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How to apply for a handicapped parking permit

Millions of Americans have conditions that make it difficult for them to get from their vehicle to the front doors of the businesses they frequent. Sometimes these conditions are permanent, like limb loss, and sometimes they’retemporary, like a broken leg or a serious injury. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 paved the way for people with disabilities to have preferential parking spots that make it easier for them to carry out their business.

States have very similar regulations when it comes to applying for a parking permit. Usually, the permits require a physician's certification as well as a completed application. Placards are generally free (or extremely cheap), while plates cost a few dollars more. Some states, like New Jersey, have slightly different processes for permanent/temporary indicators.

In New Jersey, the attainment of handicapped parking permits requires a relatively simple application process. The application for a handicapped placard can be found here. It is a particularly painless waiver, requiring basic information and a clear statement of intent for handicapped designation.

In addition to an identification card from the state, a placard can be used in any vehicle a disabled person rides in, whether or not they own it. The placard gives the driver authority to park in a designated handicapped parking space, regardless of whether the handicapped person is driving or a passenger in the vehicle. Due to the easy transference of the placard from vehicle to vehicle, each disabled person is only allotted one placard. There is no charge.

For temporary handicapped parking placards in New Jersey, the local police station administers applications. A doctor must certify an explicit need for the tag. Usually a small fee is submitted following the completion of the application for processing, usually payable to the Motor Vehicle Commission. Upon payment, the police issue a temporary placard, which are typically good for six months. There is one six-month renewal allowed.

California and Alabama have very similar laws pertaining to handicapped parking permits, although the application process is not federally standardized.

Sometimes people require a placard for conditions they expect to change, like broken limbs or cardiovascular issues that can be improved with surgery. States issue separate placards for cases like these; in California, they’re valid for up to six months, for example.

Whether you’re looking for a permanent or temporary placard, attaining one should be easy across the board for those who need them. Check with your local DMV for details, or your family doctor, who will be familiar with the process.

Handicapped Parking Permits
Your family doctor should have the paperwork for you to gain access to a temporary or permanent disabled parking placard.
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