Disabled Parking Permit Theft Is On The Rise
It is an unfortunate reality, but disabled parking permit theft has increased severalfold over the last few years. Many thousands of Americans with disabilities require the use of a disabled parking permit to get around, run their essential errands, and make their lives manageable. Disabled parking permits are of huge benefit to their owners. This makes disabled parking permit theft all the more callous a crime.
Having A Disabled Parking Permit Stolen Is A Painful Experience
Lots of people in America suffer from disabilities that make their lives complex. For people with disabilities caused by conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, cancer, neurological disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as people who suffer from general mobility problems caused by injury, chronic pain, or amputation, a disabled parking permit is a necessity. So when a person has their disabled parking permit stolen, it is often a highly traumatic experience. Having a disabled parking permit stolen can feel like a profound injustice and invasion of privacy.
Replacing A Stolen Handicap Parking Permit
Luckily, the procedure for getting a replacement permit for a person who has had their original placard or plate stolen is fast and efficient. Authorities put an emphasis on getting a replacement permit to a needful person as quickly as possible. Law enforcement hopes to deter would-be handicap parking permit thieves and people who would use stolen permits by meting out stiff punishments to those caught breaking the law in this area.
Reporting a Stolen Disabled Parking Permit to the Police
It is not essential to report a stolen placard or plate to police in every jurisdiction. In certain states, reporting a stolen disabled parking permit is optional. Some states will replace a stolen placard or plate without seeing evidence that a police report has been filed. But many states, such as New York and Rhode Island, require evidence that a report has been filed with the local police in order for a replacement placard or plate to be issued.
Even in states where it is not an essential requirement in order to get a replacement, it is still always a good idea to report a stolen disabled parking permit to the local police. Giving law enforcement every opportunity to catch thieves is one of the best ways to reduce disabled parking permit theft overall. Filing a police report can seem like an inconvenience, but it is the right thing to do, for yourself and for your fellow handicap parking permit holders.
How To Replace a Stolen Disabled Placard or Plate
The good news is that if a person’s disabled placard or plates are stolen, they do not have to go through the entire application process in order to get a replacement disabled permit. Much of the initial application process can be skipped over when registering a stolen permit and applying for a replacement.
An application for a replacement permit form will need to be submitted, either in person or by mail, to the relevant disabled parking program authorities in the state. This is mostly the local Department of Motor Vehicles Office, or sometimes the local tax collector’s office. The relevant application form will always be available from the local authority’s website.
Medical Professional Consultation For Replacement Disabled Permit
When applying for a replacement permit, there is no need to have a new consultation with a medical professional. The original consultation, undertaken before the stolen permit’s application form was submitted, is still valid. This is because the period of time that the original permit was valid for has not yet expired.
Copy of Police Incident Report
As we mentioned earlier, some states require evidence that a Lost/Stolen Disability Placard incident report has been filed with local police.
A copy of the police report must be submitted to the disabled parking authorities along with the replacement permit application form. The police report must include the applicant’s full name, date of birth, current address, and the stolen placard number.
Fees To Replace Stolen Disabled Permit
There is no fee required to replace a stolen disabled placard or plate.
It is a Crime to Be In Possession of a Stolen or Counterfeit Disabled Permit
Levels of disabled parking permit theft have increased substantially over the past few years. It is a crime that police take very seriously, and stiff punishments are doled out to people who are found guilty of stealing or counterfeiting permits, or being in possession of a stolen or counterfeited handicap parking permit.
Always go through the official channels when applying for a disabled parking permit. And if in doubt, contact your local disabled parking authorities for guidance.