Getting a disabled parking permit can make life behind the wheel so much easier for disabled drivers. Parking in Chicago (and in any city!) can be difficult at the best of times, let alone as a driver who struggles with accessibility issues – but navigating the streets of Chicago by car is so much less stressful when you know that you have the right to specifically reserved parking. If you are a resident of the city, you also have the option to avail of reserved parking close to your place of residence to ensure you never have to walk far to your front door.
Information on disabled parking permits in Illinois can be a little overwhelming, and it can be difficult to navigate all the online resources. We’ve put together this quick guide to give you all the info you need on how to get a disabled parking permit in Chicago. Luckily, applying for a disabled parking permit in the state of Illinois is not too complicated if you have a qualifying condition!
How to apply for a City of Chicago disabled parking permit
Applications for a disabled parking permit in Illinois are made to the state, and the process is not too complicated. The general qualifications that qualify you for a disabled parking permit include, but are not limited to, the following:
- 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 an arm
- You have limited mobility in at least one arm
- You have a forced expiratory volume of one second due to a severe lung condition
If you have one of these conditions, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor who will discuss your medical history, assess whether you meet the requirements for a disabled parking permit, and complete the necessary sections of your application form. Disabled Parking can help you with this!
If your disability is permanent, you must mail in your application. It typically takes 45–60 days for applications to be processed, and once approved, your permanent disabled parking permit will be mailed to you. For a temporary permit, you can go into the Secretary of State’s office in person and get a temporary disability parking place card.
What are the Chicago disabled parking rules?
It’s important to know what Chicago handicap parking options are available to you with your disabled parking permit. If you have a valid permit, you are eligible to park in any disabled parking space in the city. You can tell which spaces are reserved for disabled drivers as they are marked with the universal symbol: typically a white wheelchair painted onto a blue background. There is usually a sign as well, indicating that the spot in front of it is a disabled parking spot.
Disabled parking spaces are located close to the entrances of buildings, so you do not have to walk far to enter. There are also crosshatched spaces beside disabled parking spots, which should always be left empty to allow sufficient space for those using wheelchair lifts to get out of their vehicle comfortably. Those with a disabled parking permit may also be able to access reduced price or free metered parking. As per state guidelines, anyone with a grey-and-yellow parking permit does not have to pay any meter in the state of Illinois.
So there you have it! Applying for a disabled parking permit in Chicago is a simple process, and is definitely worthwhile for those who have one of the qualifying conditions mentioned above. It provides many benefits for disabled drivers and makes getting around the city much more accessible.