What is a Handicap Parking Permit and What Does it Allow Me to Do?

Millions of people in America have disabilities that are physical or other health concerns. These health issues make it difficult to move or get around easily. This is why there are handicap spots. These spots are there to help these people manage their pain and stress. This can be physical stress or mental. Plus, it allows them to get inside without having to walk as much which saves people a lot of trouble and pain.

What is a Parking Permit?

A parking permit will either come in the form of a card that will hang on your rear-view mirror or a license plate. People who have license plates will be those who are issued a permanent permit and those who are issued a temporary permit will have placards. Some people may choose to have a placard even if they have a permanent permit.

A parking permit must be visible when you are parked. This permit must remain hanging in the rearview mirror while you are parked in the handicap stall. If it does not remain hung, it could mean a ticket for you. It is also important that you remove the placard while you are driving to help avoid accidents.

When you have either a placard or plates, you must carry your photo identification. This could be a state-issued license or identification card. If you do not carry this, it could cause issues if you are pulled over.

When you hang your placard or drive a vehicle with plates, you must be in the vehicle. You may either be a passenger or the driver, however, you must be present. You may not allow someone else to use your placard or plates. Even if the person is running errands for you, it is not okay for them to use your handicap permit.

What Does it Allow Me to Do?

A handicap parking permit is for those who have applied for one and have a condition that qualifies them to receive one. A parking permit will allow someone to use the handicap parking spots that you will find close to the entry of stores, gas stations, and other buildings.

A permit will not allow you to park in no-parking zones or fire zones. You may only park in designated parking spots that are labeled with the universal wheelchair design.

How Do Permits Work?

Every state will have a department, in Florida it is the License Plate Agency or Tax Collector Office that will issue the permits to those who have mobility issues. They may have other health conditions as well. These conditions must prevent them from walking more than two hundred feet in the state of Florida. If they cannot walk this distance without stopping to rest or take a break, they would qualify for a permit. Those who qualify for this permit will be allowed to park in the designated handicap parking areas as mentioned above. Most of the parking spaces will have extra room for a wheelchair to either exit or enter a vehicle, ramps up to the sidewalk, and cuts in the curb.

If you do not have legal documentation, you may not park in this space. There are many penalties and these penalties will differ from state to state. Many states will issue hefty fines.

How to Obtain a Permit

The process of obtaining a permit is quite simple. The first thing you would want to do is determine if you would qualify for a permit. Here is a list of medical conditions that may qualify you for a permit.

  • Cannot walk further than 200 feet without taking a break.
  • Lung/Heart disease.
  • Mobility issues due to orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic conditions.
  • Permanently using a wheelchair.
  • You are legally blind.

Keep in mind that just because you do not see your medical condition on the list, doesn’t mean you would not qualify. Plus, it is important to remember that not all disabilities are physical. There are many other invisible disabilities. If you are not sure if you would qualify, talk to your doctor. They will be able to tell you if you should proceed with the next step.

The next step would be to get an application. You can grab an application from the Tax Collector Office or Plate Agency. You may also print off the application online. You will need to take this application to your doctor. The person signing and filling out the application must be a licensed professional. Your doctor will need to fill out the paperwork to establish your condition and to determine if you need a permanent or temporary permit.

After you are done at the doctor’s office, go back to the tax collector or plate agency and get your permit. You will simply need your photo identification for this process. If you and your doctor decided that you would benefit from a permanent permit, you will not have to pay any fees. You would only have to pay fees if you would like veteran plates. If you are applying for a temporary permit, you will have a fifteen-dollar fee.

It is important to know that temporary permits will only last for six months. With that being said, your doctor may only allow you to have it for a few months. The application and information your doctor wrote will determine how long you get your permit. If you need it longer, you will have to renew the application right before it expires. You will not be charged another fee if the second application is done within twelve months of the original one. 

Conclusion

A disabled person’s parking permit will allow you to use the designated handicap parking spots that you see at stores and other public places. It will allow people who have mobility issues to walk less and feel less pain. It is easy to obtain a permit if you follow the simple instructions. It is also important that you do not let anyone else use your permit otherwise it could be revoked and you could face large fines.