How To Get A New York Disabled Parking Permit

Dr Handicap - New York
Dr Handicap - New York

The Americans with Disabilities Act – a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against citizens with disabilities – was passed in 1990. One of the many benefits of this law was the development of the disabled parking permit. Designated spots for permit holders are now mandatory at every public parking lot and, furthermore, these spots must be of a certain dimension (bigger than your average parking spot) and must be located close to the building or buildings the parking lot serves. Disabled parking in New York is covered by these laws, as is disabled parking in every other American state. But guidelines do vary slightly state to state. If you want to know how to get a disabled parking permit in New York, let’s first take a look at the qualifying conditions.

These include the following:

  • Unable to walk 200 feet without stopping
  • Need the use of portable oxygen
  • Restricted use or no use at all of one or both legs
  • An orthopedic, neurological or arthritic condition which acutely restricts your ability to walk
  • Lung disease
  • A cardiac condition (Class III or IV, as dictated by the American Heart Association’s standard)
  • Legally blind (clearly you wouldn’t be driving yourself in this case – the permit can be used when you are a passenger in the car)
  • Any other physical or mental disability that makes using public transport particularly hard or prevents you from getting from A to B without considerable difficulty. Any of the above would qualify you for a disabled parking permit in New York.
Dr Handicap - New York City

The best way to apply for your New York handicap parking permit is to download a form from your local page on the DMV website, or call into your local branch. Unless you have a visible permanent disability, a section of your form will need to be completed by a licensed medical physician. We offer this service at Dr Handicap in a relaxed and informal environment. Maybe you’re not currently registered with a doctor, or you find it difficult to physically get to an appointment? No worries – you can connect with one of our physicians via a video chat and he or she will take you through the standard medical questionnaire. We will need access to your medical records, but don’t be concerned about privacy, as we are fully HIPAA compliant. Once the form is completed, we will help you with the remainder of the application procedure.

In order to be eligible for a permanent New York disabled parking permit, you must be resident in the state. You don’t have to be a licensed driver, though, or even own your own vehicle. Your permit can be used in anyone’s car, providing you are traveling as a passenger. It’s against the law for someone to use your disabled parking permit in New York without you being present. If you have a disability that’s only temporary – a broken arm or leg, for example – you can apply for a temporary parking permit, which is valid for six months. Non-New York State residents are allowed to apply for temporary permits.

A disabled parking permit in New York exists in two forms: special license plates and a placard. The former can be obtained from any DMV office, provided you have your completed application form and some ID. There is a small fee for these plates, and obviously you will have to surrender your old plates. Handicap parking plates can only be issued for a vehicle registered in your name. The disabled placard, which must be clearly visible inside your car every time you make use of special disabled parking in New York, is supplied by your local issuing agent. State law is in place to ensure that every town, city, and village appoints one of these agents. Your local clerk will be able to advise you on this. There is no fee for a disabled placard.

Dr Handicap - New York streets

Now that we’ve covered how to get a disabled parking permit in New York, let’s take a look at the rules around owning and using your New York handicap parking permit. First up, it’s important to remember that all permits have an expiration date. The length of time your permit is valid for depends on its type, so be sure to check all the renewal requirements with the local issuing agent. Your New York disabled parking permit allows you to legally use any parking space that is designated for use by someone with a disability. These spaces should be signposted by the International Wheelchair Symbol – a blue square overlaid in white with the image of a person in wheelchair. You don’t have to be the driver of the car but you must be either in the car that has your special license plates or you must clearly display your placard permit. Be aware that owning a New York handicap parking permit does not simply allow you to park anywhere, and it does not mean that you are exempt from parking fees, unless a locality has introduced a law to that effect. Also worth noting is that a disabled parking permit in New York does not automatically, unlike many other states, entitle you to park at a parking meter for free, or to stay over the allowed time. Some jurisdictions do have this in place, but they are all free to decide for themselves so be sure to know the local rules in your own jurisdiction and any you may be visiting. New York City has no on-street disabled parking spaces, but the Department of Transportation is at liberty to issue a special “City Permit”, which allows a person who has an extreme disability or disabilities to park in certain on-street spaces for free.

Hopefully this guide has helped you understand how to get a New York disabled parking permit, but if you have any outstanding questions, ask away!

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