A Guide to Disabled Parking in Georgia
Considering applying for a Georgia disabled parking permit? There’s no time like the present. While you might worry that getting a handicap placard is a difficult undertaking, there’s no reason to stress. From determining if you have a qualifying condition to figuring out how to use your placard once you have it, we have all the info you need to know right here. Read on for answers to all the questions you might have about how to get a disabled parking permit in Georgia.
What conditions will help me qualify?
In order to qualify for disabled parking in Georgia, you must have a disability that affects your mobility or requires you to need closer access to buildings. These are the general medical conditions that will qualify:
- Disabled with ambulatory issues – cannot walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest
- Cannot walk without the use of an assistive device, such as a cane, walker, crutches, braces, a prosthetic device, or a wheelchair (this also includes if you need help from a person to walk)
- Restricted by lung disease (to an extent that your forced respiratory volume for one second – when measured by spirometry – is less than one liter, or when at rest, your arterial oxygen is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air)
- Require the use of portable oxygen
- Have a cardiac condition (to an extent that your functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV, according to standards set by the American Heart Association)
- Are severely limited in your ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, orthopedic condition (which can also include complications from pregnancy)
- Are hearing impaired
- Are blind (with your central visual acuity not exceeding 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses or visual acuity if better than 20/200 are accompanied by a limit to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees)
If you’re not sure if your specific medical condition is an acceptable one for a Georgia handicap parking permit, you can check with your doctor or speak to someone at the Department of Driver Services through the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR).
How do I get started on the application?
Your first step should be to determine which type of handicap permit you’ll need. There are temporary placards (which are only valid for up to six months) and permanent placards. Georgia also offers special permanent placards (issued in gold) that are given to disabled individuals who drive a vehicle equipped with hand controls for the operation of brakes and accelerator, or who are disabled due to loss of or loss of use of both upper extremities. You can also apply for a disabled driver’s license plate (but this does cost $20).
Once you’ve determined which placard fits your needs, you’ll need to fill out the application. This will include entering some of your personal info, such as your address, phone number, and driver’s license number. Perhaps the most important part of the application is the certification from your doctor.
How do I get a medical certification?
Someone in the medical field will need to assert that you are in genuine need of a handicap parking permit. This medical professional can be a health care provider such as a licensed physician, podiatrist, or chiropractor. If you don’t have a medical professional you can turn to, consider getting connected virtually to one through Dr. Handicap’s services. They can provide you with a licensed doctor who can vouch for your need for a placard. Because the entire consultation can be done remotely, you don’t have to worry about making it to an in-person doctor’s office visit. They can also help you complete your application.
Whoever you choose for your medical practitioner, they will need to provide a signed and dated statement (on a secured paper document) that includes your specific disability, whether your disability is temporary or permanent, their signature, and the date. They’ll also need to include their personal information on the application (address, phone number, license number, etc.). Please note: your medical certification for a Georgia disabled parking permit application will need to be notarized by an official notary.
How can I submit my application?
Once you’ve completed your medical certification, you’ll need to sign and date the bottom of the application. It will then need to be submitted to your local County tag office. You can find the location of your nearest one by heading to the DOR website for a list of county addresses.
When do I renew my placard?
If you have a temporary placard that needs to be renewed, you will need to go through the entire process again (including the medical certification) at the six-month point. However, with a permanent placard, your permit will be valid for four years. When it expires, you will need to complete the application again (without the medical certification and notarizing) to get a renewed permanent placard.
What else do I need to know?
Once you’ve got your placard in hand, there are a few things you should keep in mind about disabled parking in Georgia. Make sure your placard is clearly displayed (on your rearview mirror or dashboard) once your vehicle is parked; it should not be hanging up while you’re driving. The most important thing to remember is that your placard must only be used by you – you cannot ever lend it to friends and family. Its sole use should be for when you’re in the vehicle, no matter if you’re the one driving or are just a passenger.
With a disabled parking permit in Georgia, you are permitted to park in designated handicap parking places throughout the state. However, if parking is prohibited in a specific place, you are still not allowed to park there, even with a disabled parking placard. Other specific privileges (such as parking in permitted residential areas) is up to each county’s discretion. If you’re not sure about any other parking rules for disabled drivers, check with your local County office to get your questions answered.
If you’re wondering how to get a disabled parking permit in Georgia, just follow the steps laid out above, and you’ll be able to receive your official handicap placard in no time.