If you’re suffering from an injury or a temporary medical condition, it can be challenging to get around – making tasks usually as simple as running errands feel next to impossible. Luckily, there is a way that you can conserve your energy and take better care of yourself at the same time. The answer to your problems might just be to get a temporary emergency disabled parking permit. Obtaining one of these permits can be a slightly different process from getting a typical handicap placard. So read on to find out how to apply for an emergency disabled parking permit.
Step 1: See if your condition qualifies you for an emergency disabled parking permit.
There’s definitely an option for you to get a temporary handicap placard if you have a condition that limits your mobility in some way. People often apply for these permits if they have an injury (such as a broken limb) that will only be temporary or a medical condition that they know won’t be permanent. These types of conditions could be:
- If you’re pregnant (especially if your physician has ordered modified bed rest)
- If you have a leg injury (such as a broken leg, knee injury, etc.)
- If you’re recovering from surgery (especially limiting ones like on your back or neck)
- If you’re undergoing cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation)
- If you have a medical condition that is temporarily requiring you to use a wheelchair, crutches, cane, or other assistive device
There are also permanent placards available for individuals who will be permanently disabled due to their medical condition. To determine if you’re a good candidate for a temporary placard, you’ll need to consult a medical professional to get evaluated.
Step 2: Fill out a temporary placard application.
You’re now probably wondering how to apply for an emergency disabled parking permit. To get started, find the right application for your state by going to your nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office or by searching on their website for a downloadable application. These sites will have detailed instructions on how to complete your application and information on where you can send it when you’re done. Temporary applications are valid for about three to six months (depending on what state you live in). After your temporary placard expires you are allowed to renew for an additional time period, but there are limits on how many times you can renew a temporary placard. Some states do require you to pay a nominal fee if you’re applying for a temporary emergency disabled parking permit, but this fee is typically less than $10.
Step 3: Get a medical certification.
In every state, you are required to get a medical professional to help complete your application for a disabled parking permit. Your physician will need to attest to your condition and validate your need for a temporary handicap parking placard. If you don’t have a medical professional you trust or if it’s difficult for you to make it in person to an appointment, you always have the option of using the services of Dr. Handicap. The site can connect you to a licensed medical professional in your state that can help you get your medical certification for your application. This telemedicine option can also be a great way to save money and get the help you need at the same time. You’ll need your doctor to sign your application as well, and then it’s all set to be submitted.
Step 4: Be prepared to wait.
Unfortunately, for most states, there isn’t an efficient way to expedite your application, even if it’s for an emergency disabled parking permit. Your best bet is to call or make an in-person visit to your local government office that manages the applications (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles). Try asking the government employee you talk to what they would recommend to fast-track your application. You can try explaining your medical condition or injury so that they understand you’ll need your emergency disabled parking permit as quickly as possible. If they don’t have any recommendations for rushing your application, you might need to make other arrangements for yourself. It can be helpful to think through how else you can get around while you’re waiting for your temporary placard to arrive in the mail. For example, make a list of friends or family members who might be available to provide transportation, get the number of a reliable taxi service in your area, or download the Uber or Lyft app for another quick and easy option to get around.
When you receive your handicap parking placard, you’ll need to remember to follow the emergency disabled parking laws in your area. Although you’ll get some additional benefits (like more convenient parking places, better access to retail locations and businesses, and free meter parking in some cities), you’ll need to stick to the other rules of the road. That means not lending your placard to anyone else (which could result in huge fines) and remembering to hang your placard on your rearview mirror whenever you exit your vehicle.
If you have an emergency situation, owning a temporary disabled parking placard can be a huge help. Just follow the steps listed above to get started on your application. Hopefully, you’ll be feeling better soon and won’t need another placard after it expires.