Driving around Alaska is one of the best ways to see this beautiful state. With stunning scenery all around you, being on the road has never been so picturesque. Alaska has a very low population density, so it’s clear that many people rely on cars for getting around.
Thanks to the growing number of possible vehicle adaptations, more and more disabled drivers are taking the wheel in this state and many others. However, while driving in general can be difficult sometimes, driving with a disability can pose its own set of problems. Many disabled drivers struggle to concentrate on the road for long stretches of time, or may find it painful to sit in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period.
If you’re a disabled driver living in Alaska, you may find parking especially challenging – particularly if you have severely reduced mobility. Perhaps you find that it’s difficult to park your larger, adapted vehicle in a regular space, or you may only find parking spaces located far from the entrance of where you’re going.
Luckily Alaska has a well-run disabled parking program, which ensures holders of a valid Alaska disabled parking permit access to specifically designed and optimally located parking spaces. However, only drivers with a disabled parking permit have access to these spaces. So let’s find out what the process for applying for a disabled parking permit in Alaska involves!
How do I get a handicap parking permit in Alaska?
Today we’re going to run through the steps you need to take for your AK disabled parking permit application. But first, let’s discuss the qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit in Alaska according to the Alaska DMV:
- Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping
- Cannot walk safely without using a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device
- Are restricted by lung disease
- Use portable oxygen
- Have a cardiac condition classified by Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association
- Are severely limited in your ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
If you have a medical condition that falls into one of these categories, you are eligible for a permit. Now you’re ready to begin with step one of the process for Alaska handicap tag application!
Step 1: Application form
To begin the application process, you should obtain and complete the Special Disability Parking Permit form. You only need to fill out Part 1, clearly marked on the form. It can be found online for download, or you can go to your local Alaska DMV office to request a physical copy.
Step 2: Medical consultation
Once you’ve completed this form with the relevant personal information, you can book your medical consultation. Disabled Parking can help you to organize your medical consultation online via telemedicine, which is a convenient option for those with limited time and reduced mobility. The discussion with a licensed medical professional should take roughly ten minutes, and involves a detailed conversation about your health and medical history.
If the physician is confident that you meet the criteria for a permit, they will complete the dedicated section of the form with the relevant details of your disability and certify your application. They will also decide whether you qualify for a permanent or temporary permit, based on your medical condition, and will mark this on the form as applicable.
Step 3: Submit your application
When your form has been fully completed by both you and your physician, you’re ready to apply for your permit. You can do so by bringing the form in person to your local DMV, or by mailing it to:
Division of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Special Disability Parking Permit
3901 Old Seward Highway, Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99503
There is no fee associated with disabled parking permits in Alaska. This is true also of disabled parking plates for the first time; however, subsequent sets of plates will cost you over $100.
Step 4: Use your permit correctly
Once you receive your permit, you’re ready to use it right away. To use your permit correctly, always display it when parked – either hanging from your rearview mirror or lying on the dashboard where it can be clearly seen by ticket wardens. Remember to keep the expiration date of your permit in mind so you can renew it within the given timeframe.
We hope that this step-by-step guide on applying for a disabled parking permit in Alaska has clarified the process for you. We’re here to help you with anything you need for your Alaska handicap tag application!
Featured image by Joris Beugels on Unsplash