Millions of Americans live life with a disability. Some have visible disabilities, such as being an amputee or a wheelchair user. Others have “invisible” disabilities such as a heart condition, lung disease, or sight or hearing issues.
For most disabled Americans, the ability to avail of the nation’s disabled parking programs is an essential lifeline. Each state’s disabled parking program adheres to the guidelines stipulated in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). These programs exist to make sure that disabled people have access to the nation’s public buildings, businesses, and amenities.
Many disabled people do not yet have their own handicap placard. This can be for many reasons. Some disabled people have not had a chance to apply, some have not been made aware that they are entitled to a permit, and others have become newly, or temporarily, disabled.
A person who is about to apply for a handicap permit usually has several important questions, such as: What types of handicapped placards are available? Where and how do I apply for a handicap placard? Can I receive a handicap placard in the mail? How long does it take to get a handicap placard in the mail?
Let’s answer these important questions right now…
What Is A Handicap Placard?
A handicap placard, which is also known as a disabled parking permit or placard, is a document that legally entitles its holder to park in disabled parking spaces. Each state issues its own version of the handicap placard, but placards from every US state are recognized in every other US state. US placards are also recognized in several foreign countries including Canada, Britain, Japan, and every EU country.
What Types Of Handicap Parking Permits Are Available?
Several different types of disabled parking permits are available. It depends on the person’s type of disability, the duration their disability will last, whether they want a placard or a license plate, and if they are an organization.
The available disabled parking permits are:
- Permanent disabled placard
- Permanent disabled license plate
- Temporary disabled placard
- Disabled Veterans license plate
- Organizational disabled permit
What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Handicap Parking Permit?
The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit vary slightly state by state. In all states they include most of the following conditions:
- An inability to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
- An inability to walk without the aid of a crutch, cane, wheelchair, Zimmer frame, wheelchair, prosthetic limb, other assistive device, or another person.
- A heart condition of Class III or IV severity
- Lung disease
- A condition that necessitates the use of a portable oxygen tank
- A neurological condition
- An arthritic condition
Is The Handicap Parking Permit Application Process The Same In Every State?
The handicap parking permit application varies a little between states. The main ways in which states vary are:
- The list of qualifying conditions is slightly different in some states
- What types of medical professional can verify a disability can vary between states
- Whether you need to submit your application to the local Tax Collector’s office or the Department of Motor Vehicles can vary between states
Where Do I Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?
You will need to check with your logical disabled parking authorities to find out where you need to apply for a handicap permit in your jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions you will apply through your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, either online, by mail, or in person.
What Is The Process Of Applying For A Handicap Parking Placard?
The process of applying for a handicap placard is quick and easy. These are the steps you need to take:
- Decide if you have a medical condition that may qualify for disabled parking.
- Have a consultation with a suitable medical professional in your state.
- Fill in an application form, which will include a section for the examining medical professional to complete.
- Enclose copies of proof of ID and any necessary fees (the fees vary state-by-state).
- Submit to either your local DMV or Tax Collector’s office.
Can I Receive A Handicap Placard In The Mail?
Yes, in the vast majority of states you can receive your handicap placard by mail. However, if you have requested a disabled license plate or Disabled Veterans plate, you may need to collect it and have it installed.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Handicap Placard In The Mail?
How long it takes to get a handicap placard in the mail varies by state. In most states, you will need to wait between two and four weeks. However, in several states (for example, California), you may need to wait up to eight weeks to receive your disabled parking permit.
How Can I Get A Disabled Parking Permit Letter Of Recommendation?
The easiest way to get a disabled parking letter of recommendation is to have an online consultation with a medical professional via Dr Handicap.
Featured image by Davide Baraldi on Unsplash