For drivers with a disability, having access to disabled parking can make a world of difference. With a disability permit, you can access larger, safer parking spaces, helping you maneuver safely around traffic and enter and exit from buildings, parks, and public facilities.

If you’ve just recently been diagnosed with a disability or need a temporary permit, it helps to know how to apply – so how do you get a permit in 2022? While it’s still a simple process, there are some changes to be aware of, such as temporary closures and changed hours of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) branches due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Read on to learn how to apply for a DMV disabled parking permit in 2022 and obtain your permit as easily as possible.

Step 1. Determine if you qualify

How do I get a disabled parking placard from the DMV? The first step is knowing which type of pass you qualify for.

While disabled parking is managed federally under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s important to note that each state has its own requirements for applicants, so do your research to work out (a) what type of pass you need and (b) what the qualifying requirements are.

people sitting in waiting room
Image by Ron Lach on Pexels: You don’t always need to visit the DMV to apply for your permit, as you may be able to apply online.

If you have an ongoing disability, you’ll likely be eligible for a permanent disabled parking permit, although some states require renewal every five years. For those who may have a  short-term injury, are on crutches, or are recovering from illness or surgery, you’ll qualify for a temporary permit, which allows you to access disabled parking up to six months after issue.

You’ll find all of this information on your state’s DMV website, or you can also call or visit in person. To meet social distancing requirements, some DMV branches may be running on reduced hours or might be appointment-only in 2022, so it’s always helpful to call before coming in.

Generally, you’ll qualify for a disability parking permit from the DMV if you have a temporary or permanent health condition that limits your mobility, but check with your state for exact details. Common qualifying conditions include:

  • Use of a mobility aid, such as crutches, braces, or a wheelchair
  • A temporary or permanent disability that limits your mobility
  • Vision impairment
  • Lung or cardiovascular disease
  • Use of a portable oxygen tank

If you’re not able to drive yourself, your carer or relative can still apply for a permit that can be used whenever you’re in the car with them.

Step 2. Obtain the right application forms

Next, download or request a copy of the appropriate disability permit application form. In 2022, the easiest and fastest way is to download it from your state DMV website. If you don’t have a computer or aren’t too tech-savvy, why not ask a friend for help? You don’t need to go through the process by yourself!

If you’re replacing a lost disability permit in 2022, make sure you get the right DMV disability placard replacement form, which may differ from the form for new applicants.

Step 3. Meet with a health professional to complete the application

All states require part of the application form to be completed by a medical professional. This is a verification measure to ensure the person applying has a genuine need for this service – unfortunately, some people would otherwise try to apply for a disabled parking permit that they didn’t really need.

The list of health professionals qualified to do this varies by state, but will generally includes a physician, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, optometrist, or a doctor from a veteran’s hospital. They’ll sign off on your application, stating that you’re eligible for the disability permit.

But what if you’re trying to isolate at home or social distance? If you’d rather avoid an unnecessary trip to the doctor’s office, don’t worry – you can get approval via a telehealth consultation from the comfort of your own home.

doctor with stethescope
Image by Online Marketing on Unsplash: A medical professional can help you complete your application form.

Step 4. Submit your completed application form to the DMV

Once your application is complete, it’s time to submit it to the DMV. Some states may require a small application fee as well, so make sure you have a check ready if you’re mailing in your forms.

Wondering “Can I get a disability placard online in 2022?” The answer depends on your state. Some states will let you email or fax in the application, then they’ll mail you the permit once approved. Other states will require applications to be done in-person or by mail. Although you’d think everything would be done online in 2022, remember that many state governments still rely heavily on paper-based systems.

The options for submission are usually in person or via mail, email, or fax. After your application is sent in, your new disabled parking permit will be issued to you. Then, you can legally park in disabled parking spots throughout your state, keeping you safe behind the wheel throughout 2022.

Featured image by Scott Graham on Unsplash