There’s a lot of twists and turns in the maze that is the world of disabled parking. Each state has its qualifications and laws regarding disabled parking and who can own a disabled parking permit. Even some cities may have regulations regarding disabled parking.

With all the different information out there, it can be easy to get lost in the process to obtain a PA handicap parking permit. This can, understandably, be frustrating if you need to get a disabled parking permit fast.

This guide is meant to clear the clutter from the mess. It’ll show the fastest way to get your disabled parking permit in Pennsylvania.

To begin, we’ll start at the first question you should ask yourself – Do I qualify?

Who Can Receive A Disabled Parking Permit In Pennsylvania?

As stated previously, each state has its own set of standards as to who can own a disabled parking permit. Pennsylvania is no different and has adopted its predetermined criteria. You must meet at least one or more of the qualifications.

Here they are:

  • You must be blind.
  • You must not have full use of an arm or both arms.
  • You must not be able to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • You must be restricted by lung disease to such an extent that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
  • You must use portable oxygen.
  • You must have a cardiac condition to the extent that your functional limitations are classified in severity as Class II or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
  • You must be severely limited in your ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
  • You must be a person in loco parentis of a person specified in the above (8) standards.
  • You must be the parent, including an adoptive parent or foster parent, of a child or adult child provided that the person has custody, care or control of the child or adult child and the child or adult child satisfies one or more of the conditions listed above.
  • You must be the spouse of a person who meets one or more of the conditions listed above.

Some of these qualifications can be a doozy to understand. If you’re not sure, meet with your doctor to talk about which of these qualifications you meet. Don’t sweat it if you’re worried, if your disability is severe, you’ll likely qualify.

Likewise, if you’re the spouse or parent of someone with a severe disability, you’ll also likely qualify.

Ensure You Apply Correctly

Pennsylvania is different in that you can complete your application in several different ways. First, you’ll need to decide which type of permit is best for you.

Here are the different types and their differences:

Person with Disability Parking Placard

  • This placard is ideal for those who have a long-term injury or a disability that physically limits them.
  • It is valid for five years.

Severely Disabled Veteran Person with Disability Parking Placard

  • This placard is meant for severely disabled veterans.
  • The disability must have resulted from a service-connected incident.
  • Valid for five years.

Person with Disability Temporary Parking Placard

  • This placard is for those who have a temporary injury that physically limits them or someone with a reversible disability.
  • They are valid for six months.
  • These may not be renewed.
  • Must recertify by a licensed health care provider for a renewal after the placard expires.

Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Decal

  • The decal is similar to the placard meant for disabled veterans. It is meant for those with a disability that has resulted from a service-connected incident.
  • They are valid during Pennsylvania’s motorcycle registration period.

After you’ve decided which disabled parking permit is best for you, and filled out your application, it is time to visit someone to certify your disability.

Pennsylvania offers a wide range of entities that can certify your disability. However, each entity can also certify specific conditions. Here is a breakdown:

Authorized Healthcare Provider

  • Defined as a physician, chiropractor, optometrist, podiatrist, physician’s assistant, or a certified registered nurse practitioner licensed or certified to practice in the commonwealth or a contiguous state.
  • They may only certify disability within their scope of practice.
  • Must be certified in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, or Ohio.

Law Enforcement

  • Police officers may only certify codes one and four.
  • One is for those who are blind
  • Four is for those who cannot walk without the use of, assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive devices.

A U.S Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office Administrator

  • These administrators are meant to certify veterans.
  • They authorize that the veteran’s disability was service-connected.

After you’ve decided which entity is most appropriate for your condition, visit them and have them complete their part of the application.

Once the entire application is fully completed, it’s time to mail it off. You can submit it to the address below:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 68268
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8268 

Useful Tips

Now that you understand the fastest way to get your PA handicap parking permit, here are some helpful tips to serve you as you begin to use your permit.

Lost/Stolen/Damaged Placards

If you have found that you’ve lost your placard, had it stolen, or it’s damaged, don’t worry. Replacements placard can be obtained by completing Form MV-145A.

Your previous placard number will be listed in PennDOT’s system. If you eventually find a lost or stolen placard, you should immediately return it to PennDOT. Once you’ve replaced it, the previous one will be null and void.

Renewing Placards

Permanent placards are renewed in March and September each year. Permanent holders will be mailed a renewal notice 60 days before expiration.

Temporary placards cannot be renewed, recertification must be submitted.


You should now be an expert in obtaining your PA handicap parking permit as fast as possible. Be sure to carefully fill out your application and your set to receive your new permit.