Dealing With Police: What To Do If You’ve Forgotten Your Disabled Parking Permit

Dr Handicap - police cruiser

Disabled parking facilities in the United States are among the best in the world. America leads the way in providing invaluable assistance for its disabled citizens through its various thorough and well-organized disabled parking programs. Each U.S. state has its own bespoke disabled parking program, tailored to fit the specific needs of local and visiting disabled drivers.

Disabled drivers in the United States can avail of specially designed and dimensioned disabled parking spaces, which are strategically located to provide optimal access to important locations and sites of interest. In many municipalities, holders of disability parking permits are also entitled to park in on-street, time-restricted parking spaces for as long as they need.

Disabled Parking Rules and Regulations Are Enforced By Police

Given the crucial benefits that disabled parking permit holders gain from availing of their local disabled parking program, it is important that the rules of the program are properly enforced, and that cheaters are caught and punished. Each of the country’s police forces is tasked with enforcing the disabled parking rules, regulations and laws of their jurisdiction’s program.

How To Display a Disabled Parking Permit

There are several types of disability parking permits available in each state. The vast majority of states offer a permanent (or long-term) disabled parking placard; a temporary (usually valid for up to six months) disabled parking placard; disability license plates; Disabled Veterans license plates; and organizational placards and plates for use by organizations that transport disabled people.

The main advantage of holding disability license plates or a Disabled Veterans plate is that it is attached to the vehicle at all times. A disabled parking placard must be safely stowed while the vehicle is in motion, and hung from the rear-view mirror or placed in the front windscreen while the vehicle is parked.

For drivers who need to use a placard, if they share a vehicle with a non-disabled person or only hold a temporary permit, there is a risk that they will occasionally forget to bring their placard out with them.

Dr Handicap - cars parked on street

What Options Do You Have If You’ve Forgotten Your Disabled Parking Permit?

If you have forgotten your disabled parking permit, there is a chance that you will need to deal with local police. This can be a stressful situation for some people. But thankfully there are several options in circumstances such as these.

Return Home To Collect Your Disabled Parking Permit

If you are near your home and it is convenient and possible to return there to collect your permit, this is probably the best option. If you can collect your permit, then you have no risk of having to interact with police.

Avoid Using Disabled Parking If Possible

If you have a disability that allows you to park somewhere other than in a disabled parking space on this occasion, then this is another option. Some buildings have non-disabled parking spaces very closely located to the entrance, and when it is not busy, it may be relatively easy to use a non-disabled space.

Dealing With Police When You’ve Forgotten Your Disabled Parking Permit

There will no doubt be instances when neither of the aforementioned options are viable. If you are on an important errand and your placard is impossible to retrieve, and it is not viable to use a non-disabled space, then you may end up needing to have a conversation with local police.

The good news is that the vast majority of police officers are very reasonable people, and how they deal with a disabled driver who has forgotten their permit is left at their discretion.

If you see a police officer in the vicinity it is a good idea to make contact with them and explain the situation, politely and courteously. If there are no police around, you could phone the local police station to explain.

When a disabled driver has forgotten their placard and has no option but to use a disabled parking space, police will almost always show good sense and discretion. However, it is crucial that you show good people skills and interact politely and empathetically with police officers. If you are rude, they are under no obligation to help you out!

Dr Handicap - police car

What To Do If Your Disabled Parking Permit Has Been Lost, Stolen, or Damaged

If you have permanently lost your placard, or your permit has been damaged or stolen, then you will need to arrange a replacement. This is done by submitting an application to your local disabled parking program authorities.

In many states, if a permit has been stolen, a police report will need to be filed. Filing a report generally means that you can use disabled parking without a placard for the period of time between the report being filed and your receiving a replacement permit.