Can I Use The Disabled Parking Permit Of A Patient I’m Visiting In Hospital?

Dr Handicap - hospital
Dr Handicap - hospital

“Can I use the disabled parking permit of a patient I’m visiting in hospital?” This is a question that many relatives and carers of disabled people ask when they need to make a hospital visit.

Disabled parking permits make the lives of their holders as easy and hassle-free as possible. The disabled parking program in each U.S. state is well-run and efficient, so being able to avail of handicap parking facilities is an attractive proposition.

Hospitals tend to have very good disabled parking facilities. “Can I use the handicap placard of a patient I’m visiting in hospital?” is one of the more commonly asked questions about disabled parking in the U.S., so let’s answer that question (and more!) below.

What Is A Disabled Parking Permit?

A disabled parking permit is a document that entitles its holder to use disabled parking facilities. Each U.S. state issues its own disabled parking permit that licenses its holder to use the state’s disabled parking facilities, as well as the facilities in any other U.S. state they visit.

Due to reciprocal arrangements, a U.S. disabled parking permit also entitles its holder to avail of disabled parking facilities in several foreign countries, including Canada, Australia, Korea, the U.K., and most other European states.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available?

Disabled parking permits come in several different types. There are slight differences between the specific types of permits each state issues, but in general, they are very similar variations on broad themes.

Short-term permits are available for people who will be disabled for a period of up to one year. Long-term permits are available for people whose disability is expected to last indefinitely. Disabled license plates are an option for long-term disabled people.

Disabled veterans’ plates are available to people whose disability is partly or fully military-service-related. Organizational permits are available to organizations that transport disabled people.

How Do You Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?

A disabled parking permit can be applied for online. Dr. Handicap will set up a telemedicine consultation between you and a local medical professional, who will verify your disability and complete your disabled parking application form. This form should then be submitted to your local disabled parking authorities, which are usually based at the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office.

Divan - computer

Image by StartupStockPhotos on Pixabay: You can apply for a disabled parking permit using telemedicine.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit vary a little between states. However, all states give disabled permits to people with at least one of the following disabilities:

  • The person cannot walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest.
  • The person cannot walk without assistance from a wheelchair, cane, crutch, another person, or another assistive device.
  • The person has lung disease.
  • The person has a heart condition of American Heart Association Class IV or V severity.
  • The person has arthritis.
  • The person uses portable oxygen.
  • The person has a neurological disease.

Can You Ever Use Someone Else’s Disabled Parking Permit?

You might be wondering, “Can I use someone else’s handicap placard?” The only time you can use another person’s disability permit is if that person is traveling along with you. On no other occasion is it ever permissible to use another person’s permit.

What If You’re Visiting The Owner Of The Permit In Hospital?

The definitive answer to the question “Can I use the handicap placard of a patient I’m visiting in hospital?” is no. It is never permissible to use another person’s disabled parking permit, and this includes if you are visiting the person in hospital. The only time it is OK to use another person’s disabled permit at a hospital is if the permit holder is traveling in your vehicle.

Dr Handicap - disabled patients

Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay: You cannot use the handicap placard of a patient you are visiting in hospital.

What If I’m Picking Up A Patient Who Has A Disabled Parking Permit?

A slight variation on this question is, “Can I use some else’s disabled parking permit if I am picking them up at the hospital?” The answer is that yes, you can use a person’s placard when you are picking them up from the hospital – but only on the specific occasions that the permit holder is actually journeying in your vehicle, and not on any occasions in the lead-up to collecting the person.

What Are The Rules Surrounding Disabled Parking In Hospitals?

The disabled parking rules in hospitals are the same as anywhere else. A disabled parking permit holder may park in any disabled parking space at the hospital. These spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Access.

It is crucial that you never park in an ambulance bay while visiting a hospital. While a vehicle is parked at a hospital the disability placard must be clearly visible, hung from the rearview mirror or placed on the dashboard.

Featured image by Soulis on Pixabay

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