Who Qualifies for Handicap Stickers?
- Criteria to qualify for handicap permits varies from state to state, although in general, medical conditions that limit mobility are the qualifying factors. Specific requirements for individual states can be found online at My Parking Permit and DMV.org, or on the website of the motor vehicle department of each state.
- In California, for instance, a qualifying disability is limited mobility resulting from heart disease or other circulatory disease; lung disease; any disease that limits the use of the legs or the loss of one or both legs or hands; or specific vision problems including low vision and blindness.
In New York State, qualifying disabilities include lung disease measured by spirometry; use of portable oxygen; blindness; limited or no use of the legs; inability to walk 200 feet without stopping; a Class III or Class IV cardiac condition as defined by the American Heart Association standards; and difficulty walking due to arthritis or a neurological or orthopedic condition.
- Drivers who are permanently or temporarily disabled may visit the local DMV office or go online to download an application form for a placard or hangtag. In most cases, a physician's authorization is required. A temporary condition that requires short-term use of crutches, a cane, a wheelchair, a walker or other such device will qualify the disabled person for a temporary handicap permit.
- The handicap permit can be used in any vehicle, no matter who owns the vehicle, but the handicapped person who was issued the permit must be in the vehicle. Handicap permits may also be issued to someone who regularly drives a disabled person. The permits are recognized in every state, no matter where they are issued. With a handicap permit, the vehicle is entitled to park in any space displaying the wheelchair symbol; the sticker or placard must be displayed. The hangtag must not be hung from the rearview mirror while the vehicle is in motion.
- Parking in a handicap spot without displaying a handicap permit or unlawful use of a handicap permit will subject the driver to fines and penalties, and the vehicle may be towed.