The Complete Guide to Disabled Parking in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is flat, football-crazy, and runs a fantastic disabled parking program. The Sooner State is respected nationwide for the comprehensiveness of its disabled parking program and for the efficiency and ease with which the program runs. Oklahoma disabled drivers enjoy some of the best handicap parking facilities and treatment in the entire country. Here is the complete guide to disabled parking in Oklahoma.
Unlike in most states, there are two separate agencies involved in issuing disabled parking placards and plates in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) is in charge of issuing permanent and temporary placards. The Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) is responsible for issuing Disability License Plates and Disabled Veterans License Plates.
Veterans Plates and regular Disabled Plates are ideal for disabled drivers who have their own vehicle that they travel in all the time. Temporary license plates are not available. But permanent and temporary placards are ideal for people who travel in different vehicles at different times, as the can be moved from vehicle to vehicle and used in whatever vehicle the placard’s owner happens to be traveling. Needless to say, the placard can only be used when the disabled person is traveling in the vehicle and not otherwise.
Visitors to Oklahoma from other American states do not need to get a temporary Oklahoma disabled parking placard to use during their stay in the state. Disabled placards and plates from all other U.S. states are valid in Oklahoma and afford their owners full disabled parking rights.
Holders of a disabled parking placard or plates in Oklahoma have the right to park in any designated disabled parking space in the state. These spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility. Badge holders can also use metered on-street spaces for free for varying amounts of time in many jurisdictions. Many private parking lots in Oklahoma – in places such as malls, churches, stadiums, gun ranges, and gyms – also allow special rights for disabled parking placard holders.
In order to qualify for disabled parking in Oklahoma, a person will need a medical professional to verify that they have a qualifying disability. The medical professional can be a licensed physician, a physician’s assistant, an advanced nurse practitioner, an optometrist, an osteopathic doctor, a podiatrist, or a chiropractor.
The qualifying disability must curtail mobility to the extent that a disabled placard or license plate is necessary for normal functioning. Disabilities that tend to qualify a person are:
- Any condition that makes it impossible for a person to walk 200 feet without needing to stop for rest;
- Any condition that requires the use of a walking aid such as a wheelchair, prosthetic device, Zimmer frame, brace, cane, or crutch;
- Any type of heart disease classified as Class III or Class IV by the American Heart Association;
- Most types of lung disease including severe asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, or chronic bronchitis;
- Any condition that requires the use of a portable oxygen tank;
- Legal blindness;
- Neurological disease;
- Chronic inflammatory disease; and
- Many types of chronic pain conditions.
To get a permanent or temporary disability placard, a person will need to be examined by a qualified medical professional and that professional will then need to fill in Part 2 of the Physical Disability Parking Placard Application form. The applicant will need to fill in the remainder of the form, and it will then need to be posted (within 60 days of the medical professional having signed it) to:
Department of Public Safety
Driver Compliance Division – Disability Parking Permits
P.O. Box 11415
Oklahoma City, OK 73136
The application will be processed within three weeks and the placard will be sent to the applicant by mail.
In order to get a Disabled License Plate, a person must first get a permanent placard (valid for five years) and then fill in a Physically Disabled License Plate form and send it to:
Oklahoma Tax Commission,
Motor Vehicle Division,
Special Plate Section,
2501 Lincoln Boulevard,
Oklahoma City, OK 73194-0013
Disability License Plates cost $16. This includes two plates (front and back) and a mailing fee. Plate applications usually take up to eight weeks to process.
Disabled Veterans Plates are available to people who already have a permanent disabled placard and have a disability that is at least 50% related to injuries received while on U.S. military service. To get Disabled Veterans Plates, fill in an Application for a Disabled American Veteran License Plate form and send it, along with a letter from the VA stating your eligibility, an insurance verification form, and the appropriate fee ($6.50 for in-person pick up, $9.50 for the plates to be mailed to you) to the Oklahoma Tax Commission (address above).
In Oklahoma, temporary placards need to be renewed after six months, permanent placards need to be renewed after five years, and license plates need to be renewed every year.