additional perks you can access just by asking. Plus, most rental car companies will need to be notified if a disabled individual is going to be driving the car. Typically, as long as you’re over 25 years old and have a valid driver’s license, you should still be good to go.
Don’t be afraid to take that trip you’ve always wanted to take – just remember to bring your up-to-date disabled parking permit with you on the road. Your placard can help give you better access to all the sights you want to see on your trip. Do a little research before you pack your bags and make sure to follow other states’ regulations as much as possible. Then you can take it easy and enjoy your vacation!