Essential Guide To Disabled Parking In Texas

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The state of Texas has an extensive and robust disabled parking program. The Lone Star State’s handicap parking rules and regulations are similar to those found in most other American states, but there are a few unique elements that it’s important to be aware of. Here is our essential guide to disabled parking in Texas.

Types of Disabled Parking Placards

Disabled placards in Texas are color-coded. People who are permanently disabled use a blue placard, and people who are temporarily disabled use a red placard. Only people who are permanently disabled are entitled to a license plate bearing the International Symbol of Access. It is also possible to get a Disabled Veteran license plate (which features a “DV” as part of the license plate number) if you are a disabled military veteran.

In Texas, a permanent (blue) placard needs to be renewed every four years, and, like in most other states, a temporary (red) placard is only valid for six months, but can be renewed if necessary after the six-month period ends.

Qualifying Disabilities

A person is eligible for disabled parking in Texas if they have a medical condition that meets the legal definition of disability in the state. These conditions include: heart disease; arthritis; lung disease; paralysis; being an amputee; any medical condition that necessitates the use of a wheelchair, crutches, cane or brace; bad eyesight (visual acuity of 20/200 or less); or hearing problems.

A temporary disabled placard can be provided for people with a temporary disability. This can be a person who is recovering from an operation, a person with a temporary injury (such as a broken leg), or a pregnant woman.

To qualify for a Disabled Veteran license plate (which provides the same rights as a permanent disabled license plate), a person must be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces with a disability that is at least 50% connected to their military service, have been honorably discharged, and be receiving compensation from the federal government due to their disability.

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Rights and Privileges

The holder of a Texas disabled placard, license plate, or Disabled Veterans plate is allowed to park in any designated disabled parking spot in the state. They are also entitled to park in any metered space in Texas for free and for as long as they need.

Out-of-State Drivers

Valid disabled placards from other states and countries are honored in the state of Texas. It is important to recognize that the rights a handicap parking badge affords a person differ slightly from state to state and country to country, so be sure to abide by the specifics of Texas state law when using an out-of-state placard inside Texas.

If you are visiting Texas for medical treatment and are permanently disabled, you can apply for a temporary Texas disabled parking placard that is valid for six months, which can be renewed at the end of the six-month period if necessary.

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How To Apply

In order to get a Texas disabled parking placard or license plate, you will first need to download application form VTR-214 from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website. You will then have a consultation with a medical professional and get them to fill in the Disability Statement section of the application form. This can be done in person or using telemedicine, and the types of medical professional that qualify are physician, physician’s assistant, advanced practice nurse, optometrist, and podiatrist.

Once the application form has been completed, it should be submitted to your local Texas tax collector’s office for processing, along with any required fee (details of which can be found on the application form) paid by check or money order, and a copy of either your driver’s license or ID card. This can be done in person or by mail.

To get a Disabled Veterans plate in Texas you will need to fill in form VTR-615 with signed approval by Department of Veterans Affairs. Disabled license plate fees, both for regular and Disabled Veterans plates, vary by county.

To renew a permanent placard (when it expires after four years) or plate (after every 12-month period), you must fill in a new application form (this time you do not need to have the Disability Statement section filled in by a medical professional) and send it, along with a copy of your original application, to your local tax office.

Renewing a temporary placard involves the same process; however, when renewing a temporary placard you will need to have the Disability Statement section filled in by a medical professional each time.

If your placard is lost or stolen, you can get a new one by submitting a copy of your original application form to your local Texas tax collector’s office.