A Guide To Disabled Parking In Illinois
Accessibility to the world for disabled individuals is important. For many, there’s one thing that is the key: a handicap parking placard. In the Prairie State, there are certain rules and regulations you must be aware of in order to obtain a disabled parking permit. Once you have it, there’s a whole other set of rules you need to follow to use it legally. But don’t get overwhelmed! Here’s what you need to know about disabled parking in Illinois.
How to Qualify
Before we talk about how to appropriately use your disabled parking permit in Illinois, you first have to qualify for one. The factor that has the most influence is mobility. To be eligible for an Illinois disabled parking permit, a doctor in the state must verify that you meet one or more of these conditions:
- Required use of crutches, wheelchair, or assistive device
- Difficulty walking 200 feet or more without stopping to rest
- Respiratory issues or lung disease
- Hearing or vision impairment
- Mobility issues while pregnant
- A disorder of the nervous system that makes walking difficult
- The use of a portable oxygen tank to breathe
If you have one or more of these issues, then you should speak with your doctor about getting a disability parking placard or plate.
To use disabled parking in Illinois, there are two types of plates or placards available: temporary and permanent. Your doctor can have a temporary placard issued to you if you have a condition that is expected to last six months or less, such as recovery from surgery or pregnancy that limits your mobility. A permanent plate or placard can be issued to you for permanent disabilities, but you are limited to only one placard per person and that placard must be displayed clearly when parked in disabled parking. Permanent disability placards must be renewed every four years.
If you want to get an Illinois handicap parking permit, then you must be the registered owner of the motor vehicle or the guardian/parent of the disabled person.
Illinois also offers something called a metered-exempt parking placard. This allows you to park in metered parking spaces without paying the meter. To qualify, you must have one of these conditions:
- You have fine motor impairment in both hands that makes it difficult for you to insert coins, manage coins for meters, or take tickets from machines or parking meters
- You are unable to reach to a height of 42 inches due to mobility issues or arm strength
- You cannot work 20 feet or more due to mobility impairment
- You cannot approach a parking meter due to a mobility device such as a wheelchair
How to Get a Disabled Parking Permit in Illinois
If you have a condition that qualifies you for disabled plates or placard, you need a doctor to certify your condition. They must complete the form available at any local Illinois Secretary of State Office called “Persons with Disabilities Certification for Parking Placard/License Plates.” You’ll also need to present your driver’s license and money to pay any associated fees, including registration fees for your vehicle and a $29.00 fee for the disability license plates. Placards are free to any Illinois resident who is eligible.
Where Can You Park?
When you have a disabled parking permit in Illinois, you can park in any marked handicap parking spot. If you have a meter-exempt placard, then you can park in metered spaces without paying, but non-exempt placards will still require you to pay any fees associated with parking at a meter.
Your Illinois disabled parking permit does not allow you to park in areas that prohibit or restrict parking. You also may never park in such a way that presents a parking hazard for those around you.
If you live in the city of Chicago in a residential area without adequate handicap parking spots, you can petition the city to erect two disabled parking signs within a certain distance of your residence. However, you must pay a fee for the signs to be installed and an annual maintenance fee if your petition is approved.
Disabled parking in Illinois is a fairly straightforward process as long as you know where to begin! Let Dr. Handicap help you figure out if you qualify, then start taking advantage of all the benefits a disabled parking permit in Illinois grants you.