Washington State Disabled Parking Program: The Important Details
The Washington State disabled parking program is comprehensive and well-run. Getting a disabled parking placard in the Evergreen State is an easy process, and once you have an official placard, plate, or decal, the benefits are numerous. Here are the important details you need to know about the Washington State disabled parking program.
Where Can I Park with a Disabled Parking Permit in Washington?
Washington State disabled parking placard, plate, or decal holders can park in any designated disabled parking space in the state. They can also park in any on-street, time restricted, metered parking space for free for an unlimited period of time. This does not apply to privately owned parking spaces or spaces designated for special vehicles such as loading bays, fire lanes, or bus lanes.
Van-accessible disabled spaces are for wheelchair vans only. However, these spaces can be used by a car with a disabled placard or plate if there are no regular disabled spaces available in the vicinity. Washington State disabled parking permit holders are not allowed to park in areas where all parking, stopping, or standing of vehicles is prohibited.
Types of Washington State Disabled Parking Permit
Permanent, temporary, and organizational placards are available in Washington State. Permanently disabled people can get a placard that is valid for five years, or a plate that needs to be renewed yearly. Temporarily disabled people can get a temporary placard that is valid for 12 months. Organizations that transport disabled people can get placards or plates for their vehicles that regularly transport disabled people.
Types of Medical Professional that Can Verify a Person for Disabled Parking in Washington State
In Washington State, only a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse practitioner is qualified to verify a person as eligible for disabled parking.
Qualifying Conditions for Disabled Parking in Washington State
The list of qualifying conditions in for Washington State disabled parking is extensive. A person will qualify for handicap parking if they:
- Cannot walk for 200 ft without needing to stop and rest
- Cannot walk without the aid of a brace, cane, crutch, other person, wheelchair or prosthetic device
- Are restricted by a lung disease to such an extent that their forced expiratory respiratory volume when measured by spirometry is less than 1 liter/second or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest
- Require the use of a portable oxygen tank
- Struggle to walk due to an orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic condition
- Have a cardiovascular condition that is classified as Class III or Class IV by the American Heart Association
- Are legally blind or severely visually impaired
- Have a disability resulting from an acute sensitivity to automobile emissions
- Have a sensitivity to sunlight that can result in scarring, burning, or blistering of the skin
How to Apply for a Disabled Parking Permit in Washington State
To apply for a Washington State disabled parking permit, you will first need to download and print a copy of the Disabled Parking Application for Individuals form. You will then need to take the form to the medical professional that will be verifying you.
Once the examining medical professional and the applicant have filled in the respective sections of the application form, it will need to be submitted to the Washington State Department of Licensing, either in person at a vehicle licensing office or by mail to:
Special Plate Unit
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9909
Olympia, WA 98507-9099
The form will need to be submitted along with any necessary fee. Parking plates cost $32.75, placards are free, and a parking decal or tab costs $13.75.
Washington State Disabled Parking ID Cards
Washington State issues their disabled drivers with “Individual with Disabilities Parking Privilege” ID cards. This card must be kept close to hand, as it will need to be provided to law enforcement upon request.
Disabled drivers from other states may use their out-of-state disabled placards or plates in Washington State and avail of all of the same rights as a Washington State disabled parking permit holder.
Renewing an Expired Washington State Disabled Parking Placard or Plate
Permanent placard holders will be sent a reminder letter 45 days before their placard is due to expire. They can then renew their permanent placard by submitting a new application form completed anew by their doctor. Temporary placard holders will need to reapply for a new placard if they still require one when their original expires after one year. Plates will need to be renewed every year.
Replacing a Lost, Damaged, or Stolen Placard or Plate
To replacing a lost, damaged, or stolen placard or plate in Washington State, a new application form will need to be submitted along with any necessary payment.