Disabled Parking in Pennsylvania: All You Need to Know

Dr Handicap - Pittsburgh

If you are a disabled person living in Pennsylvania, it may be necessary for you get a disabled parking placard or license plate. If your disability is severe enough, and if it restricts your mobility to the extent that using regular parking facilities is not a viable option, you will almost certainly be entitled to special parking rights under the Keystone State’s extensive disabled parking program.

Having a Pennsylvania disabled parking badge will make life much easier if you have a disability, so it is certainly worth looking into getting one. Applying for a Pennsylvania disabled parking placard or plate is not a difficult process, but there are some important details it’s necessary to be aware of. Here is all you need to know about disabled parking in Pennsylvania.

Who Is Entitled To Apply?

First things first, you will need to check if your specific disability that you (or the disability of a person that you are legally responsible for) entitles you to avail of disabled parking in Pennsylvania. The full list of qualifying disabilities in Pennsylvania is as follows:

  • Blindness;
  • Not having the use of a leg or both arms;
  • Not being able to walk for 200 feet without needing to stop for a rest;
  • Not being able to walk without the assistance of a walking aid such as a prosthetic device, crutches, Zimmer frame, another person, wheelchair, cane, or brace;
  • Having a lung disease that means that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 MM/HG on room air at rest;
  • Uses a portable oxygen tank;
  • Having a cardiac condition that is classified as Class III or Class IV by the American Heart Association; and
  • Being severely limited in ability to walk by an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.

A parent, guardian, adoptive parent, foster parent, or spouse of a person with any of the above disabilities may apply for a placard to use on their vehicle when their disabled dependent is onboard.

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Verification From a Medical Professional

The disabled person who will be using the placard will need to be examined by a fully qualified medical professional. This medical professional can be a doctor, podiatrist, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse practitioner. A police officer can certify that an applicant is blind, or that they do not have full use of a leg or both arms.

The medical professional or police officer needs to be registered in Pennsylvania or in a bordering state (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, or Ohio).

Once the applicant has been examined by a medical professional or police officer, the applicant and the examining professional will both need to fill in an application form.

Types of Disabled Badge Available

There are several types of disabled parking badge available in Pennsylvania. The type of disability the applicant has will determine which type of badge they are entitled to. Placards come in three types: permanent, temporary, and Disabled Veterans versions. License plates and Disabled Veterans plates are also available. Disabled Veterans placards are available to veterans who have 100% service-related disabilities, or a qualifying permanent disability related to military service.

In order to get a placard, a Person With Disability Parking Placard Application form will need to be filled in. To get a license plate, an Application for Person with a Disability or Hearing Impaired Registration Plate or a Person with a Disability Motorcycle Plate form will be required.


Permanent and Disabled Veterans placards are free and valid for five years. Temporary placards are free and valid for six months. Disabled plates and Veterans plates cost $11 and need to be renewed when you are renewing your vehicle registration.

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Out-of-State Visitors

All disabled visitors to Pennsylvania are entitled to use their local state’s disabled parking placard or plates while they are in the state.

Pennsylvania disabled parking badge holders are entitled to use their PA placard or plate in any other U.S. state and avail of full disabled parking rights.

Disabled Parking Rules and Regulations

Pennsylvania disabled parking plates and placards allow their holder to park in any designated disabled parking space in the state. They also allow their holder to park in regular parking spaces with time limits for up to 60 minutes longer, unless this is specifically prohibited by a particular municipality’s law enforcement authorities.

Application Process

To apply for a placard of any type, mail a placard application form to:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68593
Harrisburg, PA 17106

To apply for a license plate, mail a plate application form and the necessary fee to:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1101 South Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104