Do you use a cane, wheelchair, walker or other device? Do you find it difficult to walk and get around? You may be eligible for a handicapped parking permit. We’ll walk you through how to get your permit, step-by-step.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
Determining your eligibility for a handicapped parking permit should be your first step. Although you may not realize or want to admit it, your disability may make you eligible for a permit. Eligibility regulations vary by state and city, so be sure to view Pennsylvania’s handicapped permit regulations here.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Option
All states offer different types of handicapped placards, plates and/or decals. According to PennDOT, the Pennsylvania handicapped placards available are:
- Persons with Disability Permanent Parking Placard (valid for a period of five years)
- Severely Disabled Veteran Persons with Disability Parking Placard (valid for five years)
- Persons with Disability Temporary Parking Placard (valid up to six months)
- Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Decal (valid during motorcycle registration period)
The tag you apply for will depend upon your situation and disability. If you’re a veteran, you may be eligible for a disabled veteran permit.
Step 3: Getting a Handicapped Parking Permit Application
In Pennsylvania, you can find and download the appropriate form here. Be sure to read up on the rules, associated fees and application process. For other states, check out the website for your local DMV. When you’ve found the appropriate form, print it out, as you’ll need to bring it to your health provider.
Step 4: Visit Your Doctor
When you decide that you may benefit from a handicapped parking permit, you should make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. Depending upon your personal disability, your primary doctor may suggest that you meet with your osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, optometrist, etc. When you meet the appropriate doctor, be sure to speak honestly and openly about how the permit will help you.
If your physician decides you’re eligible for the handicapped parking permit, they should fill out the application or provide a note. Note: some doctors may have these applications available in their office, so be sure to ask when you call to schedule your appointment if you should bring this along or not.
Step 5: Submit Your Application
When you’ve completed your application, you must send it through the mail to PennDOT, along with any fees (Address noted here). Other states may allow for online submission. Be sure to check with your local DMV.
In Pennsylvania, it takes about 8-10 weeks to receive your handicapped parking plates or placards. During that time, be sure to plan accordingly with your family about means of transportation.
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Using Your Permit Properly
Handicapped parking fraud is a big problem in many states – people who don’t have disabilities use these permits just to get a better parking spot. Be sure to read your state’s rules carefully – Pennsylvania’s handicapped parking permit laws here.
Questions to consider: What areas can you park in? Does the permit-holder have to be in the car? Is the permit good in other states?
Renewing Your Permit
All handicapped parking permits have varying expiration dates. Be sure to keep track of your expiration dates and renewals process. You can find the specifics here.
Consider Getting a Handicapped Parking Sign
Some areas will allow you to designate a handicapped parking spot in front of your home, if you need it. Check with your city’s Disability Commission for more information.
Rely on Mobility Experts for Help
If you need additional mobility equipment to help you remain independent, Sage Mobility is your go-to resource. We offer a wide range of power chairs, wheelchair lifts, vehicle lifts, and more to help you live life to its fullest as you age independently. Contact Sage Mobility by calling (610) 518-2221 or use the quote request form below.