Wondering what you need to know about disabled parking in Kentucky? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you apply for and use a disabled parking permit in the Bluegrass State.
How to Qualify
To qualify for a Kentucky disabled parking permit, you’ll need a medical professional to certify that your mobility is impaired in some way. A wide number of disabilities qualify you for handicap parking. For example, you’ll qualify if:
- You have limited mobility due to conditions such as arthritis, neurological issues, or orthopedic problems
- Your activity is restricted because of lung disease (asthma, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, etc.)
- You’ve lost the use of one or both legs or both arms
- You’re legally blind
- You can’t walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest
- You experience partial paralysis
- You have a chronic cardiac condition
If a medical professional can verify that you have a disability that makes moving around difficult for you, you’ll likely qualify. For Kentucky disabled parking validation, a medical professional is considered anyone who is a licensed physician, chiropractor, or advanced practice registered nurse. If your disability is only temporary (e.g. from an injury), you can qualify for a temporary placard. Your medical professional can help you determine which placard is best for your situation.
The Application Process
You can get started by downloading the Application for Disabled Person’s Special Parking Permit or by going to your local County Clerk’s Office. You’ll be asked some info (name, address, date of birth, etc.), and you’ll need to check a box stating whether you’re seeking a temporary or a permanent placard. Your medical professional will also have to sign the application. Don’t forget you must have this document notarized for it to be considered valid. If you’re applying for disabled license plates, you’ll have to provide your current license plate and pay a fee of $21. Otherwise, regular placards are free of charge. Once you’ve signed and completed your application, you can send it in through the mail or drop it off at your County Clerk Office.
How Long Your Pass is Valid For
A recent law was passed in Kentucky that changed how long a permanent disabled parking permit is valid for – the period went from two years to six years. Temporary placards are still valid for up to three months (based on your medical professional’s assessment). Disabled license plates are valid for up to one year and expire July 31st.
How to Renew a Placard
To renew a temporary or permanent disabled parking permit, you must complete the application again (with the certification and signature of a medical professional). You also must have the form notarized again. Depending on the county you live in, permanent placards might not require medical re-certification, so you can call your County Clerk’s Office to find out what is needed for you to renew your placard. Placard renewal is free. Renewing your disabled license plates means you need to renew your vehicle registration and pay a fee of $21.
What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Placard
If your Kentucky disabled parking permit has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request a temporary replacement at your local County Clerk’s Office. They’ll need to see a completed application (like the one you originally applied with), which needs to be signed by a certified medical professional and officially notarized. There is a $10 placard replacement fee.
How Disabled Veterans Can Use the Plates
In Kentucky, residents who are veterans with a 50–99% service-related disability are eligible for disabled veteran plates. As long as the disability has been certified by the Veterans Administration, you can qualify for disabled parking in Kentucky. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, you can call the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs at 1(800) 572-6245. You do need to complete the application and provide proper documentation from the VA to prove your disability was connected to your time in the service. You’ll also need to pay a $26 fee. Then you can submit the money, application, and paperwork to your local County Clerk’s Office (by mail or by dropping it off in person). You’ll just need to renew the plate by July 31st every year.
Where You Can Park
Once you have your disabled parking permit in hand, you’re free to now park in designated handicap parking places. Your permit must be clearly displayed (such as on your rearview mirror) when you’re parked. Remember that it’s illegal to drive with your placard hanging, so just remember to put it in clear view once you’ve parked. You’re also permitted to have up to two hours of parking at metered spaces and the ability to stop in loading zones with your hazard lights on – as long as you’re dropping off or picking up a disabled person (and it can’t be for longer than 30 minutes). While you will have access to more convenient parking places, there are still some places you’re not allowed to park in:
- No stopping zones
- No parking zones
- Fire lanes
- Peak hour restrictions
- Bus zones
Where You Can Go with Questions
If you have any questions regarding disabled parking in Kentucky, your best bet is to contact your local County Clerk Office. You also have the option of visiting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website or calling (502) 564-4890.
Follow the instructions for completing your application, and you’ll be all set to use your Kentucky disabled parking permit.