When you live with a disability that restricts your mobility, it can be difficult to do daily tasks such as running errands or going to the store for an essential item. For those with a qualifying disability, there are efforts made in the state of Oklahoma to help people with mobility issues get around easier.
These specialized facilities are offered to ensure that all residents of the state have equal opportunity to use the various public and private facilities available to them. One such service offered is handicap parking spaces. In order for you to use a handicap parking space, you will first have to get a placard. But how do you get a handicap parking permit in Oklahoma, and does it take long?
Read on to find out all you need to know.
Disabled parking in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, there are certain laws in place to ensure that there are enough disabled parking spots and that citizens are using them appropriately. Those using the spots should have approved placards and everyone else should leave them open for people with mobility issues. If you have a disabled parking placard or plates in Oklahoma, you can park in any parking spot that is designated for use by disabled drivers. The spaces are all marked with the symbol of accessibility.
People with disabled badges can also use metered on-street parking where available without having to pay the meter fee. The amount of time that metered spots can be used as disabled spots vary throughout the jurisdictions of Oklahoma. Private parking areas can be a little trickier; however, many also have specialized parking areas for those with mobility issues to make the establishment more accessible.
Oklahoma handicap parking laws
There are certain laws surrounding disabled parking in Oklahoma that all residents must adhere to. Residents must have a qualifying condition to be able to apply for a parking placard.
Some requirements of qualifying conditions include:
- Having a condition that makes it impossible to walk 200 feet without needing to stop and rest
- Having a condition that requires the use of walking aids such as crutches, braces, canes, wheelchairs, or prosthetic devices
- Heart disease that is classified as either Class III or Class IV that restricts a person’s mobility
- Lung diseases that are severe in nature. Specific lung diseases include asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, and chronic bronchitis.
- Having a condition that is accompanied by the use of a portable oxygen tank
- Being legally blind
- Having neurological diseases or chronic inflammatory diseases that hinder a person’s ability to walk
- Having chronic pain conditions
- Missing one or more limbs that make mobility impaired
The handicap placard that is issued to you can also be used in another person’s vehicle if they are driving you around.
In the event that your placard expires, you may be issued a citation if you still use it, so it’s important to remember to have your placard renewed before the expiry date. Each placard has a life of five years, as there is no longer a lifetime permanent disability placard.
How long does it take to get a handicap placard in Oklahoma?
If you qualify under one of the above requirements, you can apply for a placard by filling out the Oklahoma handicap placard application form. The form must be filled out by you and signed by your doctor. You can then mail it to the address on the form with a check for one dollar.
Processing your form will take roughly 10 business days. In this time, you will have to wait for approval and cannot use handicap designated parking spots. If the application is approved, you’ll be mailed a permit that grants you access to disabled parking. It can take approximately 10 or more business days for you to receive your placard in the mail. If you have not received your placard within 20 business days of filling out the application, you should call the Disability Parking Permit desk for a status update.
There is one way that the process can be sped up, and that’s if you present it to the Disability Parking Permit desk of the Department of Public Safety in Oklahoma City. If done this way, the application will be processed immediately, which will speed up the time it takes for you to receive your permit and begin using disabled parking.
Featured image by Justin Prine on Unsplash