Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

The Texas disabled parking program exists to equal the playing field and make the lives of disabled people easier. All jurisdictions in the Lone Star State are well-equipped with ADA-compliant disabled parking infrastructure. The Texas disabled parking rules are firm but fair, and this enables the program to run smoothly.

Accessible Parking In Texas

The Texas disabled parking program caters to residents of the state who have both short-term and long-term disabilities. It also caters to visitors to Texas who have a disability and a disabled parking permit from their home state.

What Are The Texas Disabled Parking Rules?

People who are new to accessible parking in Texas tend to have several questions. Who can park in handicap parking in Texas? What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas? What is the fine for parking in a handicap spot in Texas? Below, we will answer these important questions and many more.

houston city texas
Image by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash: Who can park in handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Park In Handicap Parking In Texas?

Handicap parking spots in Texas adhere to standards set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Handicap spots are located in every jurisdiction and are marked with a signpost emblazoned with the International Symbol of Access.

The following people can park in handicap parking in Texas:

  • Texas disabled parking permit holders
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by all other US states and overseas territories
  • Holders of disabled parking permits issued by Canada, Mexico, EU, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan

Can Handicap Permit-Holders Park In Metered, On-Street Spots In Texas?

In Texas, disabled parking permit holders can park for free in metered, on-street parking spots for an unlimited amount of time.

What Is The Fine For Parking In A Handicap Spot In Texas?

The fine for illegally parking in a handicap spot in Texas ranges from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $750.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit In Texas?

To get a Texas disabled parking permit, visit the Dr. Handicap online clinic. At the clinic, you will have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional who will verify your suitability to use disabled parking.

Once your suitability is verified, you will be emailed a signed application form that you can complete and submit to the Texas DMV.

What Qualifies For Handicap Parking In Texas?

In Texas, a person qualifies for disabled parking if they have any of the following disabilities:

  • They cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • They cannot walk without the use of or assistance from an assistance device, including a brace, cane, crutch, another person, or a prosthetic device.
  • They are restricted by lung disease to the extent that their forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air at rest.
  • They use portable oxygen.
  • They have a cardiac condition classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the American Heart Association.
  • They are severely limited in their ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
  • They have a foot disorder that limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have another debilitating condition that, in the opinion of a physician licensed to practice medicine in Texas or a state adjacent to Texas, or authorized by law to practice medicine in a hospital or other health facility of the Veterans Administration, limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
  • They have visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
view over river in texas
mage by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash: What qualifies for handicap parking in Texas?

Who Can Verify An Application For Handicap Parking In Texas?

The following medical professionals can verify an application for disabled parking in Texas:

  • Physician
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced practice nurse

The professional must meet one of the following conditions:

  • They are licensed in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma
  • They practice medicine in a U.S. military installation based in Texas
  • They practice medicine in a hospital or health facility of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available In Texas?

  • Permanent disabled parking placards (blue) – valid for four years
  • Temporary disabled parking placards (red) – valid for six months
  • Permanent license plates
  • Disabled Veterans license plates
  • Institutional permanent placard (blue)

Featured image by 12019 on Pixabay

How Do I Renew My Handicap Placard In Texas Online?

Disabled drivers in Texas love the freedom and convenience that comes from having a handicap placard, making it easy to park safely. However, one thing you need to know is that your placard doesn’t last forever! It will need to be renewed, as you can’t legally park in handicap spots with an expired placard.

Don’t worry, though – the process for online handicap placard renewal in Texas is simple, as you simply need to download the appropriate forms. However, to submit the application itself, you’ll need to either mail it in or visit the local county tax assessor-collector’s office. You’ll then be issued with your renewed placard, giving you permission to park in designated spots for people with disabilities and some exemptions from local and state government parking meters.

Wondering “How do I renew my handicap placard in Texas online?” This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the process.

Can I renew my handicap placard online in Texas?

Unfortunately, you can only partially renew a handicap placard online in Texas. You can find the form you need and complete it digitally, but it will then need to be submitted via mail or in-person.

First, you need to know if your placard is temporary or permanent, as the process differs for each. If you have a red placard, it is temporary and usually expires in around six months. These are designed to be used by drivers with temporary disabilities. If your placard is blue, it’s permanent and will need renewal every four years.

How much does it cost to renew a handicap placard in Texas? Luckily, the process is very affordable. For temporary placards, there’s a $5.00 fee, but there’s no charge for permanent placards.

person filling out paperwork
Image by Scott Graham on Unsplash: It’s easy to renew your handicap placard in Texas.

Temporary placards

If you have a red temporary placard for your Texas vehicle, know that temporary placards can’t actually be renewed – they’ll need to be replaced. Because they’re only valid for a set period of time, they’re designed for short-term disability use, such as by someone recovering from surgery.

However, you might still need a placard after your first one expires. In that case, you’ll want to download and complete the Application for Persons with Disabilities Parking Placard and/or License Plate (Form VTR-214).

The form includes a section that needs to be completed by a medical professional, certifying that you have a disability and require a placard. You’ll want to also be familiar with the list of disabilities that qualify for the placard.

You’ll then need to submit the form, along with your vehicle identification details, plus the $5.00 administrative fee. This can be paid via personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. Once approved, you’ll be issued your placard. As with the permanent placard, it will need to be clearly displayed on your vehicle when parked.

Permanent placards

Your blue placard is permanent, which means it’s good for a lifetime of driving. That doesn’t mean you can get it and forget about it, though, as the state of Texas requires these permits to be renewed.

To do this, you’ll need to download the same form mentioned above, Form VTR-214. You only need to complete page one, as a doctor isn’t required to complete the medical section. You’ll then submit the form to the county tax office, along with a copy of your original application form. No longer have the original? That’s okay, as you can also submit your current permanent placard as proof.

Veteran placards

Often, veterans are also in need of permanent placards, due to injury or disability experienced while in service to the country. To apply or renew your veteran placard, you’ll instead want to complete the Application for Disabled Veteran License Plates and/or Parking Placards, which can be downloaded online.

To qualify as a veteran, you’ll need to be receiving compensation from the government as a result of your disability, and you’ll also need to have been honorably discharged from the service.

street corner in texas town
Image by Monica Bourgeau on Unsplash: Once you renew your handicap placard, it’ll be much easier to explore the roads and towns throughout Texas.

What if my Texas handicap placard is lost?

If your permit is lost or stolen, this is sure to be a stressful situation, but not to worry – it can be replaced. To replace it, you’ll need to take your completed form VTR-214 to the county office. For this reason, we recommend always keeping your placard paperwork in a safe place, in case it’s needed. Without the completed paperwork, the state might not be able to replace your placard and you might need to go through the application process all over again.

With the above information, it should be easy to complete the required paperwork and renew your placard. If you’re not sure if you’re still eligible for a placard, or if you’ve just moved to Texas, Dr. Handicap can help with HIPAA-compliant telehealth consultations, making it much simpler to apply or renew your Texas placard online.

The great state of Texas has so much to offer, so don’t let a disability slow you down when it comes to traveling and seeing your state. Once your placard is renewed, you’ll be ready to travel, drive, and explore.

Featured image by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

Can You Park Free At A Meter With A Handicap Placard In Texas?

Handicap parking in Texas comes with a lot of rules and regulations that everyone with a placard should be aware of. These rules are designed to help those with limited mobility get to where they need to go with ease. The parking regulations for people with handicap placards vary from place to place in Texas, but for the most part, disabled parking is accessible and free. So can you park for free at a meter with a handicap placard in Texas? And if so, where? Let’s find out.

What are the requirements for handicap parking in Texas?

To be able to park in Texas with a handicap placard, there are some criteria that you must first meet. Any of the following will qualify you for a disabled parking permit:

  • Inability to walk for 200 feet without resting
  • Inability to walk without an assistance device
  • Requires a wheelchair
  • Restricted from walking because of a lung disease
  • Uses portable oxygen
  • Has a cardiac condition that causes limitations
  • Limited mobility due to arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic conditions
  • Foot disorders that limits the ability to walk
  • Other health disorders deemed suitable by licensed health care professionals

You are also required to provide the signature of a medical provider on one of the approved forms that proves you require a handicap placard. The physician that signs off can be located in Texas or adjoining states such as Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma. 

parking meter on street
Image by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash: Can you park for free at a meter with a handicap placard?

What are the rules for handicap parking spaces in Texas?

There are several rules that people must abide by when it comes to handicap parking in Texas. One specific law centers around placard expiration. If a person has parked in a spot and their placard is expired, they will have a 20 working day grace period where the person will be able to have the citation dismissed during that time.

People with up-to-date placards are allowed to park in a handicap spot for an unlimited amount of time, provided the vehicle is being used as a mode of transportation for a person with a disability. This law does not protect people against any fees or penalties that may be given by government or by a governmental unit for parking meters, in a parking lot or garage, or at a municipal airport. Those with handicap placards are still required to pay those parking fees.

There are certain exceptions to parking fees, though. For example, disabled veterans, or those who have received a Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Legion of Valor, or Legion of Merit license plates, are exempt from parking fees. Prisoners of war and Pearl Harbor survivors are also exempt from those parking fees.

Who can park in handicap parking in Texas?

Everyone with a valid handicap placard is able to park in the handicap parking areas in Texas. There are two types of handicap placards available: a blue placard and a red placard. The blue disabled parking placard is given out to those who have a disability that is permanent in nature. They are valid for use in handicap parking zones for a total of four years. After the four years has elapsed, the placard will need to be renewed. Upon renewal, evidence of eligibility will not be required.

The red placard is given out to people with disabilities that will heal or improve over time – for example, temporary injuries that limit a person’s mobility. Upon receiving a red placard, a person can use it for up to six months (or how long the disability lasts prior to the expiration of the permit) to park in any handicap parking spot. If the disability lasts less than six months, the placard is no longer valid. If six months has elapsed and the disability is still affecting a person’s mobility, they can renew the placard with a doctor’s letter or a prescription.

parking meter
Image by Hafidh Satyanto on Unsplash: Parking in a general metered parking spot is free for those with handicap placards in Texas.

Is handicap parking free in Austin?

Although parking in a handicap spot isn’t always free for everyone with a placard, in Austin, a person with a handicap placard or license plate is able to park in general metered spots without having to pay for parking fees. The only catch is that the person parking cannot exceed the time limit of the spot, or they may face penalties.

Featured image by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash

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