Getting a disabled parking permit or disability plates can make life behind the wheel so much easier for disabled drivers. Disabled parking plates allow you access to specifically designed and reserved parking spots so you can rest assured you will not struggle to find parking at your destination. This offers huge peace of mind for disabled drivers, particularly those who are nervous behind the wheel.
Rules surrounding disability plates vary from state to state, so it’s always important to check out the specific regulations surrounding disability plates or parking permits in your state. However, there are certain conditions that are commonly accepted as qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit. So, what are the qualifying conditions to get disability plates in 2022?
Again, qualifying conditions can vary from state to state and you should check this on a case-by-case basis, but some of the general qualifying conditions include:
- You cannot walk 200 ft without rest
- You are restricted by lung disease to substantially lower expiratory volume and a low arterial oxygen tension volume
- You are severely limited to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
- You use portable oxygen
- You are unable to walk without the assistance of a brace, cane, assistive device, or another person
- You have a cardiac condition with class 3 or 4 functional limitations as by American Heart Association Standards
- You have a disability placard from another state
- You are registered as a 100% disabled veteran
It’s important to remember that there are many “invisible illnesses” that can qualify for a disabled parking permit, too – it’s not only physical or immediately obvious illnesses that qualify you. Some states may even grant temporary disabled parking permits for those recovering from childbirth.
Who qualifies for DV plates?
As we’ve seen above, disabled veterans can also apply for disabled parking permits. Disabled veterans may be eligible to access disabled parking spaces as well as free metered parking. Disabled veterans can also be exempt from driver license and title fees. You may need to provide verifying documentation for these exemptions.
Disabled Veterans (DV) plates are typically available for those with a Veteran ID, who are currently serving, or who have received an honorary discharge. So what do I need to get disabled veteran plates? Contact your state’s relevant governing body to find out
more information on the options available to you as a veteran.
What are the benefits of having disabled parking plates or a disabled parking permit?
The rules surrounding use of disabled parking plates/permits vary from state to state. However, you are guaranteed access to reserved parking specifically for disabled drivers. You may also be able to access free metered parking in urban areas. You may also be entitled to park for a longer period than other drivers in some designated areas. Often, your permit can also be used to access disabled parking in other states, and even in other countries.
Many states have different forms of disabled parking permits or plates. These may have different names or different meanings in each state, but in general fall under the following categories:
- Permanent/long-term disabled parking placard or license plates
- Temporary disabled parking placard
- Disabled Veterans license plates
- Organizational disabled parking permit – for organizations that transport disabled people
How do I apply for disability parking plates?
The process for applying for disabled parking plates may differ from state to state, but typically involves being examined by a medical specialist who can verify that you have a qualifying condition. This can be done in person or via telemedicine (through an online consultation). The process is usually fairly quick and involves a discussion of the applicant’s medical history.
In most states, the following medical personnel are qualified to certify an application:
- Licensed physician
- Physician’s assistant
- Advanced nurse practitioner
Once you’ve received a certified application, you can use it to apply to your state’s motor authority to receive the relevant disabled parking permit. Permits generally need to be renewed after a certain period of time (even permanent ones) to ensure their validity. However, application and renewal is often free or low-cost, making it more accessible to more people.
You must always be sure to display your disabled parking permit, placard, or plates clearly and in the correct way, to ensure you are within the law. As long as you do this, you’re sure to find parking as a disabled driver a much more pleasant and stress-free experience once you have your disability plates!
Featured image by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash