A Guide to Disabled Parking in New Mexico

Dr Handicap - Albuquerque New Mexico

There are times when people need to rely on some additional assistance to get around town, and that can often be in the form of a disabled parking permit. This allows people to park closer to their destination, which can be very convenient for those with limited mobility, a chronic lack of energy, or those who require the use of a wheelchair. The application process for a disabled parking permit in New Mexico is quite straightforward, similar to other states throughout the country. Here is everything you need to know about disabled parking in New Mexico.

Qualifying conditions

In order to qualify for a New Mexico disabled parking permit, you must first visit your doctor to determine your eligibility. According to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, the disabled parking permit is available for those who have significant mobility issues, such as someone who:

  • Cannot walk 100 feet without stopping to rest;
  • Cannot walk without the use of a brace, cane or crutch or without assistance from another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair or other assistive device;
  • Is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person’ forced respiratory volume, when exhaling for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters on room air at rest;
  • Uses portable oxygen;
  • Has a severe cardiac condition; or
  • Is so severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurologic, or orthopedic condition that the person cannot ascend or descend more than ten stair steps. (Source)

If you struggle with a different disability than what is listed here, but your mobility is still hindered, contact your doctor regardless, as you may still qualify for a permit. If you are unable to get to a local doctor, try using a service like Dr. Handicap, a telemedicine site that can help to connect you to a doctor in your area, who can then guide you through the process – all from the comfort of your own home.

Dr. Handicap - paperwork

Types of disabled parking permit

There are two types of disabled parking permit in New Mexico: a permanent placard and a temporary placard. Effective June 7, 2010, any new permanent placards that were issued will now expire four years after the date of issuance. Permanent placard holders will not need to provide additional medical information; however, they must still complete the application form and hand it in to a nearby MVD office, or mail it in to the address listed below.

The other type of placard is a temporary placard, valid for a maximum of 12 months. This placard is issued based on a physician’s statement confirming the patient’s temporary but significantly limited mobility. This would be a suitable permit to apply for if you were currently coping with an injury that hindered your mobility, but was only suspected to be temporary. You would still need your physician to confirm your lack of mobility in order to receive the temporary permit.

Regardless of which permit you end up applying for, make note that the MVD does not issue reminders on renewals. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure that they renew their placard before its expiry.

If you lose your placard or you need to renew it, the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division offers a convenient online service that allows you to renew or request a replacement for your placard. You can access their online services here.

How to apply

In order to obtain a New Mexico disabled parking permit, applicants must fill out and sign a Certificate of Eligibility (MVD-10383). The original application form must be handed in to any New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division office, as photocopies will not be accepted. You will need to fill in all of your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number, and whether you are applying for a disabled parking placard or disabled parking license plate, as the state of New Mexico offers both. If you are requesting a disabled parking license plate, then you will fill out the Application for Mobility Limitation (HP) License Plate (MVD-10270).

You then need to get your medical professional to complete their section of the application, which will confirm your lack of mobility. The completed forms may also be mailed to the following address:

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division
Joseph Montoya Building
1100 South St. Francis Drive
Sante Fe, NM 87505

You can also call them with any additional questions toll-free at 888-683-4636 (888-MVD-INFO). They are available to help you Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 4:45 PM MT.

There is no fee required in order to get a disabled parking permit in New Mexico.

Rules of use

Once you are set up with your permit for disabled parking in New Mexico, display it clearly in your car visor, so that it is visible at all times. In Santa Fe, there are 60 on-street and 41 off-street parking spaces, specifically designated for persons with disabilities. The spaces are located in central spots throughout the city’s downtown, enabling easier access to common areas and businesses.

Please note that this placard does not permit drivers to park in access aisles or restricted zones, such as fire, yellow, loading, or police-only zones.

Any person who violates these parking signs throughout the city, and parks without a proper disabled parking permit, will be fined no less than $250 and no more than $500 per violation. Keep this in mind, and if you stick to the rules, disabled parking in New Mexico will be a breeze!