What is a Handicap Parking Permit and What Does it Allow Me to Do?

Millions of people in America have disabilities that are physical or other health concerns. These health issues make it difficult to move or get around easily. This is why there are handicap spots. These spots are there to help these people manage their pain and stress. This can be physical stress or mental. Plus, it allows them to get inside without having to walk as much which saves people a lot of trouble and pain.

What is a Parking Permit?

A parking permit will either come in the form of a card that will hang on your rear-view mirror or a license plate. People who have license plates will be those who are issued a permanent permit and those who are issued a temporary permit will have placards. Some people may choose to have a placard even if they have a permanent permit.

A parking permit must be visible when you are parked. This permit must remain hanging in the rearview mirror while you are parked in the handicap stall. If it does not remain hung, it could mean a ticket for you. It is also important that you remove the placard while you are driving to help avoid accidents.

When you have either a placard or plates, you must carry your photo identification. This could be a state-issued license or identification card. If you do not carry this, it could cause issues if you are pulled over.

When you hang your placard or drive a vehicle with plates, you must be in the vehicle. You may either be a passenger or the driver, however, you must be present. You may not allow someone else to use your placard or plates. Even if the person is running errands for you, it is not okay for them to use your handicap permit.

What Does it Allow Me to Do?

A handicap parking permit is for those who have applied for one and have a condition that qualifies them to receive one. A parking permit will allow someone to use the handicap parking spots that you will find close to the entry of stores, gas stations, and other buildings.

A permit will not allow you to park in no-parking zones or fire zones. You may only park in designated parking spots that are labeled with the universal wheelchair design.

How Do Permits Work?

Every state will have a department, in Florida it is the License Plate Agency or Tax Collector Office that will issue the permits to those who have mobility issues. They may have other health conditions as well. These conditions must prevent them from walking more than two hundred feet in the state of Florida. If they cannot walk this distance without stopping to rest or take a break, they would qualify for a permit. Those who qualify for this permit will be allowed to park in the designated handicap parking areas as mentioned above. Most of the parking spaces will have extra room for a wheelchair to either exit or enter a vehicle, ramps up to the sidewalk, and cuts in the curb.

If you do not have legal documentation, you may not park in this space. There are many penalties and these penalties will differ from state to state. Many states will issue hefty fines.

How to Obtain a Permit

The process of obtaining a permit is quite simple. The first thing you would want to do is determine if you would qualify for a permit. Here is a list of medical conditions that may qualify you for a permit.

  • Cannot walk further than 200 feet without taking a break.
  • Lung/Heart disease.
  • Mobility issues due to orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic conditions.
  • Permanently using a wheelchair.
  • You are legally blind.

Keep in mind that just because you do not see your medical condition on the list, doesn’t mean you would not qualify. Plus, it is important to remember that not all disabilities are physical. There are many other invisible disabilities. If you are not sure if you would qualify, talk to your doctor. They will be able to tell you if you should proceed with the next step.

The next step would be to get an application. You can grab an application from the Tax Collector Office or Plate Agency. You may also print off the application online. You will need to take this application to your doctor. The person signing and filling out the application must be a licensed professional. Your doctor will need to fill out the paperwork to establish your condition and to determine if you need a permanent or temporary permit.

After you are done at the doctor’s office, go back to the tax collector or plate agency and get your permit. You will simply need your photo identification for this process. If you and your doctor decided that you would benefit from a permanent permit, you will not have to pay any fees. You would only have to pay fees if you would like veteran plates. If you are applying for a temporary permit, you will have a fifteen-dollar fee.

It is important to know that temporary permits will only last for six months. With that being said, your doctor may only allow you to have it for a few months. The application and information your doctor wrote will determine how long you get your permit. If you need it longer, you will have to renew the application right before it expires. You will not be charged another fee if the second application is done within twelve months of the original one. 


A disabled person’s parking permit will allow you to use the designated handicap parking spots that you see at stores and other public places. It will allow people who have mobility issues to walk less and feel less pain. It is easy to obtain a permit if you follow the simple instructions. It is also important that you do not let anyone else use your permit otherwise it could be revoked and you could face large fines.

How To Get Handicap Parking in Florida

Are your curious as to how to get handicap parking in Florida? People who suffer from lung disease or arthritis may have a difficult and/or painful time walking. If this is you, you may qualify for a parking permit for handicap spots. You simply need to ask your physician about your eligibility. Those who have mobility issues can save frustration, energy, and time when they park in the handicap stalls closer to the building.

Step One

You will first need to obtain an application. You can obtain an application from the County License Plate Agency or the county Tax Collector Office. If you do not know where these places are, you can also obtain the application papers online. You will need to print these off. The next thing you will need to do is fill out the application papers. You will need a physician.

How To Get Handicap Parking in Florida: Step Two

The next thing you will need to do is talk to your doctor. This part could also be part one. Your doctor will determine if you are eligible for a disabled person’s parking permit. Not all conditions qualify, however, many will. Some conditions that qualify you for a permit would include

  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Disease
  • Impaired Mobility
  • The requirement to use a cane, crutches, wheelchair, or brace.
  • Diseases that limit the ability to walk or the ability to use your legs.
  • Those who have low-vision, partial sight, or other vision problems.
  • Those who are legally blind.
  • Loss of one or both legs.
  • Loss of one or both hands.
  • Limited use of your hands or legs.

It is important that you note that not all conditions are some that can be seen. Some invisible disabilities that would qualify you for a permit would include

  • Chronic Pain
  • Surgeries such as back surgery.
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
  • Someone who has just received an organ transplant.

In the state of Florida, for you to qualify for a permit, you must not be able to walk further than two hundred feet without a break.

Your doctor will do an examination and look at your history. They will be the ones to tell you if your condition would qualify for a permit. Not all conditions are going to be listed so the best way to find out is to talk to your doctor.

Step Three

You will now want your doctor to fill out the application. You will need to fill out your portion, however, the doctor will have a portion they must fill out as well. This portion will be stating your medical condition and a signature. Your doctor will also determine if you need a permanent permit or a temporary permit.

Step Four

Once you and your doctor have filled out all the necessary paperwork pertaining to your application, you can go to the Tax Collector Office or License Plate Agency in your county. You will need to bring your application and photo identification with you. It is here that you will get your plates or placard. If you are obtaining a permanent plate or placard, you will not be required to pay a fee. If you are obtaining a temporary placard, you will need to pay a fifteen-dollar fee.

Rules of the Placard/Plates

You are the only person who is allowed to use your placard or plates. You cannot let anyone else borrow them. This is against the law and if you break this law it could result in a revocation of your permit. You are also subject to fines and other punishments. The person using your plates or placard will also be subject to punishment. Keep in mind, you may either be the driver or a passenger in the vehicle, however you must be present.

A family member or friend cannot use your placard or plates to run an errand for you unless you are in the vehicle. If you are not in the vehicle, you and your friend will be subject to fines and your permit could be revoked. It is best to simply go with your friend or just don’t let them borrow your placard.

When you are using your placard or plates you must have your driver’s license or photo identification on you. This is in case an officer has to clear up any problems. Having your identification on you is important.

You must have your placard visible and hanging from the rear-view mirror of your vehicle. You must only have it hanging when you are parked. Do not leave it hanging while driving as this can cause blind spots and distraction.

Traveling with Your Placard and/or Plates

You would expect that the placard or plates would be valid across all the states, however, this is not always the case. If you are planning on traveling out of state, you should check some rules. This is especially true if you have the hanging placard.

It is common that license plates are honored in all states because these are items attached to the vehicle. Plus, they are also part of the registration of the vehicle.  Not to mention, you cannot transfer them from vehicle to vehicle. (Legally that is.) With that being said, placards are temporary whether they are permanent or temporarily issued. Plus, they can be moved from one vehicle to the next. This is why some states will not honor any out-of-state placards.

This is why you must do your research ahead of your trip. You should check with the local DMV in which you plan to vacation or go to. It is important to know the rules before you leave to avoid issues.


It is not difficult to obtain a permit for using handicap parking; however, you must meet the requirements. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements be sure to talk to your doctor. The first thing you have to do is get your application and talk to your doctor. Your doctor will fill out the applications and you can then take them in to get your permit. Now that you know how to get handicapped parking in Florida, you can see it is quite a simple process.

Why Would Someone Need a Handicap Parking Permit in Florida?

If you are a person who has trouble getting around or simply have mobility issues, you know how amazing it feels to park close to the store or restaurant. You know that this helps you out tremendously. When you have a handicap parking permit, it will allow you to use the reserved parking spaces at the front of the stores and other buildings. However, if you are wanting a handicap parking permit, you must meet a few qualifications. Depending on your reason, the parking permit can be temporary or permanent. These permits can be displayed by a sticker on the outside of the vehicle, a license plate, or a placard.

Who Needs Handicap Parking Permits?

Someone may be eligible for a parking permit if they have some common health conditions. Many people do not even know they qualify until they are told by their doctors. Some of the most common reasons someone would need a handicap parking permit would be

  • They are unable to walk without using a stabilizing device. This could include a prosthetic, cane, brace, or crutch.
  • The person is bound to a wheelchair.
  • A person has a disease that limits their ability to use their legs or that limits how far they can walk at one certain time.
  • Someone who has lung disease or other breathing difficulties or diseases.
  • Someone who has cardiac disease or other issues with their heart.
  • If a person has vision problems. This includes being legally blind or having partial sightedness or low-vision. This is especially common to occur in people at night.
  • If the person has either a loss or impairment of one leg or both legs, one hand or both hands.
  • A person may qualify if they have arthritis.
  • Someone may qualify if they have mobility issues or impairments.
  • If someone suffers from limited mobility from neurological problems they may qualify.

If you do not see a medical condition on the list, that does not mean that someone wouldn’t qualify for it. In order to see if your medical condition qualifies for a disabled person’s parking permit, talk to your doctor. If you believe that you would benefit from a disabled person’s parking permit, your doctor will be able to tell you if that condition would qualify you or not.

Invisible Disabilities

Just because someone doesn’t look disabled, doesn’t mean that they aren’t. These handicap parking permits are not just for those who are in a wheelchair. While some people will misuse these parking permits, it doesn’t mean they are if they do not look disabled. There are several reasons that someone would qualify for the handicap parking permit that does not look disabled. These disabilities include

  • Someone who has had brain injuries or brain tumors.
  • If someone has lung and/or heart conditions.
  • A person who has suffered from back injuries and is now in a lot of pain.
  • People who suffer from chronic pain may qualify for a disabled person’s parking permit.
  • If the person has epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
  • If the person has had an organ transplant.
  • Not all prosthetics are visible, some people who have hidden prosthetics may qualify.
  • If a person has had recent surgery, they may qualify for a temporary parking permit.
  • If a person suffers from short-term memory loss or chronic fatigue they may qualify.
  • If someone has fibromyalgia, this is a qualifying condition.
  • A person who is going through chemotherapy, radiation or another type of cancer treatment may qualify for a permit.

Who Qualifies for a Temporary Disabled Person’s Parking Permit?

There are a lot of different reasons that someone may temporarily get a parking permit to use the handicap parking spots. The temporary cards can be used for six months before they expire. However, if your doctor states that you do not need it for six months, they will only issue it for the time they believe you would need it. Some of the most common conditions that a person would qualify for a temporary permit would be

  • Pregnant women. This is especially true if the woman has been medically put on bed rest.
  • Those who suffer from leg injuries. This could include knee injuries, broken legs, and broken ankles.
  • Those who are recovering from certain types of surgeries. These surgeries are generally more involved and serious. This would include back surgery.
  • Those who are going through different types of cancer treatments. Cancer treatment can make a person weak.
  • A condition that would require the temporary use of a wheelchair, brace, or other aid.

Rules for Using the Permit

When you are handed your temporary or permanent permit, you are the only one who can use this as stated by the law. You can use it whether you are driving or in the passenger of the vehicle, however, the card must be displayed when you are parking.

If you do not place your card or use it properly, it could result in the loss of your permit, as well as or in addition to significant fines. Keep in mind the person who the permit is issued under will receive the fines, however, sometimes the person using it can receive them as well. You may also be required to complete community service or face other penalties.

This means that it is not a good idea for anyone to use your card or borrow it. Most of the time the placard permits are considered temporary because they must be renewed more often than license plates. This would require the doctor to provide additional documentation regularly to allow the person to fill out the application.


Not all disabilities can be seen. Plus, some people are really good at hiding their disabilities. That doesn’t mean that people are faking it. Most people do not misuse these permits. Keep in mind that there are many qualifying disabilities that would allow a person to have a disabled person’s parking permit. These permits are required to be properly placed when using handicap parking.

Who Can Give Me a Handicap Parking Permit in Florida?

A person can receive authorization for a Florida disabled parking permit for both short and long-term mobility issues or disabilities. Someone who is also legally blind according to an optometrist can get a handicap parking permit. Permits can be issued to those who hold valid licenses or those who have identification cards.

Who Can Issue a Permit?

A person who is applying or renewing their Florida disabled parking permit must have the HSMV form or the application for the parking permit. This application or form must be signed by someone of medical authority. The person who is signing the application must sign it within the previous twelve months before you submit the application. If the signature is from over twelve months ago, it will not be valid. Those who qualify for signing your application are

  • Physician that is licensed under medical practice chapter 458.
  • A chapter 459 osteopathic medical doctor.
  • A chiropractor licensed under chapter 460.
  • Chapter 461- a licensed podiatric doctor.
  • An Optometrist who is licensed for sight only under 463.
  • An RN who is licensed under chapter 464 and who is under the protocol of one of the licensed doctors listed above.
  • An assistant of a licensed physician who is licensed under either 458 or 459.

Rules for Disabled Person’s Parking Permits

The permit must only be used by the person it is issued to. When the person is using the permit, they must have their driver’s license or identification card on them. If there are any problems, officers can determine it is you using the card.

The permit must be hung in the rear-view mirror. The number of the permit should and must be visible from the front side of your vehicle when you park. The permit shouldn’t be hanging when you are in motion. This can cause distractions and blind spots.

The permit will have two yellow registration decals. These decals will be placed on both sides. If you do not have these yellow decals, the permit is not valid.

Different Types of Permits

There are two different types of permits that can be issued. The permit that is issued to you will be determined by your health conditions and your doctor. The doctor can determine if you need a permanent permit or a temporary permit.

A permanent permit is for those who have long-term impairments. Those who are legally blind would also qualify for a permanent disabled person’s parking permit. Those who have permanent plates or placards are going to need to renew them every four years. The permit will need to be renewed before the birthdate of the holder. There is no fee for permanent parking permits.

If someone is issued a temporary parking permit, it would mean that they have a short-term impairment to their mobility. These temporary permits are only good for six months. You may be required to use it for less than six months. Your doctor will determine how long you need a temporary card. Those who are obtaining a temporary permit will be required to pay a fifteen-dollar fee. If the person will need the permit longer than six months, they may obtain another temporary permit. If you apply for the permit within twelve months of the first temporary permit, there will be no additional fee. If you apply after twelve months, it will cost another fifteen dollars.

Who Can Apply?

There are many individuals with different medical conditions who may apply. Some medical conditions may be visible and some may not be visible. Keep in mind that not all medical conditions will be on the list of qualifying conditions. If you have a medical condition that is not on the list but believe you would benefit from a Florida disabled parking permit, talk to your doctor. They may be able to fill out an application for your disability.

Some of the things that would allow a person to apply for a parking permit would be

  • They cannot walk more than two hundred feet without taking a break or resting.
  • They are severely immobilized due to orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic conditions.
  • They have heart and/or lung disease.
  • They need to use a wheelchair permanently.
  • They are legally blind.

Remember, not all disabilities will be apparent. Some disabilities are known as invisible disabilities. These disabilities would also qualify someone to get a permit.

  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • A person who has received an organ transplant.
  • Someone who suffers from fibromyalgia or short-term memory loss.
  • Those who have chronic pain or fatigue.
  • Those who have had brain injuries or have brain tumors.

How to Get a Permit

If you are someone who believes they would benefit from a handicap parking permit, you should start out by seeking advice from your doctor. Your physician will be the one who can inform you about your condition. They will be the ones who could tell you if you would qualify for a permit. This is beneficial because you can avoid doing paperwork if you would not qualify. Plus, your doctor will have to submit a letter and/or complete forms to document your disability and/or illness. It is best that your provider knows your plans in advance so they can help you.

From the doctor’s office, you will need to fill out an application. This application will allow you to get a permit. You must take the application to the Tax Collector Office or License Plate Agency. These two places will also have the application forms, otherwise, you could print them off online. Once you have completed the application, take it to one of these two places in your county to get your permit. A temporary permit will cost fifteen dollars.


You must be examined by a licensed physician or any of the medical staff on the list above. These are the only medical professionals that can sign your application and provide you with the documents necessary to obtain a handicap parking permit. Plus, remember that not all conditions that qualify you will be listed. With that being said, it is important to remember, not all conditions qualify either.

How to Tell if You Qualify for a Disabled Parking Permit in Florida

Obtaining a disabled parking permit in Florida can be difficult if you do not know how to do it. You must qualify for a permit. We are going to talk about how to tell if you qualify for a disabled parking permit in the state of Florida.

Florida Rules

Each state will have different rules that will allow you to qualify. Florida, like any other state, will have its own rules that will either qualify you or not qualify you from obtaining a disabled parking permit. It is important that you meet the qualifications before you go and fill out an application. Keep in mind that your physician or another certified practitioner must verify that you have one or more of the following issues that would allow you to become eligible for a disabled parking permit.

Conditions that Qualify You

In order to obtain a disabled parking permit in the state of Florida, you must not be able to walk more than two hundred feet without taking a break. This is a requirement that all disabled persons must meet in order to qualify for a disabled person’s parking permit. There are a few other things that would qualify you for a disabled parking permit, however, everyone must meet the rule stated above.

  • If you have severe issues with mobility due to orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic conditions, you may qualify for a disabled parking permit.
  • If you have lung disease and it restricts you. This is especially true if there is a forced expiratory volume or FEV for at least one second. This one second would need to be measured by what is known as spirometry. When the results come back and you have less than a single liter or the arterial tension oxygen is less than sixty mm/hg while resting.
  • If you are legally blind or are wheelchair-bound, you will qualify for a disabled parking permit.

If you are someone who is disabled and cannot possess a driver’s license or do not have an identification card you must state this on your application. This must be stated by the medical professional assessing you.

Application Process

To obtain the application that would need to be filled out to get a disabled parking permit, you would need to go to the local County Tax Collector Office. You can also visit a License Plate Agency or even print the documents online. You will not be charged a fee for a permanent parking permit, however, if you are issued a temporary parking permit there will be a fifteen-dollar fee.

All you will need to do is fill out the application with your physician. The form will need to be filled out and completed with all the information necessary. Both you and your physician will need to sign the application and it will need to be brought into the License Plate Agency or the Tax Collector Office for your county.

How Long Is It Valid?

The time range that your parking permit, temporary parking permit, and plates are valid will vary. Plus, there are other instances that will determine how long the card or plates are valid.

  • Temporary Plates and/or Cards will be valid for a maximum of six months. This means that they cannot be used over six months after the date they are issued.
  • Permanent Plates and/or Cards will be valid for four years for a disabled person. The plate or card will expire on the owner of the card’s birthday. If an organization has plates or cards, it will expire on June 30th.

You should make sure that the parking permit is renewed by the date listed on the card or plate. To renew this, you will need the permit registration and the application you used initially. You will bring this to the place where you received your permit. You can bring it to the Tax Collector’s Office or the License Plate Agency.

Disabled Veteran Plates

Someone who is a resident of Florida and is a veteran can qualify for disabled veteran plates. These plates can be used on a single vehicle. This vehicle can be a car or a motorcycle. In order to qualify for this plate, the person must have at least fifty percent of their impairment be related to service. This will be determined by the VA or Veteran’s Administration. The Federal Government can also decide if fifty percent of the impairment came from service.

You can also complete an application for a disabled veteran with a 1.50-dollar fee. You would submit this to the License Plate Agency or Tax Collector Office. When you get your plate, you will need to renew this plate annually. This fee is 1.50.

Where Can I Find a Tax Collector or License Plate Office?

Each county will have many different Tax Collector and License Plate offices. Each place will offer several services. Their services include disability and vehicle permits, license plate renews, and many other things. You will need to search your county to find where your local office is located. Keep in mind, there are multiple different offices per county. You can use the internet to find addresses and phone numbers of the nearest locations in your county.


It is not difficult to obtain a disabled person’s parking permit. All you need to do is meet some qualifications and you are well on your way. Once you meet the qualifications, you will simply need to fill out an application with your physician. The next step is finding your local agencies to get your plates or your card. Make sure you are hanging your card on your rearview mirror at all times when you are parking in handicap spots. If you do not do this, you could receive a hefty fine and your vehicle could be towed. If you have disabled plates, you do not have to worry about this. Just make sure that plats and cards are renewed on time to avoid issues.