Common Handicap Parking Violations and How to Avoid Them

Handicap parking spaces are a critical resource for individuals with disabilities, providing them with the accessibility they need in their daily lives. These designated spots are strategically located near entrances to buildings and facilities, making it easier for people with disabilities to access them. However, despite their importance, handicap parking spaces are often abused or misused by individuals who do not have the proper permits. To ensure equal access for all, it’s crucial to be aware of common handicap parking violations and learn how to avoid them. From South Carolina handicap parking laws to Maine handicap parking violations, we’re here to cover the most common handicap parking no-nos in the country.

The Importance of Handicap Parking Spaces

Handicap parking spaces are more than just painted lines on the ground; they represent a lifeline for many individuals with disabilities. These spaces are designed to provide convenient access to various amenities, including healthcare facilities, shopping centers, government buildings, and more. Without these accessible parking spots, individuals with disabilities may face unnecessary hardships and barriers in their daily lives.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses and public facilities to provide accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities. These spaces must meet specific requirements, such as appropriate signage and accessible pathways. Violating these regulations can result in hefty fines and legal consequences for the property owner or the individual responsible for the violation.

Common Handicap Parking Violations

Let’s take a look at some disabled parking rules that are commonly broken throughout the country. It’s important to note that these differ from state to state, so if you need info on something specific like Kansas handicap parking fines, Utah handicap parking laws, or Oklahoma handicap parking penalties, refer to your local authorities to be sure you’re always staying within the law in your area.

Parking Without a Permit

One of the most prevalent handicap parking violations is parking in a designated handicap spot without the required permit. These permits are typically issued to individuals with disabilities and are displayed prominently in their vehicles.

Using Someone Else’s Permit

Borrowing or using someone else’s handicap parking permit, even with their permission, is illegal. Permits are issued to individuals with specific disabilities, and using someone else’s permit undermines the purpose of these designated spaces.

Parking Over the Lines

It’s common to see vehicles parked in handicap spaces with parts of their vehicles extending over the lines. This can obstruct access for individuals using mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers. It’s crucial to park within the lines to ensure ample space for everyone.

Parking in Access Aisles

Handicap parking spaces are often accompanied by access aisles, which are marked areas with diagonal stripes. These aisles are meant to provide additional space for individuals with disabilities to transfer from their vehicle to a wheelchair or mobility device. Parking in these aisles is a major violation.

Misusing Temporary Permits

Temporary handicap parking permits are issued for a limited duration, typically for injuries or medical conditions that are expected to improve over time. Using a temporary permit beyond its validity period is a violation of the law.

Blocking Curb Ramps

Curb ramps are essential for individuals with mobility challenges to safely navigate sidewalks and streets. Parking in a way that obstructs these ramps can make it extremely difficult or impossible for someone with a disability to cross the street.

Parking in Van-Accessible Spaces Without a Van

Some handicap parking spaces are designed to be van-accessible, featuring additional space for wheelchair lifts or ramps. Parking in these spaces when you don’t require the extra space, even if you have a handicap permit, is a violation.

blue disabled parking signs
Featured image by Nothing Ahead on Pexels

How to Avoid Handicap Parking Violations

Avoiding handicap parking violations is not only a matter of legality, but also one of basic human decency and respect for those with disabilities. Here are some essential tips on how to avoid these violations:

Obtain a Valid Permit

If you have a disability that qualifies you for a handicap parking permit, make sure to obtain one through the proper channels. This permit should be displayed prominently in your vehicle whenever you use a handicap parking space.

Respect the Lines

When parking in a handicap space, ensure that your vehicle is entirely within the designated lines. This helps provide enough space for individuals with mobility aids to comfortably exit and enter their vehicles.

Avoid Access Aisles

Never park in access aisles adjacent to handicap parking spaces. These aisles are there to facilitate safe transfers for individuals with disabilities.

Know the Rules

Familiarize yourself with local handicap parking regulations and follow them diligently. As we mentioned, rules and fines can vary from one place to another, so it’s essential to stay informed.

Use Van-Accessible Spaces Responsibly

If you have a van-accessible handicap permit but don’t require the extra space, choose a regular handicap spot instead to leave the van-accessible spaces available for those who need them.

Report Violations

If you notice someone illegally parking in a handicap space or violating any handicap parking rules, consider reporting it to local authorities. Reporting violations can help deter future misconduct.

Be Empathetic

Put yourself in the shoes of someone with a disability. Imagine how challenging it can be to navigate daily life without accessible parking. This empathy can go a long way in promoting respectful behavior.

Consequences of Handicap Parking Violations

Handicap parking violations come with significant consequences, which can include:


Violators can face fines ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation.


In some cases, illegally parked vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Repeated or flagrant handicap parking violations can result in legal action, including criminal charges in some instances.


Handicap parking spaces are essential for ensuring equal access and convenience for individuals with disabilities. Common handicap parking violations not only break the law but also show a lack of consideration for those who rely on these spaces. By obtaining the necessary permits and following the rules diligently, we can create a more inclusive and accessible environment for all members of our community. It’s our responsibility to respect and protect these vital resources, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the same access to public facilities and services.

For more info on everything from Montana handicap parking enforcement to the laws around Kentucky handicap parking spaces, check out the Dr Handicap blog!

Featured image by GHOSTY on Unsplash

Understanding Handicap Parking Laws in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide

Handicap parking laws in the United States are designed to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to parking spaces that accommodate their needs. These laws are crucial for ensuring equal access to public spaces and facilities for people with disabilities.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of handicap parking laws in the United States, covering everything from who qualifies for a handicap parking permit to the requirements for parking spaces and the consequences of parking illegally in these designated spots. Whether you’re looking for more information on California handicap parking regulations, Massachusetts handicap parking eligibility, or Colorado handicap parking penalties, we’ve got all states and topics covered!

Who Qualifies for a Handicap Parking Permit?

To park in designated handicap parking spaces, individuals must possess a handicap parking permit. These permits are issued to people who have documented disabilities that affect their mobility. The specific requirements for obtaining a handicap parking permit may vary from state to state – Illinois handicap parking requirements may be different to Florida handicap parking laws, for example. Generally, however, individuals with the following conditions or requirements are eligible:

Mobility Impairments

This includes people who have difficulty walking due to conditions such as arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or neurological disorders.

Mobility Aids

People who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, or other mobility aids to move around are eligible for handicap parking permits.

Respiratory Conditions

Some states grant handicap parking permits to individuals with severe respiratory conditions that limit their ability to walk long distances.

Visual Impairments

In certain states, individuals who are legally blind may qualify for a handicap parking permit.

Cardiovascular Conditions

Heart conditions that significantly affect a person’s ability to walk long distances may also make them eligible for a handicap parking permit.

Temporary Disabilities

Some states issue temporary handicap parking permits for individuals who have a temporary disability that impairs their mobility. These permits are typically valid for a limited period, such as six months.

Again, it’s important to note that the eligibility criteria and application process for handicap parking permits can vary widely from state to state. The Minnesota handicap parking application process will be different from Texas handicap parking permit application and so on, so be sure to check with your local authorities to see whether you’re eligible.

Understanding Handicap Parking Spaces

Handicap parking spaces are specially designated parking spots reserved for individuals with disabilities. These spaces are strategically placed near building entrances and other facilities to ensure that people with disabilities can access them easily. Here are some key features of handicap parking spaces:

Accessible Location

Handicap parking spaces are typically located close to building entrances, making it more convenient for individuals with disabilities to access businesses and public facilities.

Designated Markings

These parking spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility, a white icon of a person in a wheelchair on a blue background. This symbol indicates that the parking space is reserved for individuals with disabilities, and it’s the same throughout the country – from Georgia handicap parking signs to Wisconsin handicap parking signage, it’ll all look pretty much the same!

Wider Spaces

Handicap parking spaces are typically wider than standard parking spaces to accommodate mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers.

Access Aisle

Next to each handicap parking space, there is an access aisle marked with diagonal stripes. This space is essential for allowing individuals with disabilities to transfer from their vehicle to a wheelchair or other mobility aid.

Ramps and Curb Cuts

Nearby ramps and curb cuts provide individuals with disabilities easier access to sidewalks and building entrances.

Minimum Number of Spaces

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets guidelines for the minimum number of handicap parking spaces required in different types of parking lots. The number of spaces depends on the total number of parking spaces available in a lot.

Van-Accessible Spaces

In addition to standard handicap parking spaces, many parking lots also include van-accessible spaces. These are wider to accommodate wheelchair-accessible vans with side-loading ramps.

Parking in a Handicap Space: Rules and Regulations

Parking in a handicap space without the appropriate permit is not only inconsiderate, but illegal. To prevent abuse of these spaces and ensure access for those who need them, strict rules and regulations are enforced. Again, you should be aware of the rules in your area – Oregon handicap parking regulations may not be the exact same as those for North Carolina handicap parking spaces, so do your research to make sure you’re within the law.

Permit Display

If you have a handicap parking permit, it must be clearly displayed in your vehicle when parking in a handicap space. Typically, the permit should be hung from the rearview mirror or placed on the dashboard.

Accessible Vehicle Requirements

When parking in a van-accessible handicap space, you must have a vehicle with a wheelchair lift or ramp. This space is specifically designed to accommodate wheelchair-accessible vans.

Parking Duration

Handicap parking spaces are for short-term parking. You should only park in these spaces while actively loading or unloading a person with a disability or while the person with the disability is entering or exiting the vehicle.

Fines and Penalties

Parking in a handicap space without the appropriate permit can result in hefty fines and penalties. These fines vary by state, but can be several hundred dollars.


Illegally parked vehicles in handicap spaces can be towed at the owner’s expense.

Civil Rights Violation

Violating handicap parking laws is not just a traffic violation; it’s also considered a civil rights violation because it denies access to individuals with disabilities.

Report Violations

If you come across a vehicle parked in a handicap space without a permit, you can report it to local law enforcement or parking authorities. Many states have dedicated hotlines for reporting violations.

Enforcement and Penalties

Handicap parking laws are enforced to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to public facilities. Enforcement typically falls under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement agencies and parking authorities, so whether you’re looking for info on Pennsylvania handicap parking fines, Arizona handicap parking violations, or Washington handicap parking enforcement, you’ll want to double-check your state’s specific laws after reading the general info below.


If an officer or parking enforcement personnel observes a vehicle parked illegally in a handicap space, they can issue a parking ticket to the offending vehicle.


In some cases, if a vehicle is parked illegally in a handicap space, it may be subject to towing. Towing can occur if the violation is particularly egregious or if the vehicle poses a safety hazard.


The penalties for illegally parking in a handicap space can be significant. Fines can range from $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the state and the number of previous violations.

License Suspension

In some states, repeated violations of handicap parking laws can result in the suspension of a driver’s license.

Community Service

In addition to fines, some jurisdictions require individuals who violate handicap parking laws to perform community service as a penalty.

Civil Suits

In extreme cases, individuals with disabilities who are denied access to parking spaces may pursue civil suits against violators under the ADA.

It’s important to remember that the penalties for illegally parking in handicap spaces are intended to deter violations and ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities. Being aware of and respecting these laws is not only a legal requirement, but also a matter of empathy and fairness.

Accessible Parking Permits and License Plates

Handicap parking permits are typically issued in the form of placards or license plates, both of which grant the holder certain privileges when parking in handicap spaces. Here’s an overview of these two types of permits:

Handicap Parking Placards

These are small, hanger-style permits that can be displayed inside a vehicle. When you have a placard, you can hang it from the rearview mirror when parking in a handicap space. Placards are usually transferable, meaning they can be used in multiple vehicles.

Handicap Parking License Plates

Some states offer specialized license plates with the International Symbol of Accessibility for individuals with disabilities. These license plates serve as a visible indicator of the driver’s eligibility for handicap parking and can be used on a single designated vehicle.

It’s important to note that both placards and license plates have expiration dates, and individuals must renew them according to their state’s guidelines. Misusing someone else’s placard or license plate is illegal and can result in fines and penalties.

Accessible Parking for Businesses and Facilities

Businesses and public facilities have a responsibility to provide accessible parking spaces for their customers and visitors with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets specific requirements for accessible parking, including the number of spaces required, the design of parking spaces, and signage. Here are some key points that businesses and facilities should keep in mind:

Michigan handicap parking laws

Virginia handicap parking rules

Minimum Number of Spaces

The ADA mandates that a certain percentage of parking spaces in a lot must be accessible handicap parking spaces. The exact number depends on the total number of spaces in the lot.

Van-Accessible Spaces

A portion of the accessible spaces must be van-accessible, with additional width to accommodate wheelchair-accessible vans.

Accessible Routes

Parking spaces should be located along an accessible route to building entrances, with curb ramps or curb cuts that connect the parking area to sidewalks.


Accessible parking spaces must be clearly marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility, and signs should indicate that the spaces are reserved for individuals with disabilities.


Businesses and facilities are responsible for ensuring that their accessible parking spaces are used correctly and not occupied by vehicles without the appropriate permits.


Failing to comply with ADA requirements for accessible parking can result in legal penalties, including fines and civil suits.


Parking spaces, access aisles, and signage should be well-maintained to ensure that they remain accessible.

Businesses and facilities that provide accessible parking not only comply with the law but also create a welcoming environment for all customers and visitors, including those with disabilities.

How to Get a Handicap Parking Permit in the United States

Obtaining a handicap parking permit in the United States is a process designed to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to designated parking spaces that accommodate their needs.

The general process for obtaining a handicap parking permit involves several steps, although it’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary from state to state. A New York handicap parking placard application, for example, may differ from an Ohio handicap parking application in terms of what’s required, so after checking out the below outline, review your state’s specific requirements.

Determine Eligibility

The first step in obtaining a handicap parking permit is to determine if you or the individual for whom you are applying qualifies for one. Eligibility typically includes individuals with mobility impairments, visual impairments, respiratory conditions, or certain medical conditions that significantly affect mobility.

Gather Required Documentation

Once eligibility is established, you will need to gather the necessary documentation to support your application. The specific documents required may vary, but common items include:

  • Medical certification: A statement from a licensed healthcare professional indicating the nature and extent of the disability.
  • Proof of identity: A valid driver’s license or other government-issued identification.
  • Vehicle information: If you are applying for a placard, you may need the vehicle’s registration information.

Download or Obtain an Application Form

Most states provide application forms for handicap parking permits on their Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agency websites. You can download the form online or request a physical copy from your local DMV office.

Complete the Application

Fill out the application form completely and accurately. Be sure to provide all required information, including personal details, medical certification, and vehicle information if applicable.

Obtain Medical Certification

You will need to have a licensed healthcare professional certify your disability on the application form. This may involve a visit to your healthcare provider (or an online doctor through a site like Dr Handicap), who will assess your condition and provide the necessary documentation.

Submit the Application

Submit your completed application form and supporting documentation to the appropriate agency. This is typically the DMV or a designated disability services office in your state. You can usually submit the application in person, by mail, or online, depending on your state’s procedures.

Pay Any Required Fees

Some states may charge a fee for processing a handicap parking permit application. Be prepared to pay any applicable fees, which can vary from state to state.

Wait for Processing

After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the relevant agency. Processing times can vary.

Receive Your Permit

Once your application is approved, you will receive your handicap parking permit. The type of permit (placard or license plate) and its duration (temporary or permanent) will depend on your specific circumstances and state regulations.

Understand How to Use the Permit

Familiarize yourself with how to properly display the handicap parking permit in your vehicle. Placards are typically hung from the rearview mirror, while license plates are displayed on the vehicle’s front and rear.

Renew the Permit

Handicap parking permits have expiration dates. Be sure to note the expiration date and renew the permit as required by your state’s regulations. Renewal procedures may involve revisiting your healthcare provider for recertification.

It’s crucial to emphasize that the exact requirements and procedures for obtaining a handicap parking permit can vary significantly from state to state. Therefore, individuals interested in obtaining a permit should consult their state’s specific guidelines and contact their local DMV or equivalent agency for accurate and up-to-date information on the process. You can also check out the Dr Handicap blog for information on everything from Tennessee handicap parking application to New Jersey handicap parking permit renewal!

By following the appropriate steps and providing the necessary documentation, individuals with disabilities can ensure they have the proper permit to access handicap parking spaces and enjoy greater mobility and accessibility.

Featured image by Steve DiMatteo on Unsplash

3 Ways To Make Sure Your Disabled Parking Permit Is Visible At All Times

So, you’ve gone through the application process for a disabled parking permit in your state, your permit has finally arrived, and you’re ready to use it. We’re sure you’re ready to make the most of your disabled parking permit, and that you realize how much easier it can make driving for those who are disabled. However, it’s super important to correctly display your permit while occupying a disabled parking place, otherwise you may run into problems with law enforcement, even risking a fine or other punishment.

Even if you have an obvious or visible disability, it’s important that you never forget to clearly display your permit. Below, we’ll go through the correct ways to make sure your disabled parking permit is visible at all times so you can avoid any issues with the law. (Quick note: If you’re looking to use your disabled parking permit while visiting another state, make sure to check out your destination state’s relevant parking rules and regulations – read this blog for more information!)

How do I display a disability placard?

We already know that when parked in a disabled parking space, your stationary vehicle should clearly display your permit. So, if you’re wondering “Where do I put my disabled parking permit, exactly?”, there are numerous ways to ensure you’re within the law.

Dr Handicap - wheelchair
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: What are the rules for displaying a disabled parking placard?

Hang your placard from your rear-view mirror

Typically, most states offer disabled parking placards or permits that can be hung from your rear-view mirror. Disability placards are often hooked at the top, allowing you to easily attach them to the mirror.

Simply park your vehicle and before leaving, make sure you display the placard by hanging it in this way. Never drive with your placard hanging like this, or you may risk obstructing your line of vision, which can be dangerous.

Clearly display your permit on your vehicle’s dashboard

Alternatively, you can usually leave your disabled parking permit in an obvious location on your dashboard – just make sure it can be seen easily from the outside, so that parking attendants can quickly look in and spot it.

Get disabled parking plates

Many states offer disabled parking plates for those with permanent disabilities. The benefit of these is that they are constantly visible, as they are attached to the outside of your vehicle and therefore you don’t need to worry about constantly ensuring they’re displayed when you park. However, while many states offer this option to disabled drivers, it often incurs a fee, whereas placards or regular permits may not. This is worth taking into account too – although the fee is minimal, it could be an obstacle for some applicants.

Disabled veterans can usually apply for disabled parking plates – the cost of these varies per state. It can be anywhere from $1 to $20. You will typically be given the option to personalize your disabled parking plates too, should you want to do so, but be aware that this also incurs an additional fee.

It’s important to take into account the rules for displaying a disabled parking placard. If you’re a disabled driver with a permit, never allow someone else to use your permit, even if you share a vehicle, as this is a breach of the law. The benefit of having a placard rather than plates is that you can use your placard even if you are driving another car.

Your disabled parking permit will always allow you to park in reserved disabled parking, but some states go even further in what they offer to disabled drivers (such as free metered parking), so make sure to check the rules out in your own state to see what you are entitled to.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking sign on wall
Image by StephanieAlbert on Pixabay: How do I display a disability placard so that I can legally park in disabled spaces?

Uh-oh, I forgot to put my disability placard up and got a ticket!

This is unfortunate, but mistakes happen. If you simply forgot to put your disability placard up and were issued a fine, you generally have two options: simply pay the fine and be more careful in future, or contest it. However, whether this is possible really depends on the state.

Your best bet would be to contact local law enforcement and explain the situation to them, showing them your valid disabled parking placard. Each state differs in their approach to this, so it really has to be handled on a case-by-case basis. In some states, the court may waive the fee or cancel the ticket, but other states may not be so lenient.

The important thing is to try to develop a method for remembering to hang up your placard each and every time you park. By making it a habit, you’re sure to remember to always display your disabled parking permit correctly and avoid any problems.

Featured image by Nicolas Torres on Unsplash

Can I Park In Residential Parking With A Disability Placard?

Disability placard holders need to know the rules around handicap parking in their state. Understanding what your entitlements are as a disabled placard holder means you can get the most value out of the parking program and avoid breaking any rules.

When everybody knows and abides by the rules, the disabled parking system works smoothly and benefits all disability permit holders. One important area that can cause some confusion is residential parking – so can you park in residential parking with a disability placard? Let’s find out.

Each State Has Its Own Disabled Parking Rules

It’s crucial to remember that all US states, and even jurisdictions within states, have their own disabled parking rules. All states adhere to the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) disabled parking guidelines, but while each jurisdiction abides by ADA law, the specific details of can vary depending on where you are in the country. Always make sure you know the rules in the specific area you live or intend to travel to.

cars parked on street spaces
Image by Arcaion on Pixabay: Can you park anywhere with a disability placard?

Can You Park Anywhere With A Disability Placard?

A disability placard does not entitle its holder to park just anywhere. Disability placards entitle their holder to park in designated disabled parking spaces anywhere in the US (as well as in several foreign countries). These spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Access.

Permit holders are also entitled to park in metered, on-street spaces for free and for an unlimited time in most jurisdictions. However, there are plenty of places that disability placard holders are not entitled to park.

Can You Get A Parking Ticket With A Disability Placard?

Yes, disability placard holders can get a parking ticket if they park in a place in which it’s illegal to park. It’s also an offense for somebody to use a disability placard that is not their own.

Where Can You Not Park With A Disability Placard?

It’s illegal for disabled permit holders to park in the following locations:

  • Any zone for which state law prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles.
  • Any area that state law reserves for special types of vehicles, such as ambulance loading bays and street vending businesses.
  • The loading/unloading areas of designated ‘disabled’ spaces. These areas are marked by blue crosshatch striping.
  • Privately owned or leased residential parking bays.

Can I Park In Residential Parking With A Disability Placard?

It is illegal for a disability permit holder to park in a residential parking space if the space is owned or leased by a specific person or address that has paid to have sole custody of that space.

Can I Park In Private Disabled Parking Bays With A Disability Placard?

Disabled permit holders can park in private disabled parking bays under certain circumstances:

  • Permit holders can park in disabled bays in private residential garages if they live in the building, or are visiting somebody who lives in the building that the garage serves.
  • Disabled parking spaces on private property can be reserved for employees and patrons of a business that owns the property. In this case, permit holders who are not connected to the business that owns the lot cannot park in the private disabled bays.

Disability residential parking bays that are located on public streets outside homes can be used by any disabled permit holders, because a disability permit entitles its holder to park in any designated disabled space. But remember: only park in residential disabled bays when absolutely necessary – for example, if you are visiting somebody who lives nearby.

cars parked on street
Image by Parker Gibbons on Unsplash: Can I get residential disabled parking?

Can I Get Residential Disabled Parking?

You can apply for residential disabled parking near your home, either on-street or in your private parking garage. To apply for a residential disabled parking space near your home, you should contact your local disabled parking authorities or city planning authorities. Just remember that the disabled space that is installed near your home will be for any disabled permit holder to use and you will not be able to reserve it.

How Do You Apply For A Disability Placard?

If you don’t yet have a disability placard, you can apply for one by visiting the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the clinic, you will have a video consultation with a medical professional who will certify your Department of Motor Vehicles application.

Featured image by Daniel Frank on Pexels

Is There Anywhere I Can’t Park With My Disabled Parking Permit?

Can you park anywhere with a disability placard? This is a question that gets asked a lot – especially by people who are relatively new to disabled parking, or who are about to apply for their very first disabled permit.

Today we will explore how disabled parking rules and regulations can vary state by state, and find out exactly where a disabled parking permit entitles its holder to park.

Is Disabled Parking A Federal Law?

Yes, disabled parking is a federal law. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies the main details that all states must adhere to in their disabled parking programs.

Disabled Parking Rules Vary By State

While all states’ disabled parking programs adhere to ADA rules, all states, and even jurisdictions within states, have their own disabled parking programs. Often, these different programs vary in their fine details. For this reason, it’s crucial that you research and understand the specific disabled parking rules in your area and in any area you intend to visit.

double lines parking space
Image by aitoff on Pixabay: Is there anywhere I can’t park with my disabled parking permit?

Is There Anywhere I Can’t Park With My Disabled Parking Permit?

So, can people with a disabled parking permit park anywhere? The short answer to this question is… no, they can’t. People who hold a disabled parking permit still need to adhere to local parking laws.

Disabled parking permits do not entitle their holder to disobey state or local parking laws – nor do they necessarily exempt their holder from paying parking fees.

It’s illegal for disabled permit-holders to park in the following places:

  • In a zone where the law or ordinance prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles.
  • In a zone the law or ordinance reserves for special types of vehicles, such as vehicles involved in commercial loading or passenger loading.
  • In a zone the law or ordinance reserves for the parking of a vehicle that is involved in the operation of a street vending business.
  • In the loading and unloading area of a disabled space (these areas are marked by blue crosshatch striping).

Some states, such as California, operate a color-coded curb system. In California, disabled permit holders may not park:

  • In spaces marked with a crosshatched pattern next to a parking space with the International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol). These spaces are for wheelchair and wheelchair lift access.
  • Next to red curbs, which indicate no stopping, standing, or parking.
  • Next to yellow curbs, which are for commercial vehicles to load and unload passengers or freight.
  • Next to white curbs, which are for loading and unloading passengers or depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox.

Where Can You Park With A Disability Placard?

In all US states and jurisdictions, a disability placard holder can park for free and for an unlimited time in any designated disabled parking space. These spaces are signposted with the International Symbol of Access. In several jurisdictions, permit holders are also entitled to park in metered, on-street spaces for free for varying amounts of time.

Can You Park Free At A Meter With A Disability Placard?

Texas and Washington State are typical of most states in allowing disabled permit holders to park for free and for an unlimited time in metered, time-restricted on-street spaces. In several states, such as Virginia, permit holders can park for up to four hours in metered or time-restricted spaces without paying a fee.

Some states, such as Illinois, have different placards for people who are meter-exempt and people who are disabled but are not meter-exempt. In New York City, you can park for free at most curbsides on city streets if you have an NYC Parking Permit for People with Disabilities (PPPD). These permits are available to residents and visitors to New York City who are permanently disabled.

on street parking
Image by Yu on Unsplash: Can you park free at a meter with a disability placard?

Residential Disabled Parking Spaces

In all states, you can request a disabled parking space be installed near your home.

In some states, such as Pennsylvania, each local municipality is responsible for installing requested residential disabled spaces in front of homes.

In other jurisdictions, for example, the Chicago metropolitan area, there is an official program for applying for residential disabled spaces.

Check The Disabled Parking Rules In Your Jurisdiction

As you can see, disabled parking rules can be quite different in different jurisdictions. It’s important to always be sure you know the rules in your jurisdiction and in any jurisdiction you will be visiting.

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

You can get a disabled parking permit by visiting the Dr. Handicap online clinic. There, you’ll have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional who will verify your suitability for disabled parking and complete a DMV application for your state.

Featured image by Erik Mclean on Pexels