Houston, Texas has an efficient and well-governed disabled parking program. The city’s handicap parking infrastructure benefits residents of (and visitors to) Houston who have disabilities that hamper their mobility.

Below, we’ll go through everything you need to know about how to get a disabled parking permit in Houston.

Where Do I Get A Handicap Placard In Houston?

You can obtain a handicap parking placard in Houston from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You should apply for your disabled parking placard or license plate at your local county tax collector’s office.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available In Houston?

The following types of disabled parking permits are available in Houston:

  • Permanent disabled parking placards (blue)
  • Permanent disabled parking license plates
  • Temporary disabled parking placards (red)
  • Disabled Veterans license plates
  • Institutional permanent disabled parking placard (blue) – for institutions that transport disabled people
houston texas city skyline
Image by Adrian N on Unsplash: How do you get a disabled parking permit in Houston?

Houston Handicap Parking Permit Rules

In Houston, disabled parking permit holders can park in any designated disabled parking space. These spaces are marked with the International Symbol of Access. Permit holders are also entitled to park in metered, on-street parking spots for free for an unlimited amount of time.

If a non-permit holder parks illegally in a handicap spot in Houston, they will receive a fine ranging from $500 to $750.

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit In Houston

To get a disabled parking permit in Houston, you’ll need to have a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional, who will verify your suitability to use disabled parking and sign the relevant section of an application form. You can then complete the application and submit it to the Texas DMV through your local tax collector’s office.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit In Houston?

A person will qualify for a disabled parking permit in Houston if they are disabled in one or more of the following ways:

  • They cannot walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest.
  • They cannot walk without the use of or assistance from an assistance device, including a brace, cane, crutch, wheelchair, another person, or a prosthetic device.
  • They are restricted by lung disease
  • They have a cardiac condition classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the American Heart Association.
  • They are severely limited in their ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
  • They use portable oxygen.
  • They have a foot disorder that limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have another debilitating condition that, in the opinion of a qualifying physician, limits or impairs their ability to walk.
  • They have visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
  • They have visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.

Who Can Verify An Application For Disabled Parking In Houston?

The following medical professionals can verify an application for a disabled parking permit in Houston:

  • Physician
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced practice nurse
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist

The verifying medical professional must meet one of the following conditions:

  • They are licensed in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma
  • They practice medicine in a U.S. military installation based in Texas
  • They practice medicine in a hospital or health facility of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

How Much Does A Handicap Placard Cost In Houston?

In Houston, permanent placards are free and there is a $5 fee for temporary placards.

When Do Houston Disabled Parking Permits Expire?

Permanent disabled parking placards and Institutional disabled parking placards expire after four years. Temporary disabled parking placards expire after six months.

doctor using laptop with stethescope
Image by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash: Who can verify an application for disabled parking in Houston? See the list below.

Where Can I Renew My Handicap Placard In Houston?

To renew an expired disabled permit in Houston, you should submit a new application form to your local tax collector’s office. If you’re applying for a new temporary permit, you will need a new physician’s signature; if you’re renewing a permanent permit, you don’t need a physician’s signature.

Where Are Houston Disabled Parking Permits Valid?

Houston disabled parking permits are valid in:

  • All 50 US states
  • All US overseas territories
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • EU
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Disabled parking permits from all of these jurisdictions are also honored in Houston.

Featured image by Alisa Matthews on Unsplash