How To Get a Handicap Parking Permit in Illinois

Curious how to get a handicap parking permit in Illinois?

As many people are well-aware, being disabled has plenty of downsides. It can greatly affect a person’s mood if they focus on the negatives, which is exactly why we want to share with you some of the benefits of having a disabled parking permit. It is important to note that while the majority of the benefits are the same from state to state, they do differ somewhat. Below you’ll read all about the benefits of a disabled parking permit for Illinois residence.

Making Sure You’re Qualified

The first thing that you need to do, is make sure that you meet the qualifications necessary to be approved for a temporary or permanent disabled parking permit in Illinois. Below you will find the current requirements for both types of place cards, along with something that you may be approved for if you do not find yourself qualified for a parking permit for your disability.

Temporary and Permanent Disabled Parking Permit

In order to be approved for a disabled parking permit, you need to meet at least one of the criteria listed below. You are required to have a medical assessment done by your primary care doctor before you can even fill out an application.

  • You can’t walk 200 feet or more without needing to rest
  • You have limited mobility due to arthritis, neurological, oncological, or orthopedic condition
  • You are missing one or both arms
  • You have limited mobility in at least one arm
  • You have a severe lung condition

Meter Exempt Parking

It may feel like the end of the world if you don’t get approved or have the qualifications required for a disabled parking permit for the state of Illinois. Luckily there’s another option called a Meter Exempt Pass. In order to be approved for this pass, you have to have a current, valid drivers licence for the state of Illinois. If you already have one of those, you must also meet at least one of the qualifications below:

  • You can’t get to a parking meter due to a wheelchair or similar device
  • You can’t walk for 20 feet or more without experiencing severe mobility impairment
  • You find yourself not able to put your hands above your head so that they reach at least 42 inches of height from the ground.
  • Due to a motor impairment in both of your hands, you’re not able to insert coins or parking passes into the meter
  • You’re not able to get a parking permit ticket into the meter due to lack of motor ability in both hands

Benefits of Using a Disabled Parking Permit

Once you know how to get a handicap parking permit in Illinois, it’s time to use it. It’s important that you have your disabled parking permit visible at all times that your vehicle is not in motion. This can be done by hanging it behind the rearview mirror or placing it on your dashboard. Here you’ll find some of the main benefits of having a disabled parking permit.

Blue Curbs

Other than a handicap parking spot, or you may also see a strip of blue paint along the curb. Depending on where you live this is also considered a parking place for those with disabilities. This can make it a little bit easier to get in and out of the vehicle.

Close Parking Spots

One of the main purposes and benefits of using a disabled parking permit is to park in handicap parking spaces. These spaces are marked by a wheelchair symbol that is actually the international symbol of access.

This allows you to park in a spot that is closest to the place in which you are going. This can create A lot less fatigue on your arms if you’re physically moving your wheelchair or struggle with walking. If handicap parking spaces are full, you are more than welcome to park in non-handicapped parking spots as well.

You may also want to keep in mind that when you’re parking in a disabled handicapped parking spot, if the spot next to you has diagonal white lines, this is for wheelchair ramps and lifts.

Parking Meter Discounts

Another great benefit, especially if you live in the city, is the ability to park in and on the street parking spot that is metered without needing to pay. Some states have a limited time space marked by a green curb where disabled people may park along the street as well without needing to pay a fee or adhere to the time limit. In states such as Pennsylvania, you will be able to park for 60 minutes longer than the posted a time if you’re parking in a normal on street parking space.

Limitations in Illinois

Well the majority of the states have the same limitations, we wanted to share with you some that you will find in Illinois. The main limitation is that the parking permit can only be used by the person it is issued to. This means you cannot let anyone borrow it or use it without you in the vehicle.

Having a disabled parking permit also does not allow you to park in no parking zones that can be found by signage or red-painted curbs. You will also not be able to park in spaces that are reserved for specific types of vehicles such as garbage trucks or freight loading vehicles.

Bottom Line

As taboo as it may sound, having a disabled parking permit has its benefits. Whether that benefit is the ability to park closer to the building you’re going in, saving money on parking meters, or even the ability to park somewhere for an extended period of time.

It is important to remember that the parking permit should be in view at all times the vehicle is parked. In addition, make sure your parking permit is up to date. Temporary permits expire in the state of Illinois after six months. Permanent parking permits are good for five years before needing to be renewed. Now that you know how to get a handicap parking permit in Illinois, you can begin the process.