Having a handicapped placard can be a very helpful tool in peoples lives. However, getting one can seem like a difficult challenge if its your first time. Temporary and permanent placards and tags are available for those who need them. We've come up with a short guide to help make the process a little bit easier.
Before you apply for a placard or tag you need to be certain that you can meet the criteria that was set forth by your states Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
In most instances disability refers to at least one of the following conditions:
- Lack full use of an arm or both arms.
- Cannot walk a certain number of feet without stopping to rest. This greatly varies by state. Missouri, for instance, limits it to 50 feet, while Texas uses 200 feet as its gauge. Check with your state to be sure.
- Cannot walk without the assistance of a cane, crutch, brace, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or another person.
- Have a cardiac condition that’s listed as Class III or Class IV in severity according to the American Heart Association.
- Cannot walk without the aid of portable oxygen.
- Have a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses.
- Have a visual acuity of 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
Applying for a Handicapped Placard
Now once you've established the proper criteria for applying, its time to complete a Designated Disabilities Form. To obtain one you can get one directly from a local DMV office, or visiting your states website and downloading one there. Most will have a download link. Please be away that some sections of the from will need to be completed by a certified physician. Your general practitioner will most likely be very familiar with your states rules and regulations, they might even have the form with them. These are the following physicians that are allowed in most states:
- Licensed doctor
- Registered nurse
- Physician’s assistant
After completing, submit the form and any associated fees (some states do not charge for disabled placards) in-person or by mail to the address listed on your application.Most temporary handicap placards are limited to a few months, with the option to renew.
Display and Use of Temporary Handicap Placard
The placard should be displayed from the car’s middle rearview mirror when parked. Be aware that some state’s disallow the placards from being hung from the rearview mirror while driving.
The handicapped placard allows you to park in any site designated for persons with disabilities.
Remember: Handicapped placards are issued to people, not cars. This means you cannot use the placard if the assigned person is not riding your vehicle.
*Link to access all 50 states DMV quickly http://www.dmvlist.com
Credit for parts and information of this post come from DMV.org which is also a great place for finding more information on DMVs and regulations.