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.
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.
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