What Is A Disabled Driver Decal?

Disabled drivers in America benefit hugely from owning a disabled parking permit. A disabled parking permit is a legal document that entitles its holder to use disabled parking spaces in whatever jurisdiction they are in. Disabled parking spaces are located in every part of the US. Being able to avail of disabled parking helps to even the playing field for people with disabilities.

Disabled parking infrastructure must adhere to the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) guidelines. ADA guidelines stipulate how many disabled spaces need to exist in a given area, where these spaces need to be located, and who can use these spaces. The ADA regulations are designed to benefit the lives of disabled drivers and to help them to live independently and to get around freely.

As a disabled driver, it is helpful to know as much as possible about the disabled parking system. Knowing the details of the rules and regulations of the disabled parking program makes life easier for disabled permit holders.

There are several different types of disabled parking permit available. What type of disabled parking permit is best suited to a person’s needs will depend on several factors, such as what vehicle they drive, whether they regularly travel in more than one vehicle, what type of a disability they have, and how long their disability will last.

Dr. Handicap - Blue Handicap Parking Space
Image by paulbr on Pixabay: A disabled driver decal can be affixed to a license plate.

Are Disabled Parking Rules The Same In Every State?

The general gist of the disabled parking rules is similar in every state. This is because all states must adhere to ADA regulations. However, each jurisdiction implements their own independent disabled parking program, and some differences exist in the specific details of each state’s program.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permit Are Available?

The most common types of disabled parking permit, which are available in the majority of states, are:

  • Permanent disabled parking permit (in the form of a placard, license plate, or decal)
  • Temporary disabled parking placard
  • Disabled Veterans license plate or decal
  • Organizational disabled parking placard

What Is A Disabled Driver Decal?

A disabled driver decal is a type of sticker that is durable and can withstand the elements. It is a version of a disabled parking permit that can be affixed to a license plate or to a vehicle that cannot hold a disabled parking placard, such as a motorcycle or boat.

Who Can Get A Disabled Driver Decal?

A disabled driver decal can be obtained by any person who qualifies for a permanent disabled parking permit. This includes people who qualify for a Disabled Veteran’s disabled license plate.

How Many Handicap Stickers Can You Get?

In most states, you can get several disabled parking decals if you need to. You can get a handicap sticker for each of the vehicles that you own.

How Does A Disabled Driver Decal Differ From Other Forms Of Disabled Parking Permit?

A disabled driver decal is a type of disabled parking permit, so it entitles its holder to all of the same benefits as any other type of disabled permit. The benefit of a decal is that it can be affixed to a license plate or to a vehicle that does not have a license plate, such as an off-road vehicle or boat. It can also be affixed to a vehicle that is not suited to displaying a disabled placard, such as a motorcycle.

Is A Handicap Sticker Valid In Every State?

A handicap sticker from any US state is also valid in every other US state. US disabled driver decals are also valid in several foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, the EU, and Great Britain.

How Do You Get A Handicap Sticker?

You can get a handicap sticker from your local disabled parking authorities. In most jurisdictions, this will be the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking permit
Image by gregroose on Pixabay: A disabled driver decal entitles its holder to park in any disabled parking space in America.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled License Plate Decal?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled driver decal differ slightly state by state. But the main qualifying conditions are:

  • An inability to walk 200 ft without needing to stop to rest
  • An inability to walk without the aid of an assistive device or another person
  • A heart condition
  • Lung disease
  • Any condition that necessitates the use of portable oxygen
  • Legal blindness
  • An orthopedic, arthritic, or neurological condition that curtails mobility

How Do You Apply For A Disabled Driver Decal?

The easiest way to apply for a disabled driver decal is online through the Dr. Handicap online clinic. Dr. Handicap will set up a consultation with a licensed physician in your state, who will examine you to verify your condition and fill in the relevant sections of your state’s disabled permit application forms.

Featured image by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay

7 Mistakes That Disabled Parking Permit Owners Should Watch Out For

Obtaining a handicap parking permit is a relief for a lot of people. Getting more convenient access to the places you travel to can be a lifesaver. But just because you have that coveted placard in your hand doesn’t mean you won’t still have rules to follow, both as a driver and as a passenger. To make sure you’re always on the right side of the law when using your placard, here’s a list of some mistakes that disabled parking permit owners should watch out for.

1. Obtaining a fraudulent placard

The most important thing to avoid is purchasing a fraudulent placard that hasn’t been issued by the state you live in. So what happens if you fraudulently obtain or use a disabled parking permit? Well… nothing good!

Any nonofficial placards are considered illegal, and if you’re caught using one, you’ll most likely be issued a ticket and a fine. In some states, this type of placard abuse could even come with probation or jail time. So if you’re getting a placard, make sure to only obtain it through the legitimate Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in your state.

2. Driving with your parking permit up

Some disabled drivers may be in the habit of leaving their parking placard hanging from their rearview mirror when the car is in motion. However, this is in strict violation of safe driving laws, because the placard can obstruct your view while driving. So, whenever you start your vehicle, remember to take down your placard – it should only be up when your car is parked.

3. Forgetting to display your permit when you’re parked

Because you can’t leave your placard up at all times (see previous point), it can be easy to forget to display your handicap parking permit when you’re at your destination. But if you want to avoid getting a ticket, it’s super important to remember to have your permit hanging from your rearview mirror or clearly displayed on the dashboard of your car when you’re parked.

If you have a placard but forget to hang it when you park in a handicap parking place, you can still be ticketed and fined, since law enforcement won’t know that you have a legitimate right to park there. So, no matter what, remember to display your permit whenever you’re parked in a disabled parking spot.

Dr Handicap - no parking sign
Image by Tim Busch on Unsplash: You must obey all parking laws, even if you have a disabled parking permit.

4. Thinking you can park wherever you want

Even though you have advantages of where you can park with a permit, there are still handicap parking rules that must be followed. Even with a placard, you are still not allowed to park in a number of places, including red curbs or fire lanes, No Parking zones, No Stopping zones, and some types of loading zones.

But can a car with a handicap placard be towed? Yes, it can! If you’re parked anywhere you shouldn’t be or anywhere that law enforcement might deem unsafe, your car can definitely still be towed (and you could get ticketed or fined as well).

To stay within the law, read all street signs and posted notices so that you’ll be aware of the places you’re permitted to park. If you can’t tell whether it’s legal to park somewhere, your best bet is simply not to park there, or to ask a building manager or law enforcement what the specific laws are for that spot. Never assume that you can park anywhere you want just because you have a disabled parking permit!

5. Lending your placard to someone else

A super important rule to remember is that it’s absolutely forbidden for you to lend your parking permit out to anyone (even family and friends). You must be present in the vehicle if your placard is going to be used.

So, what are the consequences of placard abuse? The severity differs from state to state (even within specific cities), but the consequences could be as serious as probation or jail time, or as minor as a fine – though keep in mind that tickets can be hundreds of dollars! To avoid any punishments, never let anyone borrow your placard for any reason.

6. Letting your permit expire

Just because you have a permit now doesn’t mean you don’t need to take steps to keep it valid. In fact, it’s vital that you keep your placard up to date. This means that you need to pay attention to when it expires. Expiry ranges from a few months if you have a temporary placard to several years if you have a permanent permit.

Your placard should have an expiration date listed on it, so you’ll be able to tell exactly when it needs to be renewed. Go to your specific state’s DMV website for more information on how to renew your placard when the time comes. Your permit must always be completely up to date in order for you to legally use it.

Dr Handicap - parking lot
Image by Lucas Hobbs on Unsplash: Pay attention to handicap parking rules in your area so that you’re always on the right side of the law.

7. Not researching parking laws in your area

You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t look up local laws regarding handicap parking in your area. First, you should know what laws to follow in order to be safe, but more importantly, there could be parking benefits near you that you’re unaware of. For example, some states let handicap permit owners park for free at street metered parking, or have unlimited parking even when time limits are posted.

Without doing a bit of research, you could be missing out on some advantages near you. So take a little time to enquire with local law enforcement or check with your local city staff to find out everything you need to know about handicap parking where you live.

As long as you’re avoiding making these mistakes, you’ll be in good shape to take full advantage of your handicap parking permit!Featured image by Arembowski on Pixabay

Is Height A Qualifying Condition For A Disabled Parking Permit?

Access to disabled parking in the United States is top tier. The program provides ample opportunity and availability for those with qualifying conditions to access parking that can make their daily lives easier.

Disabled parking spots can make all the difference for a person who has limited mobility due to any number of conditions, eliminating their need to exacerbate their condition just to go to an appointment or grocery store. But is there such a thing as a height disability parking permit? Can you get a handicap placard for being short?

Can you get a handicap sticker for being under 5 feet?

Being short is not generally considered a disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for a person to qualify as disabled, they need to have an impairment that creates great obstacles in completing and participating in major life activities.

For example, if a person is under five feet tall but has no difficulty with mobility or driving, it’s not likely that they will qualify under the ADA. On the other hand, if a person has diastrophic dwarfism, a health condition that could potentially affect mobility due to joint differences and curvature of the spine, they would qualify for a permit.

Can you get a handicap sticker for being tall?

As with being short, being excessively tall is also not considered a disability in its own right. However, people with extreme tallness caused by a condition such as gigantism could end up suffering from more chronic health conditions than their average-height counterparts.

Gigantism is a condition caused by an excessive amount of growth hormone being released while a child grows. Conditions that are often associated with gigantism include enlargement of the hands and feet, which could pose mobility issues in adulthood; arthritis; an increased risk for heart disease; and vision loss. All of these repercussions qualify under the ADA as disabilities that could allow a person to have access to a handicap placard.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking on street
Image by Jared Murray on Unsplash: Can you get a handicap sticker for being short? Not just for being short, no!

Will extreme height or lack thereof ever be considered a disability?

Although height doesn’t count as a disability now, people on both ends of the spectrum have been vying to have it at least considered. One specific occurrence of this happened in 2013 when a woman felt as though she was disabled for a certain position within her workplace because of her short stature. She filed a claim with a court, and the ADA found that it might be a valid complaint against her employer.

On the flip side, another movement was launched claiming that a man was discriminated against while on an airplane because of his tallness. He claimed that he was made to stand in the aisle the entire flight because he couldn’t fit in the seat. The movement, aptly named “Tall Consumerism”, was launched back in 2009, but didn’t garner any true changes in disability law.

Disabled parking availability and qualifying conditions

By law, parking lots are required to have the minimum amount of designated parking spots depending on the size of the parking facility. In smaller lots with only 1–25 total spots, there needs to be at least 1 handicap spot available. The numbers grow as the parking facility gets bigger, up to 20 per 1000 spots, and then 1 per 100 thereafter.

There are many conditions that fall into the category of handicap parking permit allowance. People with advanced lung or heart conditions, limited mobility or a partial use of their legs, vision problems including partial or low-vision, certain neurological conditions, arthritis or arthritis-related diseases, and the loss of limbs all qualify for a handicap parking placard.

Dr. Handicap - Wheelchair Sign on Blue Brick
Image by arembowski on Pixabay: Parking lots require a certain amount of handicap spots depending on their size.

Being overly short or tall isn’t enough to qualify for a handicap parking permit unless it has a direct influence on a person’s health and mobility. Generally speaking, one of the aforementioned conditions needs to be present for someone to be considered a candidate for a handicap parking permit.

However, if being short or tall has led to a mobility issue or other health problem, it could be said that it is the first step towards being able to qualify for a handicap permit. Some believe that changes to the ADA should be made to accommodate people with limited or excessive stature, but those changes have yet to take place for Americans. 

Featured image by SnapwireSnaps on Pixabay

Are Handicap Placards Tax Exempt?

One of the most useful things you can get if you’re disabled is a handicap placard – something most people know about. What many people don’t realize if that if you are disabled, then you may be eligible to certain tax deductions and credits, including those associated with the costs of handicap placards.

Taxes can be confusing, but they don’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know about handicap placards, how to know if they’re tax-exempt where you live, and what you can do to ensure you get the tax credit when April rolls around.

Who Does the IRS Considered Disabled?

The Internal Revenue Service, the government entity in control of taxes, considers a person disabled if:

  • They suffer from a mental or physical impairment such as hearing or sight impairment that limits one or more major life activities such as walking, working, speaking, or breathing; and/or
  • They suffer from a mental or physical disability that functionally limits their employment.
Dr Handicap - disabled sign
Image by Marianne Bos on Unsplash: Are handicap placards tax exempt? Maybe!

What Tax Benefits Are Available?

There are a few major tax benefits that disabled drivers may be eligible for.

Large standard deductions

This depends on your filing status and whether an exemption for you can be filed by another taxpayer.

Some disability payments

Some disability payments are not taxable, such as military service disability payments, but others are, such as workers’ compensation, compensation for permanent loss of your body, or compensatory damages for physical sickness or injury.

Impairment-related work expenses

If your employment is limited because of a mental or physical disability, then you can deduct any work expenses related to your disability, such as a disabled parking placard.

How To Receive The Correct Tax Exemptions

If you need a disabled parking placard to move through your daily life, including getting to work, then you can qualify for a tax deduction based on that. A 7.5% adjusted gross income limit is not required to be used for any impairment-related work expenses such as a parking placard. Check in the IRS handbook under Miscellaneous Deductions to make sure you’re giving yourself enough credit and itemizing your deductions correctly.

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

If you need a disabled parking permit in order to get to school or work, or even to participate in daily activities such as going to the store, then there are a few things you need to do.

First and foremost, you should understand if you’re eligible for a disabled parking placard. Each state will have its own requirements for disabled parking placards. Typically, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will have the information you need to apply for a disabled parking placard for your vehicle.

The form you fill out will require your condition to be verified by a doctor, nurse practitioner, optometrist, or other health care professional.

In general, you can qualify for a disabled parking placard if you have certain conditions. Some of the most common are:

  • Lung disease
  • Impaired mobility that requires you to use a cane, wheelchair, or other mobility devices
  • Heart disease
  • Loss of use or limited use of arms or legs
  • Vision issues
  • A condition that impacts your ability to walk over 200 feet
Dr Handicap - tax
Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels: Tax exemptions for disabled drivers are out there if you know where to look!

How To Get A Disabled Parking Placard

Again, how to get a disabled parking placard varies from state to state, as does its cost. In some states it is free, while in others you will be expected to pay a small fee.

The process to get one is fairly similar no matter where you live and includes:

  • Obtaining an application from your local Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Completing the form with the help of your health care provider
  • Submitting the application in person or by mail

States offer both temporary and permanent parking placards. Temporary passes are generally good for about six months, while permanent disabled parking placards do not expire. You are legally allowed to use this placard in any car in which you are traveling, whether you are the driver or not. Just be careful not to loan your placard out to anyone or you could risk losing it permanently.

When tax time rolls around, it’s important to know what exemptions and deductions you are eligible for. For those with disabilities, the list may be longer than you realize. You don’t want to miss out on exemptions for things you need to use every day, such as a disabled parking placard.

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

How Do I Renew My Disabled Parking Permit?