How Much Does A Handicap License Plate Cost In Florida?

Today, we’re here to discuss the process of getting a handicap license plate in Florida. There are several types of disabled parking placard and license plate available to disabled drivers, caregivers, and organizations in Florida, with different costs attached to each. So how much does a handicap license plate cost in Florida? Read on to find out.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permit Are Available In Florida?

The following types of Florida disabled parking permits are available:

  • Temporary disabled parking placard (valid for six months)
  • Permanent disabled parking placard or license plate (valid for four years)
  • Florida wheelchair license plate
  • Disabled Veterans license plate
  • Organization permit (for organizations that transport disabled people)
beach in miami florida
Image by Antonio Cuellar on Pexels: How much does a handicap license plate cost in Florida?

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Handicap Parking Permit In Florida?

A person will qualify for a Florida disabled parking permit if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Any impairment that limits a person’s ability to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
  • Inability to walk without the use of or assistance from a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, or other assistive device, or without assistance of another person
  • The need to permanently use a wheelchair
  • Restriction by lung disease to the extent that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the person’s arterial oxygen is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest
  • Use of portable oxygen
  • Restriction by cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association
  • Severe limitation in their ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • Legal blindness

How Much Does A Handicap License Plate Cost In Florida?

A Florida handicap license plate is available to permanent disabled parking permit-holders for free. The fee for a wheelchair license plate is $28. Florida Disabled Veterans license plates are free.

How Much Does A Handicap Permit Cost In Florida?

A permanent disabled parking placard or license plate is free in Florida. Temporary disabled parking placards, valid for six months, cost $15.

What Medical Professionals Can Verify My Florida Disabled Parking Application?

The medical professionals that can verify a Florida disabled parking application are:

  • A licensed physician
  • A podiatric physician
  • An optometrist
  • An advanced practice registered nurse
  • A physician assistant
  • A licensed physician from another state (if the application is accompanied by documentation of the physician’s license in the other state and a form is signed by the out-of-state physician verifying their knowledge of Florida’s eligibility guidelines)

How Do I Get A Handicap Parking Permit In Florida?

You can get a handicap parking permit in Florida by having a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner who will verify your suitability. The applicant and the examining medical practitioner will then fill in an application form. The form should be submitted to your local County Tax Collector’s Office or License Plate Agency.

How Do I Get A Handicap License Plate In Florida?

To get a handicap license plate in Florida, you must be permanently disabled and/or a Disabled Veteran. You can apply for a handicap license plate by submitting a wheelchair license plate application form, along with a copy of the vehicle registration certificate, proof of identification with a Florida driver license or ID card, and proof of Florida insurance for the vehicle, to a motor vehicle service center. Wheelchair license plates must be renewed annually on the holder’s birthday.

cars parked on street in miami florida
Image by Matt Alaniz on Unsplash: How do I get a handicap license plate in Florida? We’re here to tell you!

What Are Florida Handicap Parking Laws?

So, what are the rules for handicap parking in Florida?

  • Florida disabled permit holders can park in any designated disabled parking space marked by the universal access symbol
  • Permit-holders can park in metered, on-street spaces for free for up to four hours
  • Placards must be hung from rearview mirror while the vehicle is parked and safely stowed when it is in motion
  • Out-of-state disabled permits are recognized in Florida

Is A Florida Handicap Permit Valid In Other States?

Florida handicap parking permits are valid in all other US states. They are also valid in several foreign countries, including:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • EU
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan

How Do I Get A Handicap Parking Permit In Florida?

The best way to get a handicap parking permit in your state is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a state-licensed physician through the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

Featured image by MustangJoe on Pixabay

Does Obesity Qualify For A Handicap Placard In Ohio?

If you’re living in Ohio and experiencing mobility issues as a result of your weight, you might be wondering if you’re able to get a handicap sticker for your car. Handicap permits certainly make life much easier when driving, as you can park much closer to your destination. However, many drivers aren’t sure whether or not they qualify.

For example: does obesity qualify for a handicap placard in Ohio? The answer is yes. Many Ohio residents with obesity are able to apply for disabled placards – however, it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. This guide can help you learn what is needed to get a handicap placard in Ohio and how you can get one as a person with obesity. Once you know how the process works, it becomes much easier to get your placard quickly, making it easier for you to travel and park conveniently.

Is being overweight a disability under ADA?

Many states use the Americans with Disabilities Act to determine whether or not a health condition qualifies as a disability. It states that a person can’t be discriminated against based on a disability. However, is obesity classed as a disability? Unfortunately, being overweight on its own is not considered a disability, and also won’t qualify for disability benefits.

This was determined by the courts in 2019, in the decision from the Richardson v. Chicago Transit Authority case. The ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that extreme obesity can only be considered a disability if there’s evidence of an underlying physiological disorder or condition.

This means that if your obesity causes other serious health issues, like knee or joint problems or the inability to walk, then you might be able to qualify for a handicap placard in Ohio. It’s always best to talk to your doctor to learn more.

driving in Ohio
Image by Samuele Errico Piccarini via Unsplash: With a handicap placard, driving can become much less stressful.

Can you get a handicap sticker for being obese in Ohio?

Under Ohio law, a person must meet one or more of the following health conditions to be eligible for a disabled parking placard:

  • An inability to walk 200 feet without needing to rest
  • Requires usage of a portable oxygen tank
  • Has restrictions due to a lung disease
  • Needs assistance from a cane, crutch, brace, prosthetic device, wheelchair, another person, or other assistive device for mobility
  • Has a Class III or Class IV cardiac condition according to the American Heart Association standards
  • Limited mobility due to a neurological, orthopedic or arthritic condition
  • Legally blind or severely visually impaired

As you can see, obesity is not listed above. This means being overweight does not render you eligible for a placard. However, drivers who are obese are very likely to face some of the health concerns mentioned above, such as mobility limitations or a need for portable oxygen. This allows you to obtain your necessary placard due to complications from your weight, rather than directly due to obesity itself.

You would need to have certification from your doctor to apply for your placard, stating that you meet one of the qualifying conditions. Although they can’t state that the placard is required due to your weight, they can qualify you if you meet one of the conditions above that’s caused by your weight.

virtual consultation with doctor
Image by National Cancer Institute via Unsplash: A virtual consultation with a doctor can help you work out if you’re eligible.

What is needed to get a handicap placard in Ohio?

If you think you qualify for a handicap placard in Ohio, your first step is to talk to a medical professional, such as your local doctor, or to organize a telehealth consultation. Your doctor will learn more about your health conditions and review your medical records, then make an assessment based on their expertise. 

The state of Ohio requires the medical professional to complete Form BMV 4234 – Health Care Provider Certification of Eligibility for Disability License Plates. This is legal documentation that states your eligibility for the placard. They’ll also need to provide a signed letter that states the duration of your disability, so the state knows if they should issue you a temporary or permanent placard.

Once you have those documents ready, you can complete Form BMV 4826 – Application for Disability Placards. You’ll also need to pay a small application fee. You’ll then be issued your placard. Permanent placards will need to be renewed yearly, but temporary placards will expire – when this happens, you’ll need to go through the process again to confirm that you’re still eligible.

Although the application process seems complex, it should be straightforward for anyone with a genuine disability or mobility issue due to their weight. Unfortunately, Ohio and other states have had instances of fraud in the past, with people trying to claim disabled placards without a genuine need; for this reason, states need to be stringent when it comes to their application processes.

If you’re living in Ohio and need help with your application, Dr. Handicap can help with your medical certification, so get in touch today! It’s worth the time and effort, as once you receive your disabled parking placard, life will become so much easier, giving you the confidence and freedom to travel without needing to worry about the stress of finding an accessible parking spot.

Featured image by Robert Ruggiero via Unsplash

Emotional Driving: Why You Should Avoid Driving When Stressed, Angry, Sad, And Even Excited

Road rage: it’s one of the most common emotions people have while driving. And while most people recognize that becoming enraged behind the wheel isn’t safe, what most don’t realize is how any strong emotion – not just anger – can be a danger to you when driving. The truth of the matter is that driving while stressed sad, angry, or even excited can impact your driving skills and create a dangerous situation on the road.

Read on for all you need to know about emotional driving, and how to avoid emotional driving to keep you, and everyone around you, safer.

How Do Emotions Affect Your Driving Ability?

Strong emotions, from happiness to sadness to anger, can impair your decision-making skills and cognition. They’re also distracting while driving. Stress, too, can cause some people to sleep poorly and become upset, and the feeling is often compounded when they’re on the road and have to get somewhere in a hurry.

When you drive with strong emotions, then you can easily become distracted. This can cause safety issues, such as:

  • Drifting onto the shoulder or into another lane
  • Failing to use mirrors in crowded places, such as a parking lot
  • Miss a stop sign or a red light
  • Hit another car or even a pedestrian
  • Speed in special zones such as construction or school zones

When your emotions are high, even the smallest incident on the road can trigger those emotions, making something as innocent as being behind a slow driver a much bigger issue in your mind – and potentially leading to unsafe actions on the road.

At the other end of the spectrum, being happy when you’re behind the wheel can also cause issues. If you’re in a euphoric or elevated state, you may be less careful in driving, not watching your speed closely, or not properly looking when completing a simple task such as checking your blind spot before changing lanes. Any type of distracting driving can have serious consequences – it doesn’t matter which end of the emotional spectrum you are on.

woman driving car in emotional state
Image by Paje Victoria on Unsplash: Wondering why you should avoid driving when stressed, and how can anger and stress impact your driving? The bottom line is that any type of emotional driving is dangerous.

Before You Drive

If you really want to make sure you’re driving as safely as possible, start thinking about your emotional state before you get behind the wheel. Give yourself a small time out to calm your emotions. If you’re feeling worked up, you should:

  • Take about 10 minutes to calm yourself down
  • Take a short walk and focus on your breathing before getting in the car
  • Talk to someone to help achieve a state of calm
  • Sit quietly and think about your mood, including what could happen if you got behind the wheel in an emotionally heightened state

If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, it’s even more important to take a few minutes to calm and center yourself before driving. It’s better to be late to something than it is to not get there at all because you’ve had an accident.

When You’re Behind The Wheel

If you’re driving, there are things you can do to even out your emotions. These tips can help you to stay calmer:

  • Create a comfortable environment. Make sure that the temperature inside your car isn’t too hot or too cold. If it’s not right, it can add to your emotional state.
  • Don’t tense up. Relax yourself behind the wheel. Make sure your muscles aren’t clenched and full of anxiety. Don’t grip the wheel too tightly or it can increase your feelings of tension.
  • Deal with frustration appropriately. When you find yourself become upset or frustrated behind the wheel, try turning on some relaxing music. This can be a good way to help keep yourself centered, but be sure to keep the volume low so you don’t trigger more anxiety.
  • Practice controlled breathing. Breathing exercises are a great way to relieve tension and help you to feel more relaxed behind the wheel.
happy drivers in car
Image by Sofia on Unsplash: How does excitement affect driving? In fact, much the same as any other heightened emotional state.

Driving and dealing with other people on the road can be frustrating, and if your emotions are already high, it can make the situation worse. The best thing you can do is recognize that you can easily become triggered by others and refuse to allow your emotions to take over in that moment.

If someone becomes agitated with you on the road, don’t let that pull you into negative emotions of your own. Behave courteously and calmly when dealing with other drivers no matter what, and your emotional state will serve you well in staying safe.

Featured image by mentatdgt on Pexels

Are Police Allowed To Park In Handicap Spots?

One complaint that many users of disabled parking permits have is that sometimes people who aren’t entitled to use the spots use them anyway – even the police. Far too often, people assume that using a handicap parking spot because they’re in a hurry is OK, but what they don’t understand is how this impacts people who really need to using those spots.

So who can legally use handicap spots? What are the rules surrounding their use? Are police allowed to park in handicap spots? All of these questions and more are answered below – keep reading to learn all you need to know about handicap parking use and, in some cases, abuse.

Who Are Handicap Parking Spots For?

You see them almost everywhere: blue-and-white signs with the international symbol of access that denotes a parking space for someone with a handicap parking permit. Most people understand that these spaces are only for those people who possess the valid parking permit issued by the state in which they live. Still, it’s not uncommon to see someone taking the space even if they don’t possess the appropriate tag or license plate to do so.

Handicap parking spots are meant for drivers or passengers with conditions and disabilities that make it difficult to get around. These spaces help them to get more easily where they need to go and reduce stress.

If you do not possess a proper handicap license plate or a parking permit, it is illegal to park in a handicap space. Penalties for doing so will vary from place to place, but it almost certainly involves some form of a fine, which can get expensive fast.

police car in parking spot
Image by Kindel Media on Pexels: Can police park in disabled spots? Sometimes. Is it illegal to park in a disabled bay without a permit? Yes!

Are Police Allowed To Park In Handicap Spots?

Police are given a lot of latitudes when it comes to parking and driving in general, but the rules of handicap parking spots still apply to police cars. In an emergency, police are allowed to park in handicap spots and zones. However, police who are not responding to an emergency still must abide by the rules surrounding handicap parking spots, and are not allowed to park there when simply running errands or stopping for something not related to an emergency.

What Can You Do If Someone Is Parked In a Handicap Spot Illegally?

When you are disabled with a handicap parking permit or plate, not being able to find parking can be stressful. While you may not be able to make a space magically appear, you can ensure those who are parking in handicap spaces illegally are reprimanded.

To report a car that is parked illegally in a handicap spot, you should:

  • Gather information. Make sure the car doesn’t have a handicap plate or placard first. Not all disabilities are visible, and this is very important to keep in mind if you see someone exiting a car in a handicap spot who doesn’t look as if they have a disability. If you do determine the car is parked illegally, take down the license plate number and, in the case of someone abusing a parking placard, the number on the placard.
  • Call the non-emergency line. There is a non-emergency line for the police in your area, and that is the number you should use to report this incident.
  • Visit the police department. You can also physically go to a police department to make the report during normal business hours. You will provide a statement of the details and present any other evidence you have.
  • File a report online. In some places, you can file a report online to the local police or sheriff’s department. Check your local authorities’ website to see if that’s an option for you.

Hopefully, police will then take action to punish the person who is abusing the parking situation. In many places, fines of up to $1,000 can be incurred for these violations, and may even include being charged with a misdemeanor that can result in jail time.

Dr. Handicap - handicap parking lot view
Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: Parking in a handicap spot without a permit is illegal – no matter who you are!

Etiquette for Handicap Parking

When you do use a handicap parking permit or plate, make sure you’re aware of the standards of etiquette expected when using them, such as:

  • Awareness of different handicap spots. There aren’t laws that specifically outline what type of handicap spot you should use, but be aware of the limitations of the accessibility of others, even if it doesn’t apply to you. For example, you shouldn’t park in a spot designated for a van if you aren’t driving an accessible van or require a ramp to exit your vehicle. Try to use the space that is most appropriate for your individual needs.
  • Display your permit correctly. In most states, you will be required to display a handicap parking permit clearly and visibly when parking. This may mean it is hung from the rearview mirror or placed face-up on the dashboard of the vehicle.
  • Access aisles should be open. Do not park in the cross-hatched access aisles beside disabled parking spots. They are there to give those in wheelchairs easier access to their vehicles.

Featured image by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

20+ Items That Disabled Drivers Should Have Before Getting In Their Vehicle

As a disabled driver, you know that the unexpected can and often does occur; tires blow out, you get delayed or stuck in heavy traffic, you encounter bad weather, or you have an accident. Driving involves inescapable risks. So, in order to stay safe and to avoid any unfortunate situations while traveling by car, disabled drivers need to have some essential items with them at all times. It is crucial that every time you get into your vehicle you have things that will keep you safe and help you to handle some potentially sticky situations.

So, what documents should a disabled driver carry while driving? What are good things for a disabled driver to keep in their car? What should you keep in your glove box at all times? Let’s answer these crucial questions now.

What Are Good Things To Keep In Your Car?

Some items are good to keep in your car at all times, such as first aid equipment and vehicle emergency repairs equipment. Other items are essential to have while you travel but are best not kept in your vehicle at all times.

Examples of items that you should not keep in your car when you are not using it are:

  • Driver’s license. Your driver’s license is best stored in your wallet, which you should keep on your person instead of in your vehicle at all times.
  • Disabled parking permit. This can be used in any vehicle in which the holder is traveling, so a lot of permit holders like to keep their permits on their person instead of in their vehicle.
disabled drivers in vehicle
Image by Tobi on Pexels: What should you keep in your car at all times?

What Documents Should A Driver Carry While Driving?

The documents that all disabled drivers should carry while driving are:

  • Disabled parking permit
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

What Should You Keep In Your Glove Box?

Your glove box is the perfect place to keep valuable and important items. The items that every disabled driver should keep in their glove box are:

  • Disabled parking placards (these should be stowed in the glove box while the car is moving)
  • COVID safety equipment such as face masks, hand sanitizer, napkins, and travel wipes
  • Medical information, including details of any medical conditions, medications and allergies for yourself and any people who regularly travel with you
  • Emergency contact numbers (in case your phone breaks or is inaccessible)
  • Proof of insurance
  • Pen and paper
  • Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule for your vehicle
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • High-energy snacks such as dried fruit and nuts

What Should Disabled Drivers Keep In Their Car At All Times?

Here are 20 items that disabled drivers should make sure they have before getting in their vehicle.

  • Disabled parking permit
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Pen and paper
  • Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule for your vehicle
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Any specific medications you use
  • First aid kit (bandages, antibiotic cream, anti-itch cream, anti-bacterial gel, pain reliever, allergy medication, antacids, eye wash, lip balm, tweezers)
  • Any mobility aids that you or your passengers require
  • High-energy snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Vehicle emergency repair kit (Spare tire, jack, tire gauge, tire inflator and sealer, lug key, vehicle manual, jumper cables, oil and funnel, water, screwdrivers, pliers, duct tape, WD 40, flares, visibility jacket)
  • COVID safety kit (face masks, hand sanitizer, face shield, travel wipes)
  • Wheelchair ramps and transfer boards if you are in a wheelchair
  • Medical information
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash
  • Comfort kit (blankets, extra clothes, toilet paper, sunscreen, insect spray, contact lens holder solution, travel toothbrush, toothpaste and floss)
woman in truck
Image by pexels on Pixabay: What documents should a disabled driver carry while driving?

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

The best way to get a disabled parking permit is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a licensed doctor in your state through the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

At the online clinic, you will have a video chat with a licensed doctor in your state who will verify your medical condition and then complete and sign a DMV disabled parking application form, which they will email to you immediately. It is an efficient and simple process.

Featured image by Hannah Sutherland on Unsplash