A Guide to Disabled Parking in Connecticut
There are many benefits to owning a disabled parking permit. Along with more convenient places, you might find you’re able to conserve energy and keep up your stamina, since you won’t have to walk long distances from the parking lot to the location you’re heading to. The application process for disabled parking in Connecticut is actually pretty simple. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
How do I qualify?
In order to qualify for a handicap placard or license plate, you’ll need to prove that you have a physical disability. There are a number of disabilities that will qualify, including:
- The inability to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
- The inability to walk without the use of an assistive device (such as a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or another person)
- Being restricted by lung disease (to the extent that your forced [respiratory] expiratory volume for one second – when measured by spirometry – is less than one liter, or that your arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest)
- Needing to use portable oxygen
- Having a cardiac condition to the extent that your functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV, according to the American Heart Association’s standards
- Being severely limited in mobility due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
- Being physically blind – if your central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or if your visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision, so that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees
- Chronic physical disability, infirmity, or impairment (whether congenital or resulting from injury, organic processes, or changes from illness) – including but not limited to epilepsy, deafness or hearing impairment, etc.
If you have a disability that isn’t listed, you might still qualify for disabled parking in Connecticut. Consider checking with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or consulting with your doctor to find out more. They can help determine if you might still qualify.
How do I get medically certified?
You’ll need to have your disability medically certified by a licensed medical professional in order to be granted a disabled parking permit in Connecticut. The following professionals within the state of Connecticut can help:
- Physician’s Assistant
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
- Psychiatrist (under contract or employed by the United States Veteran’s Association)
If you have a vision issue, you can be medically certified by a licensed optometrist, ophthalmologist, or a member of the Connecticut Board of Services and Education for the Blind.
One of these medical professionals will need to consult with you and decide whether a disabled parking permit would be appropriate for you. If you don’t have a medical professional you can meet with, or if it’s too difficult for you to get to an office in person, consider using a site like Dr. Handicap. They can connect you virtually to a licensed professional in your state to help guide you through the process (and you don’t ever have to leave your house!).
You can get your application by heading to your local DMV office or by calling the DMV Contact Center, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 860-263-5700 (within the Hartford area or outside of Connecticut) or at 800-842-8222. You can also obtain the form for a temporary or permanent placard at the DMV website.
Your medical professional can help determine which placard you need: a temporary placard is valid for up to six months, and a permanent placard just needs to be renewed periodically. They can mark which type you want on the proper application form. Then they’ll also need to fill out their name, type of license, license number, office address, and telephone number. After signing and dating the application, their work is done.
How do I complete the application?
After your medical professional has filled out their portion, you’ll need to complete the rest of the form. This includes providing some personal information, like name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number. You’ll also need to sign and date it. To submit your application, you have the options of:
- Mail: The Department of Motor Vehicles
Disabled Parking Permit Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161
- Fax: 860-263-5556
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person: by visiting any DMV office throughout the state.
If you’re applying for a temporary handicap placard, you’ll need to include a $5 fee (permanent placards are available at no cost).
When do I need to renew my placard?
Temporary placards expire after six months. If you need another one, you’ll need to go through the same process as you did with your original application. Permanent placards are valid for the same term as your driver’s license and then they must be renewed. The DMV will send you a renewal notice around 45 days prior to when your placard will expire. If your placard has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a replacement. You follow the same application process as before (including paying a $5 replacement fee for a temporary placard) and can submit your information the same ways as listed above.
What else do I need to know about using my placard?
With your disabled parking permit, you’re allowed to park in designated handicap parking places everywhere in Connecticut. You are not allowed to let friends or family borrow your placard at any time – if your placard is being used, you must be in the vehicle (as the driver or as a passenger). You’ll also still need to follow all state and local parking regulations. If you misuse your permit, the DMV may revoke the permit or deny renewal at any time. If you’re traveling outside Connecticut, remember that most other states honor Connecticut’s handicap placards and plates. However, it’s always a good idea to check with local law enforcement where you’re traveling to in order to make sure you’re protected there.
Follow the rules of the road, and you can access disabled parking in Connecticut to your heart’s content!