How To Get A Handicapped Parking Permit
Have you ever driven around and around a busy parking lot, searching for a spot, and jealously watched a person with a handicapped parking permit get a front row spot? Next time you’re jealous of their “special perks,” think again. For people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, life is often filled with pain, financial struggles, and extensive medical treatments. Closer parking spots are not a privilege or a benefit, but rather a necessity. It is something that makes their lives a little bit easier.
Who Can Get A Handicapped Parking Permit?
There are many different diseases, injuries, and health conditions that may require someone to need a closer parking spot:
- Lung or heart conditions that prevent someone from walking for a long distance
- Arthritis and other conditions that affects joints or bone, therefore making it difficult and painful for a person to walk farther than 200 feet
- Any condition that requires portable oxygen
- Acute sensitivity to light (porphyria)
- Substantially impaired mobility, like the use of a wheelchair or brace
Additionally, pregnant women may also need a closer parking spot. Sometimes, parking lots designate a few separate spaces for pregnant women in the same area as handicapped parking spaces.
While many of these conditions may arise from aging or genetics, plenty of people suddenly become disabled after an accident. A car or motorcycle accident, a fall at work, or a machinery mishap, among other scenarios, can cause serious and sudden disability. In some cases, victims may lose a limb, become blind, or suffer from injuries that severely limit their mobility.
How To Get A Permit
If an accident limits your mobility, consider a handicapped parking permit. To do so, get an application from your local DMV office, or find the form online. Have your doctor or health care provider sign it to certify your disability. Once your application is accepted, you get a placard for your car. This signals that you have the ability to park in certain spaces. If your disability is temporary, like a loss of mobility after surgery, you may receive the placard for temporary period of time, and can return it to the DMV when you no longer need it.
If you have a handicapped parking permit, it’s important to not abuse it. When people abuse their permits, it gives other the idea that handicapped people are lazy, entitled, or not really disabled or injured at all. This mindset hurts everyone. Only use your permit when you are in the vehicle, either as a driver or passenger. So, for example, a friend cannot use your permit without you in the car.
Hang the permit on the rearview mirror. It must be clearly visible. Be sure to park only in marked spots. If you no longer need it, return it to the DMV.
Be courteous and respectful of the people who use handicapped parking spots. In the event that an accident affects your mobility, you would want to be treated with respect, too!
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