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Handicap Parking Pass

Last updated: April 12, 2023

If you are suffering from a chronic illness that makes walking painful or difficult, you may be eligible for a handicap parking pass. A disabled parking pass is just one of the many ways to support disabled people. Individuals with mobility problems can save time and effort by parking in handicapped parking spaces near business entrances.

A disabled parking pass provides special parking privileges to the operator of a vehicle to accommodate their medical conditions. These privileges may include parking in a space designated for disabled individuals or, in certain circumstances, approval to park in a time-limited space for an extended period of time or to park at a meter without paying.

What Are Two Types of Handicap Parking Pass?

Each state issues a handicap parking pass using its own forms and criteria. Typically, the program is administered by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Parking permits for disabled persons are classified into two categories:

  • Permanent - Individuals who have a long-term mobility problem, or who are legally blind, are eligible for a permanent handicap parking pass or license plate. Permits and registration plates can last for up to four years and must be renewed on the anniversary of the permit holder’s birth. This parking permit is free of charge.
  • Temporary - Individuals with temporary mobility impairments may be granted a temporary handicap parking pass for a period of up to six months, as determined by a certifying medical authority. A $15 fee is required for the permit. If the parking permit is required for a period longer than six months, an additional temporary permit may be granted.

Who Is Qualified For The Handicap Parking Pass?

Medical requirements vary by state but are typically restricted to particular forms of disabilities or conditions. The DMV will require documentation from your physician to confirm your medical condition.

However, in some states, if you visit a DMV office while you’re visibly disabled, the demand for a doctor’s certification may be waived. Consult your state's specific criteria for who qualifies for a handicap parking pass. Typical conditions include the following:

  • Lung disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Legal blindness and other documented vision problems
  • Significantly impaired mobility, as evidenced by the use of a wheelchair, brace, or cane
  • Inability to walk as a result of an arthritic or orthopedic condition
  • Amputation of one or both legs, or both hands, or impaired use of these body parts

How To Apply For Handicap Parking Permit

To apply for a disability parking pass, you must complete the following steps:

  • If you're applying in person, you must book an appointment beforehand via your state's DMV website.
  • Fill out the Part A of the application form — you can choose either the permanent permit or temporary permit. 
  • Mail or deliver the application in person.

Keep in mind that application fees vary. Certain states charge a nominal fee, while others provide placards for free. To prevent handicap parking permits from being abused, many states have mandated rules and regulations.

You are the only person legally permitted to use the parking permit, regardless of whether you are the vehicle's driver or a passenger. Anyone else may not use the placard if you are not in the vehicle. Misuse of the placard may result in the permit being revoked, as well as fines and other punishments. For more information, check out the Do’s and Dont’s of Disabled Parking.


While the specific benefits of a handicap parking pass may vary by state, they generally allow the vehicle's driver to park in more convenient locations and, in some cases, avoid paying for parking.

Aside from special parking permits, disabled individuals can also take advantage of benefits and assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA). To learn more, head over to Disability Help.org today!

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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