What do I Need to Know About Disabled Parking in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issues disabled parking permits to people who have difficulty walking more than 200 feet. These parking permits grant access to the many disabled parking spaces around Pennsylvania and the greater United States.
Not only are these parking spaces closer to the door, reducing the fall risk and effort required to enter buildings, but they also have an attached loading zone. This extra space is essential for people who make use of wheelchairs and walkers.
How do I Qualify for Disabled Parking in PA?
Disabled parking permits are given out based on a person’s difficulty when walking more than 200 feet. there are lots of chronic conditions that make walking difficult or dangerous. while there is no exhaustive list and every case is different, here are some common conditions associated with disabled parking permit eligibility.
- A history of a severe cardiac condition including heart attack or stroke
- A form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease including emphysema and bronchitis
- Use of a wheelchair, brace, cane or walker
- Partial or total amputation or paralysis
- Legal blindness
- Condition causing dizziness, loss of balance or seizures
If you have experienced an injury such as a broken bone, or have recently had surgery, you may be eligible for a temporary placard which will last six months. If you experience difficulty walking after an injury and are expected to take more than three weeks to heal, you may be eligible. Check with your medical provider to see if your injury may be eligible for a temporary disabled parking permit.
How do I get a Physician Signed Certificate?
If you are eligible for disabled parking you will need to obtain a physician signed certificate. This is a document certifying that you are disabled which you can file with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This document can be provided by your primary care physician, or by an advanced practice nurse or physicians’ assistant.
Additionally, if you receive treatment relating to your disability from a specialist they may be able to provide you with this document. Medical specialists are experts in their particular discipline. If your disability or condition leads you to the care of a specialist, they should be able to verify your disability and satisfy the Department of Transportation requirements.
If you are not seeing a primary care physician, you have a new option in the state of Pennsylvania. Many people are now choosing to verify their disability through a virtual visit from the comfort of their homes. Virtual visits are fast, efficient, and easy to schedule around your needs. Consider talking with a qualified Pennsylvania medical provider through a virtual visit.
How do I File my Paperwork?
Once you have verified your eligibility and obtained a physician signed certificate, it is time to file. To obtain your disabled parking permit placard, you must file form MV-145A. You must file this form along with your physician signed certificate in person at any local Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office.
Disabled parking permit placards are always free. Temporary placards are red and are valid for six months. After they expire, if you still require a disabled parking permit, you will need to obtain a new physician signed certificate and apply again.
Permanent placards are blue. They expire along with your driver’s license but can be renewed for free without needing another physician signed certificate.
If your disabled parking permit placard is lost or stolen, report it right away to your local Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office, and file for a replacement.
If you choose, you may apply for a disabled parking permit license plate. This will count as a license plate renewal and comes with the same fees. If you are a disabled veteran, you may choose a disabled veteran parking permit license plate. You will need a signed document from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs verifying that your disability is 100% service-related. This also constitutes a license plate renewal and comes with the same fees.
Pennsylvania Disabled Parking Reminders
Once you have your disabled parking permit placard, make sure you understand the Pennsylvania disabled parking program rules.
You must display prominently your disabled parking permit placard any time you park in a space reserved for disabled parking. Common locations for display are the dashboard and the rearview mirror. Be sure to never drive with your disabled parking permit placard hanging from your rearview mirror, because it is an obstruction of view.
Failure to display the placard is a parking violation and may result in a fine, or your parking permit placard being taken away. This is why many disabled people choose to obtain a disabled parking permit license plate. That way, you never forget to display your hangtag.
You are allowed to use your hang tag in a friend or family member’s vehicle when you travel in their car as a passenger. That way, anywhere you go, you can make use of the handicapped spaces. Just remember not to leave your placard behind.
Lending your placard is not allowed for any reason. Lending, selling or giving away your disabled parking permit placard is a serious offense that could lead to jail time or a large fine. The Department of Transportation isn’t messing around!
If you see someone park in a space reserved for disabled people and they don’t display a disabled parking permit placard, report the violation right away to local police. This isn’t just about getting someone in trouble, but about protecting your neighbors and community members who need that space.
Every year more than 800,000 people in the United States are hospitalized for falls. Particularly in the case of elderly persons, these falls can result in deadly injuries! That is why it is so important that disabled people have access to the handicapped spaces designed for their safety.
If you have difficulty walking more than 200 feet safely and without pain, you may require a disabled parking permit. Talk to your medical provider about your eligibility.