Can I Park In A No Parking Zone With A Disabled Parking Permit?

Dr Handicap - no parking sign

A whole new world of access will open up to you as a disabled parking permit owner. Once you’ve successfully applied for your handicap parking permit, you have immediate access to more convenient parking places wherever you travel to in your state. But it can be confusing to know which parking rules apply to you as a disabled driver or passenger. To make sure you’re following all of the appropriate disabled parking permit rules, read on for some helpful tips to keep you from getting any pesky parking tickets.

How to get a disabled parking permit

To apply for a handicap parking permit, you’ll need to make sure you have a qualifying condition that your state will recognize as a disability. Here are some typically accepted conditions:

  • If your mobility is affected so that you’re unable to walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest or if you cannot walk without the use of an assistive device (such as a brace, cane, crutches, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or another person)
  • If you’re severely limited in your ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • If you require the use of portable oxygen
  • If you have loss of use of your limbs or have amputated limbs
  • If you’re restricted by lung disease (from a variety of conditions including asthma, COPD, lung cancer, etc.)
  • If you suffer from a cardiovascular disease or cardiac condition (to the extent that your limitations are rated as Class III or Class IV as classified by the American Heart Association)
  • If you have a disability resulting from an acute sensitivity to vehicle emissions
  • If you have vision or hearing loss

There are also many other conditions not listed above that still might qualify you if they affect your mobility. The state you live in will have specific requirements for meeting their medical certification process. Your best bet is to check with the agency that distributes the placards (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles); their websites often list which specific medical conditions will qualify you. You’ll also need to consult with a licensed physician to help complete your application. You can have your own doctor do this or you can connect virtually with one through Dr. Handicap. After fully completing your application, your handicap parking permit will be issued to you.

Dr Handicap - no parking

How to use a disabled parking permit

Once you’ve answered the question, “How do I get my disabled parking permit?”, you’ll be all set to go use your placard. There are two rules that are absolutely crucial to remember:

  1. You are required to clearly display your permit (on your rearview mirror) when your vehicle is parked. Once you’re in motion again, you need to remove the placard from view.
  2. You are not permitted to lend your placard to anyone – even friends and family who want to borrow it for a short time. You are the only individual allowed to use it (whether you’re the driver or the passenger). Failure to comply with this can mean your placard is revoked, you pay a fine, or you face possible jail time in some states!

The most important thing to keep in mind when using your disabled parking permit is that reading the posted signs is essential. For example, using your disabled parking permit in a No Parking Zone is tricky, because the rules can vary from state to state. In most places, no parking signs mean that you can stop the car (such as to unload people or goods), but you can’t exit the car and leave it there. If you’re temporarily parking the vehicle so that a disabled person can get in or out, that is permitted in most cities. However, No Stopping Zones mean that you’re unable to stop your car even just to let someone in or out. You might even end up getting your car towed if you use your disabled parking permit in a No Parking Zone.

Although you’re more than likely permitted to temporarily park in No Parking Zones, there’s always a possibility that you might be confronted by law enforcement. Remember: police officers trump everything – even signs! If they tell you that you’re not allowed to stop at that time or that you need to move your car, you absolutely need to listen to them. If faced with this situation, remain calm and listen to what the officers are telling you. If you have some sort of special circumstances, explain these to the officers; they might be able to help you come up with a solution that is safe for both you and other drivers on the road.

Dr Handicap - red curb

So, where can you park with your handicap parking permit? Of course, you’re welcome to park in non-handicap parking places, as well as spots that are designated blue with the wheelchair symbol. These handicap places are designed to help you more easily enter and exit your vehicle and are the closest spaces to the entrance of the business, retail location, etc. that you’re going to. Colored curbs where you can park differ from state to state, but here’s a general idea:

  • White curbs are temporary zones, so you’re typically able to stop just long enough to drop off or pick up passengers
  • Green painted curbs are limited time zones – there’s usually a sign posted to let you know what the time limit is or a time in white numbers on the green curb
  • Yellow curbs are also temporary zones for loading or unloading passengers or freight – you generally have to stay in the vehicle while the loading or unloading happens
  • Red curbs are prohibited for everything, including stopping, standing, and parking – these are usually fire lanes that have to be kept clear at all times in case of an emergency

If you’re unsure if you’re following the disabled parking permit rules when parking your car, always check any signs surrounding the area for guidance. You can also consult with your local city government if you have questions about parking in specific areas; they can often help to alleviate any worries you might have about parking in certain places. Although reading signs or asking more questions might feel a little time-consuming, in the end it can help you avoid parking or traffic tickets (which can sometimes end up being quite costly).

Make sure to be an informed driver and use your disabled parking permit accordingly. As long as you’re following the rules of the road, a handicap parking permit can help make life so much easier for you!