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Handicapped Parking Permit

How to Apply


Updated May 16, 2014

Handicapped Parking Permit
Gary D'Ercole Collection/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Handicapped Parking Permit - Some Wait Too Long to Apply

Handicapped parking is not a fringe benefit of having a chronic illness such as arthritis. It's a necessity for many people living with pain and disability. It is not uncommon for disabled people to wait longer than they should to apply for a handicapped parking placard for their car which entitles them to park in the designated spots for disabled persons.

Disabled people may not realize at first that they are "eligible". They deny that their condition is debilitating enough to require closer, handicapped parking. They underestimate the benefit of closer parking and how much energy it saves, allowing a disabled person to run errands, shop, go to doctor appointments, travel, or participate in other activities, without wearing themselves out within the first few minutes of arriving at their destination.

Handicapped Parking Abusers Make It Difficult for Disabled People

The abuse of handicapped parking permits may also be a disincentive. Too often people who are not entitled to park in handicapped parking spots are found using them. With limited spots available, that makes it seem fruitless, but it's not. Handicapped parking permits belong in the right hands.

People with invisible disabilities (disabilities that do not show outwardly) may fear being mistaken for an abuser of handicapped parking privileges. This group of disabled persons often feels it is not worth being glared at or hassled, yet they are fully entitled to have a handicapped parking permit if their doctor prescribes it.

How to Obtain a Handicapped Parking Placard or Permit

If you have a disabling condition which may allow you to have a handicapped parking permit, talk to your doctor. Don't wait for your doctor to bring it up to you. Doctors are very busy and it is unlikely that this is foremost on their minds. Your doctor will not hestitate to sign the paperwork for you to get a handicapped parking placard though, if you are eligible.

Do you know what you need to do to obtain a handicapped parking placard? There are subtle differences between the states regarding what is required. Some states charge a processing fee, while other states offer handicapped parking permits for free. Some states require a doctor's prescription along with an application.

We've compiled the information you need to obtain a handicapped parking permit. Check below for your state's requirements. Some of the applications for handicapped parking permits can easily be downloaded online. Note: Some links are in pdf format.


Department of Motor Vehicles for all 50 states

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