A Guide To Disabled Parking In Alaska

Dr Handicap - Alaska
Dr Handicap - Alaska

Alaska is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, but you’ll still find more than a few blue handicap parking signs dotting its rugged landscape. No matter where you go in the United States and beyond, it’s a good idea to understand your rights surrounding disabled parking. To make the Last Frontier accessible, here’s what you need to know about disabled parking in Alaska.

Do You Qualify?

The Division of Motor Vehicles only issues a disabled parking permit in Alaska to those with a qualifying condition – but what counts as a qualifying condition? You must fit one of these criteria in order to qualify for an Alaska handicap parking permit:

  • Loss of use of one or both legs
  • The use of portable oxygen
  • The inability to walk more than 200 feet without stopping
  • The need for an assistive device like a brace, wheelchair, crutches, etc. when walking
  • A Class III or Class IV cardiac condition as defined by the American Heart Association
  • A condition that severely limits the ability to walk like a neurological, orthopedic, or arthritic condition

Depending upon the nature of your condition, you’ll be either granted a disability placard that is valid for five years or provided with a short-term disability parking placard that is good for up to six months.

Dr. Handicap - parking place faded

How to Get a Disabled Parking Permit in Alaska

The first step to getting a disabled parking permit in Alaska is to get an application. You can find the Application for Special Disability Parking Permit form, also called form 861, online here. The first part of the application requires you to fill out the necessary information while the second part is to be filled out by a medical professional familiar with your disability, such as a chiropractor, physician, podiatrist, or nurse practitioner.

Once the application is complete, you simply mail it to:

State of Alaska
Division of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: DISABILITY PERMIT
1300 W Benson Boulevard STE 200
Anchorage, AK 99503-3600

You can send your application in by mail to the address above or you can apply in person – whichever is the most convenient for you.

The Cost

In Alaska, there is no charge for a disability placard when issued, renewed, or replaced. It is important to note that if you’re trying to obtain disabled parking plates for your vehicle, then you’ll still need to pay the car registration and plate costs associated with them each time you must renew. Just remember to renew your placard by the end of the month in which it expires. If you lose your placard or it is stolen or destroyed, then you can request a new one free of charge.

When renewing or replacing a disability parking placard, you do not need a new physician’s certification.

How to Use Your Alaska Disabled Parking Permit

To use your Alaska handicap parking permit, you must display it on the rearview mirror of the vehicle you are parking. The best practice is to remove it from the mirror when the vehicle is in motion.

Your disabled parking placard grants you the right to park in any designated disabled parking space in the entire state of Alaska. You can use the placard in your own vehicle or a vehicle you are traveling in. Just remember that you cannot loan your placard to another person if you are not in the car with them. That’s a violation of the law and can result in loss of your disabled parking permit.

When parking on the street, you can park in any space marked with the blue international wheelchair symbol that denotes disabled parking – the same is true for parking lots and parking garages. If you park in metered parking in the state of Alaska, you are not allowed to exceed the time limit even if you have a disabled parking placard, which is different than some other states. You also must pay to park at the parking meter, so don’t skip that step!

If you live in an area that requires residential parking permits, your handicap parking placard may exempt you from that. In most places, a valid disabled parking placard or disabled plates on your vehicle will exempt you from any restrictions of permit parking. Just remember that this does not exempt you from other parking restrictions, so it’s always going to be in your best interest to ask if you have questions about parking in a certain area with your disabled parking placard.

Your disabled parking placard or plates allow you to access your community – and Alaska has made the process relatively easy for all Alaskans! If you have questions or concerns, make sure to contact your local DMV.

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