When Should I Stop Using My Disabled Parking Permit?

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Disabled parking permits enable people with debilitating disabilities to avail of disabled parking facilities all over the country, either in their home state or in a state they are visiting. Understandably, disabled parking permit rules and regulations are rigorously upheld and tightly policed. Such an effective and life-improving program needs to be efficiently run.

The disabled parking authorities work hard to make sure that only valid, in-date permits are being used. For this reason, it is necessary to make sure that you are not using your disabled parking permit when you shouldn’t be. For millions of disabled Americans, their parking permit is one of their most prized possessions. So it is crucial that people know what to do when their permit becomes invalid.

If your disabled parking placard or plate becomes invalid at a time when you still need to use it, getting a replacement permit is a quick and easy process.

When Do I Need To Stop Using My Disabled Parking Placard or Plate?

You should stop using your disabled parking permit when it expires, when it is lost or stolen, or if you had a temporary disability that no longer affects you.

How and When Do Disabled Parking Permits Expire?

Disabled parking permits expire at different times, and in different ways, depending on the type of permit and the state that issued the permit.

If you apply for a disabled parking permit, it is important that you apply for the correct type. The different types of disabled permit available are: permanent, long-term, Disabled Veteran, organizational, carer, short-term, and temporary.

In the majority of states, permanent and long-term permits, which come in individual, Disabled Veteran, organizational, and carer varieties, expire after between two and five years. Once these permanent or long-term permits have expired, they can no longer be used. At this point, the holder must reapply for a replacement permit.

It is wise to apply for a replacement disabled permit before the current permit expires to avoid being unable to use handicap parking facilities in the interim stage between when the original expires and the new permit arrives.

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Image by AbsolutVision on Unsplash: See if arthritis qualifies you for a handicap parking badge.

How Do Short Term and Temporary Permits Work?

Short-term or temporary permits last for a much shorter duration of time. All states offer a short-term or temporary disabled permit. These permits last for between three and 12 months, depending on the state.

The list of short-term qualifying disabilities varies state by state. The most common conditions that people use temporary permits for are short-term injuries, periods of time spent recovering from surgery, limited duration illnesses, and pregnancy.

In order to get a short-term disabled permit, a person will need to fill in an application form and be verified by a medical professional. Consultations with qualifying medical professionals can usually be done online using telemedicine. Completed application forms need to be submitted to the local disabled parking program authorities, usually at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Short-term permits entitle their holders to avail of all handicap parking facilities, in all states. But once they expire, their holder must stop using them.

Can I Replace My Expired Disabled Parking Permit?

Disabled parking permits of all types can be replaced when they have expired.

All types of permit have an expiration date, but once this date has been reached, they can also be renewed by following the reapplication process.

Permanent, long-term, and Disabled Veterans placards and plates usually do not require a medical professional’s verification for reapplication, although short-term and temporary permits always require new verification from a medical professional.

What Do I Do If My Disabled Parking Permit is Lost, Damaged, or Stolen?

Another reason you may need to stop using your disabled parking permit is if it is lost, damaged, or stolen. We say may because law enforcement will sometimes make allowances if a person reports a lost, damaged, or stolen permit to them, allowing the person to use handicap parking facilities while they await their replacement permit.

If your permit has been lost, damaged, or stolen you will need to apply for a replacement. This can be done by following the same procedure as you would if you were reapplying for an expired permit.

Is My Disabled Permit Still Valid If I No Longer Have A Disability?

A final reason you may want to stop using your permit is if you are no longer affected by a disability, but still have an in-date permit. This is more likely to happen with short-term or temporary permit holders. Some states have a minimum temporary permit duration of six months. For people who are recovering from surgery, this can sometimes mean that they recover before their permit expires. In such cases, while the permit in question will still be technically valid, the person should stop using their disabled parking permit.