“Can I use my U.S.A. disabled parking permit in Canada?” This is a question asked by many disabled drivers who are traveling to Canada from America. U.S.A. disabled parking permits bring their holders a myriad of benefits, giving them access to helpful, well-designed disabled parking facilities all over the U.S.
A U.S. disabled parking permit can massively improve its holder’s quality of life. But are U.S. handicap placards good in Canada? In this article, we’ll definitively answer the question “Is my U.S. disabled parking permit valid in Canada?”.
What Is A U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
A U.S. disabled parking permit gives its holder the right to avail of the disabled parking program and facilities in their home state, and also in any other state in the country.
Each state has its own disabled parking program. There are some small variations between different states’ programs, but the core rules, regulations, and entitlements are the same or very similar in each state.
What Are The Different Types Of U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
There are several different types of U.S. disabled parking permits available. Which permit a person gets will depend on the type of disability they have, its expected duration, how they became disabled, what state they live in, and whether they have their own vehicle.
Different states have slight variations of U.S. disabled parking permit available, but the main categories are:
- A temporary disabled placard for people with a disability that is not expected to last for the long-term
- A permanent placard for people whose disabilities will last for the long-term or permanently
- A disability license plate for permanently disabled people
- A disabled veterans’ plate for people whose disability is military service-related
- An organizational permit for organizations that transport disabled people
How Do You Apply For A U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
Applying for a U.S. disabled parking permit is an easy process. Firstly, you need to have a consultation with a medical professional. This is best done online through Dr. Handicap.
The examining medical professional will fill in the appropriate sections of a disabled parking application form. Once this is done, the applicant can complete the form and submit it to their local disabled parking authorities, in person or by post, usually at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
Qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit vary slightly state by state, but the conditions that qualify a person in almost all states are:
- Not being able to walk 200 feet without having to stop to rest
- Not being able to walk without the aid of a cane, crutch, brace, wheelchair, other person, or other assistive device
- Having lung disease
- Having a heart condition classified as Class IV or V by the American Heart Association
- Requiring the use of a portable oxygen tank
- Being blind
- Having arthritis
- Having a neurological disease
Can You Travel To Canada With A U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
Are U.S. handicap placards good in Canada? The answer to this crucial question is… yes!
Since 1997, all European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) member countries plus ECMT Associated Countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States) have had an agreement in place that grants the same disabled parking rights to citizens of other member countries as they do to their own citizens.
This means that a U.S. disabled parking permit is valid in all of the above countries, including Canada.
Do You Need To Fill In Any Paperwork Before Travelling To Canada With A U.S.A. Disabled Parking Permit?
In order to use a U.S.A. disabled parking permit in Canada, you do not need to fill in any forms or applications before traveling.
Canadian police and disabled parking authorities will recognize a valid U.S. disabled parking permit on any vehicle using Canadian roads or disabled parking infrastructure.
Are Canadian Disabled Parking Rules The Same As In The U.S.A.?
The rules for disabled U.S. drivers in Canada are essentially the same as U.S. disabled parking rules. The qualifying conditions for a Canadian disabled parking permit are very similar to those in the U.S.
Like in the U.S., different jurisdictions have different rules regarding on-street, metered, time-restricted parking for disabled permit holders. So it’s always best to check with local authorities, whether you are in Canada or the U.S., to find out the specifics of what a disabled permit entitles you to do in this area.
How Do You Use Disabled Parking in Canada?
Disabled U.S. drivers in Canada will be using a system that’s extremely similar to the system they use at home. They can park in any designated disabled parking space, which will be marked with the international symbol of access.
In Canada, just like in the U.S., a disabled placard must be hung from the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked and stowed away safely when the vehicle is in motion.