Does The Time Limit For Parking Apply To Disabled Parking Permit Holders?

Dr Handicap - parking meter
Dr Handicap - parking meter

Even with the many benefits you get when you have a handicap placard, there are still rules you have to follow when you’re out and about. Most of the time, you’ll be able to decipher those rules fairly easily based on the posted signs. But every once in a while, you might not be sure if those rules still apply to you as a handicap placard owner. One of the most common questions for disabled drivers and passengers is “Do time limits apply to disabled parking permit holders?” The answer can be a little tricky, so read on for more information.

What is a disabled parking permit?

First off, if you don’t have a handicap placard already, you might be wondering what one is. A disabled parking permit is a placard that gives you access to more convenient parking places – typically close parking spots at the front of public locations. As long as you hang that placard from the vehicle you’re in (whether you’re the driver or the passenger), you can park in designated handicap-accessible parking places, which are usually marked in blue or with the wheelchair symbol. These parking places can make it easier for you to get around when you leave your home, especially if you have limited mobility because of your disability.

You can apply for a permit by going to the website for your individual state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There should be an application there for you to complete, along with a medical certification that must be filled out by your doctor. They’ll need to verify that you have a disability, which can range from a temporary broken leg to a serious permanent heart or lung condition (among many others). If you don’t have a medical professional in your life, or if it’s too hard for you to make it in person for an appointment, you can use the services of Dr. Handicap. They can connect you virtually to a licensed physician in your state, who can evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for a handicap placard and help you complete the medical certification portion of your application.

Dr Handicap - no parking sign

Image by Joe Breuer on Pixabay: Make sure to follow the directions of all posted parking signs to avoid a ticket.

What are the basic rules for disabled parking permit holders?

Some of the typical rules for handicap placard owners throughout the U.S. include clearly displaying your placard when your vehicle is parked (and removing it when the car is in motion), and never lending out your placard to friends and family. Some of these regulations differ from state to state, so be sure to check what the rules are before you hit the road. Some states also require you to renew your permit every few years, so check with the DMV to make sure your permit is always up to date. Failure to use your permit appropriately or abusing your privileges can result in fines, community service, or even jail time! You’ll also likely get your permit revoked if you break one of these important rules.

Are disabled parking spots time-restricted?

For the most part, it’s pretty rare for specified designated handicap parking places to be time-restricted. This is mostly because it can be time-consuming for people with physical disabilities to get to and from their cars (especially if they require the use of an assistive device or use a wheelchair ramp or lift). It’s understandable that placing time limits on these spots would cause stress for mobility-challenged folks. However, because businesses or cities can set up certain parking restrictions, it’s always good to pay attention to the signs that might indicate any time limits on disabled parking places. So if you’re wondering, “Can I use a parking place for longer if I have a disabled parking permit?”, it often depends on the signs that are posted.

Dr Handicap - disable parking space

Image by kmicican on Pixabay: For most handicap parking places, there aren’t designated time restrictions.

Do time limits apply to handicap placard holders for regular parking spaces?

The answer to this is a little tricky. There are some cities and some states that allow handicap placard holders to park for an unlimited time in regular parking spaces (even if there are specific time limits posted). In these areas, disabled parking permit holders can basically ignore time limits and park for however long they might need the space. Because it can be challenging to determine if this rule applies in any particular town, your best bet is to research the restrictions with the city before you ignore any posted time restrictions. You’ll want to avoid any tickets if possible, so doing this research ahead of time might end up saving you some money in the end!

If you’re asking yourself the question, “Can I use a parking place for longer if I have a handicap placard?” the answer is maybe. Bottom line: if you’re unsure if the parking place offers longer parking options for disabled drivers/passengers, stick to the posted time limit so you won’t run the risk of getting ticketed.

Featured image by Vladvictoria on Pixabay

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