What Types Of Vehicles Does My Disabled Parking Permit Cover?
If you’ve never had a disabled parking permit and are considering applying for one, you might have loads of questions that you need to be answered. You might be wondering what the application process is like, or what types of vehicles are covered by handicap placards. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about obtaining and using a handicap parking permit.
Before even applying for a handicap parking permit, you would probably like to know if you have a type of vehicle covered by disabled parking permits. In most states, you are able to use a handicap placard or license plate on any type of vehicle, including different makes of cars, motorcycles, and trucks. As long as you take the placard with you, it doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you’re driving or riding in as a passenger. As for disabled license plates, you can use them on any type of vehicle as long as it’s registered to you. There are different circumstances for vehicles that are being used for commercial purposes; you should check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles before trying to apply for a disabled license plate for this type of transportation. Basically, you won’t need any type of special permit, even for a vehicle other than a car, if it’s not for commercial use.
So, now that you know you won’t need to take any other steps for different types of vehicles, you can apply for a disabled parking permit. The application process might vary slightly from state to state, but the basic steps are pretty much the same. You’ll need to go to the correct authority in your state (such as the DMV) who issue handicap placards. You can either stop by in-person at your local office or check out their website for further instructions. Before you fill out your application, you’ll need to make sure that your disability will qualify you for a handicap parking permit. A number of different conditions are accepted, including but not limited to:
- Mobility difficulties or the inability to walk without the use of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, or other assistive device, or without the assistance of another person
- The inability to move around without using a wheelchair
- Lung disease (such as asthma, COPD, lung cancer, etc.)
- Needing to use portable oxygen
- Cardiac conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.)
- Mobility limitations due to arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic conditions
- Vision problems (including being legally blind)
- Loss of or no use of any four limbs
If you’re not sure if your medical condition will qualify as a disability, you can consult with your physician or check with the DMV.
The next step will be to get a medical certification from a medical professional to help verify that you do require the use of a disabled parking permit. Specific medical professionals that will work include a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife. This person needs to have personal knowledge of your disability in order to fill out the medical certification. If you don’t have this type of person available to you (or if it’s just too difficult to make it to in-person doctor’s appointments), consider using Dr. Handicap’s services. They can virtually connect you to a licensed medical professional in your state who can evaluate your health and determine if a handicap parking permit would be beneficial to you (all without you ever having to leave your home!). They can then assist you in filling out your application as well. On the form, they’ll need to include some information, such as their medical license number and their contact info, and provide a description of your disability.
Once you have what you need from your doctor, you can finish filling out your application. You’ll need to include your address, driver’s license number, and date of birth, along with what type of placard you’re applying for. There are two options:
- Temporary placards – which are typically for people with temporary disabilities. They’re normally valid for around six months, depending on your state, and you usually have to pay a nominal fee.
- Permanent placards – for people who have permanent disabilities. These are usually free of charge, valid for several years, and need to be renewed as soon as they expire.
There is also the option of getting a disabled license plate. To do this, fill out the application as described, including the vehicle’s license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and the vehicle make and year. Then you’ll also need to provide the current registration card in your name or documents to register the vehicle in your name, as well as the normal registration fee that’s due on your vehicle. At that time, you will be required to surrender the license plates that you currently have on your vehicle.
After completing your application form, you can submit it in person at your nearest DMV office. Some states also allow you to upload your form online or will have you mail it into the DMV. Fairly soon after, if your application has been approved, you’ll receive your handicap parking permit in the mail for you to use. It’s super important to remember that you should never lend your placard out to friends and family – you could get your permit revoked and pay substantial fines! Make sure to clearly display your placard once your vehicle is stopped and always remove it from the rearview mirror when the vehicle is in motion.
Since you don’t have to fill out a special application for different types of vehicles covered by a handicap parking permit, feel free to use the mode of transportation that fits your lifestyle the best. Your particular disability might lend itself better to a wheelchair-accessible van, or you might be just fine riding a motorcycle. No matter how you decide to get around, clear everything with your doctor, and make accommodations to your vehicle if you need to. You should be both comfortable and safe any time you hit the road!