Having a disabled parking permit can make life behind the wheel so much easier for disabled drivers. It gives you peace of mind, knowing that you will be able to find accessible parking at your destination. The application process for a disabled parking permit or placard varies from state to state, as do the qualifying conditions. Luckily, however, the application process in most states is straightforward and inexpensive (or free!). The process to replace a disabled parking permit is typically uncomplicated, too. Read on to find out more about what to do if you lose your disabled parking placard.
The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit vary from state to state, but generally they are available to:
- Those who cannot walk 200 feet without rest
- Those restricted by lung disease to substantially lower expiratory volume and a low arterial oxygen tension volume
- Those whose mobility is severely limited because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
- Those using portable oxygen
- Those unable to walk without the assistance of a brace, cane, assistive device, or another person
- Those with a cardiac condition with Class 3 or 4 functional limitations under American Heart Association Standards
- Holders of a disability placard from another state
- Those registered as 100% disabled veterans
Please note that there are several “invisible illnesses” that may also qualify for a disabled parking permit, so make sure to check these with a medical professional.
Remember that your permit must be properly and clearly displayed for it to be valid. Failure to do so, even if you have a visible disability, could incur a penalty.
How do I replace a lost handicap placard?
So, what happens if you receive your disabled parking placard and then lose or misplace it? Can you continue to park in disabled parking spaces? The answer to the latter question is no – you must have a valid and clearly displayed disabled parking permit or placard in order to use disabled parking spaces, so you may have to find alternative routes or parking options until you receive a replacement placard.
However, the good news is that it is not usually difficult to replace a lost permit. The first thing to do is to go to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Here, you will need to receive a copy of the state’s DMV handicap placard replacement form. If you’re wondering “Can I get a replacement handicap placard online instead?”, good news – the form can often be found online in PDF format, depending on the state. Just be sure to check the relevant rules in your state.
What To Do If You Lose Your Disabled Parking Placard
It is usually quicker to receive a replacement disabled parking permit/placard with the original documentation as proof of your previous permit. If you have a receipt for the original permit, you should ensure this is given upon application for the replacement. However, if you no longer have this receipt, that’s OK too.
The medical professional who originally did your medical evaluation during the application process can fill in the renewal form as proof that you indeed qualify for a parking placard, and simply misplaced the original. Check your state’s DMV website for the “Physician’s Statement for Disabled Person’s Placard” form. This should be all the physician needs to fill out to submit with your application for a replacement permit.
The completed application can be mailed to the local DMV or submitted in person at the local DMV office. In many states, the paperwork to be completed for replacement of a permit is the same as that completed for the original application.
The cost of replacement will depend on the state in which you are applying from. Typically, there is no fee if the permit was permanent. Only temporary disabled parking permits generally incur a fee for replacement, and that fee is usually a small one. Check the rules specific to your state on your state’s DMV website or at the local branch; you can also ask questions over the phone, if going to the branch in person is difficult.
What happens if I lost my handicap placard?
As we mentioned above, it can be tricky to navigate parking regulations while waiting for your replacement placard, as you are not considered eligible for disabled parking until you receive a new permit. Be aware of this if you continue driving in the meantime.
Getting a replacement permit can take up to four weeks, although this varies again from state to state. Some states may offer suitable alternatives for the in-between period, or to quicken the replacement process. In California, for example, the local AAA office can provide you with a disabled parking permit if you have all the relevant documents, in some cases. Your local DMV office may also be able to supply you with a temporary placard to use in the meantime. The best thing to do is to contact the local DMV to see what your options are.
While replacing a mislaid or lost placard can seem like a real chore, it isn’t the end of the world, and you can certainly receive a replacement! If you are applying for the first time for a disabled parking permit, remember you can always contact Disabled Parking if you need help in getting all the necessary medical certification in order for your permit application.