Can My Partner Use My Disabled Parking Permit?

Dr Handicap - couple in car

With all of the many benefits you can get from using a handicap parking permit, you might be wondering, “Can my partner use my disabled parking permit?”. However, it’s important to remember that the answer is actually no – it’s absolutely prohibited in every state in the U.S. for you to share your disabled parking permit with anyone! So, what can you do if you have a spouse that’s also disabled? Read on for the answers to some of your handicap parking-related questions.

Can I share my disabled parking permit?

Since having a handicap placard gives you special privileges (such as having closer, more convenient parking places), there are certain restrictions placed on these permits so that they’re used fairly by everyone. This means that you are the only person who is allowed to use your placard. It doesn’t matter if you’re the driver or just the passenger – the placard is only intended for your personal use. As helpful as it might seem to lend your parking permit to friends and family, even someone as close to you as a spouse is expressly prohibited from using your placard unless you are in the vehicle. Likewise, even if your spouse (or another loved one) has the exact same disability as you, you are still not permitted to share your handicap placard with them under any circumstances.

How can I get a disabled parking permit for my wife?

If you’re interested in obtaining a handicap permit for your wife – or similarly if you’re thinking, “I want to get a disabled parking permit for my husband” – there are some steps you can take to help them out. Handicap placards are only issued to one individual each, so in order for both of you to have disabled parking permits, you’ll need to both go through separate application processes. Your spouse should get their own application to complete through your state’s transportation board (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles). This step of the application typically includes providing some personal information (date of birth, address, phone number, driver’s license number, etc.). They will also need to have a qualifying condition that the state recognizes as a disability. Here are some possible conditions (although there are many others that may be considered):

  • Loss of mobility
  • Unable to walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest or without the aid of an assistive device (such as a cane, braces, wheelchair, crutches, or another person)
  • Use of portable oxygen
  • Lung conditions (such as asthma, COPD, lung cancer, etc.)
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Limited use or no use of a limb (including amputations)
  • Impairment from a neurological or orthopedic condition
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Vision or hearing issues

In order to make sure their disability is valid, your spouse will need to be evaluated by a licensed medical professional. Their physician will also need to help complete part of their application in order to be medically certified. If your loved one doesn’t have a doctor they trust, they can use the services of Dr. Handicap – which can connect them virtually to a doctor in their state to help them complete the medical certification. As soon as they’ve submitted their application, their case will be evaluated and most likely approved. Once your partner has their disabled parking permit in hand, they’ll be able to park in more accessible spaces too. Some states have additional privileges for disabled drivers (such as free parking at metered parking), so it’s a good idea to look up these regulations in your specific city and state.

Dr Handicap - couple driving

What happens if I let my partner use my disabled parking permit?

There could be some really big consequences if your spouse (or any other loved one) is caught using your disabled parking permit by parking officials or law enforcement. Although the punishment varies in different cities or municipalities, it’s very possible you could have your permit permanently revoked. This means you’d be unable to keep your handicap placard and would not be eligible to apply for another one. There are also pretty big tickets that can be issued to you, with fines that can cost you thousands of dollars. In some stricter states, using your placard inappropriately can even earn you community service or jail time! There’s also the possibility that you are required to appear in traffic court and face a judge. Your best bet is to completely avoid these kinds of punishments and only use your disabled parking permit the way it was intended – for your use only. So, if you’re tempted to think, “Just this once I’ll let my partner use my disabled parking permit,” you should be aware that the consequences of this offense could be severe.

Remember, the answer to “Can I share my handicap parking permit?” will always be no. Keep your handicap placard with you at all times, so that you can be sure no one else borrows it. After you’ve gone through the process of applying for a placard, you’ll definitely want to make sure nothing jeopardizes your ability to utilize it. Therefore, if anyone else asks to borrow your placard (for whatever reason), you can politely decline. Try offering your partner assistance applying for their own placard if they also have a disability so that you can both own individual placards. Follow the rules laid out by your state, and you and your partner can take advantage of the many benefits of owning a disabled parking permit.