How Long Can I Use My Temporary Disabled Parking Permit?

Dr Handicap - parking

Temporary disabled parking permits are available in every U.S. state. They exist to help people who are suffering from a disability that is not expected to last forever, but that makes getting around and using standard parking facilities difficult.

Temporary disabled placards exist alongside several other types of disabled placards, such as permanent placards, long-term placards, permanent disabled license plates, organization placards, and Disabled Veterans license plates.

Many people have a type of disability that does not qualify them to use any of these more long-duration permits, and for these people, temporary disabled placards are a godsend.

Disabled Parking Programs and Qualifying Conditions

Every state in the U.S. has its own unique disabled parking program, and every program has its own set of rules and regulations. However, in practice, most states’ programs are drawn from a standard underlying template. As such, the details of many states’ disabled parking programs are very similar.

The list of disabilities that qualify a person to use a temporary disabled placard varies state to state. But the core group of qualifying disabilities is essentially the same in all states. In every state, the following disabilities will qualify a person to use a temporary disabled parking permit:

  • Not being able to walk more than a set distance (usually 200 ft) with needing to stop to rest.
  • Not being able to walk without the aid of a cane, crutch, wheelchair, prosthetic device, walking stick, or other person.
  • Having a lung disease, or needing to use a portable oxygen tank.
  • Having a heart condition designated as Class III or Class IV by the American Heart Association.
  • Not being able to walk due to an arthritic, orthopedic, or neurological condition.
  • Legal blindness.

In many states, but not all, the following conditions qualify a person for a temporary disabled parking permit:

  • Sensitivity to sunlight to the extent that sunlight causes a rash or burning.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Cancer.
  • Recovering from an injury or operation.
Dr Handicap - pregnant

Image by

Who Can Certify a Person as Temporarily Disabled?

This detail changes quite a lot state by state. In certain states, only a licensed physician from the state can certify a person as temporarily disabled, while in other states a physician, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, osteopath, dermatologist, chiropractor, or orthopedic surgeon can verify a person’s temporary disability. In certain states, medical practitioners from other surrounding states can certify a person as temporarily disabled.

What Rights Are Afforded To Temporary Disabled Placard Holders?

In all states, temporary disabled placard holders are afforded all of the same rights that holders of other disabled placards are afforded. This always included the right to park in any designated disabled parking space in the state. In many states, it also includes the right to park in any on-street, time-restricted, metered parking space for free and for any length of time.

Can I Use My Temporary Disabled Permit in Another State?

A temporary disabled permit from any state can be used in all other U.S. states. A person with an out-of-state temporary disabled placard has all of the same rights that a disabled resident of the state has.

How Long Can I Use My Temporary Disabled Parking Permit?

The length of time that a temporary disabled parking placard is valid for changes state by state. However, there are three standard durations, and all states adopt one of these durations:

  • Most states require that a person renew their temporary placard after six months.
  • A minority of states require that a temporary placard be renewed after 90 days.
  • A minority of states allow a temporary placard to be valid for an entire year.

To find out how long you can use a temporary disabled parking permit in your state, check your local Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Dr Handicap - calendar

Image by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash: Be sure to know the expiry of your temporary disabled placard

How Do I Apply For a Temporary Disabled Permit?

To apply for a temporary disabled placard, you must first consult with a suitable medical professional so they can certify that you are temporarily disabled. The medical professional will fill in the appropriate section of an application form and you will fill in the rest. Usually, this application must then be submitted, either in person or by mail, to the local DMV office. In the vast majority of states, temporary disabled placards are free.

How Do I Renew a Temporary Disabled Placard?

Renewing a temporary placard always involves having a new consultation with a medical professional. This is so they can certify that the temporary disability still necessitates the use of a temporary disabled placard. Once the medical professional and applicant complete the form, it should be submitted to the DMV.

Featured image by Haidan on Unsplash