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How to Get Handicapped Plates

by Paula Brown
  • Overview

    You see them in every parking lot, close spaces with a sign that displays the international symbol of accessibility. Most people know it's a reserved parking space for someone with a handicapped plate or placard. In order to obtain handicapped privileges, one must have a qualifying condition. Besides wheelchairs, the conditions include the inability to walk more than 200 feet without resting, the use of portable oxygen, cardiac problems and the use of crutches or other assistive devices. Rules differ from state to state, but the basics of applying are the same throughout the U.S.
 
  • Step 1

    See your doctor. In most cases the state's department of motor vehicles will not issue a handicapped plate without the proper form from a doctor or a nurse practitioner. Some states will make an exception in the case of amputation. Recertification every few years from the doctor may be required; the laws differ by state.
  • Step 2

    Register your car. The vehicle that you would like the plates for needs to be registered in the name of the handicapped person. Several states have the paperwork available online. Download it, fill it out and bring it to the DMV with you, along with the doctor's certification. If the vehicle is already registered, bring the current registration to the DMV. If you meet all the criteria, the state will then issue a special plate and, if requested, at least one rear view mirror placard.
  • Step 3

    Obey the laws, and don't abuse the privilege. Handicapped spots are there for those who need them, and it is against the law to park in a special spot without the person to whom the plates were issued.
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  • Handicapped plates allow for parking in more places than just spots marked with a sign. You can park next to a blue or a green curb; those are also designated spots. Some states will allow cars with handicapped plates or placards to park in metered zones for free. Mirror placards can be issued for someone with a qualifying condition who will be riding in a car, but the license plates are issued to drivers.
  • Handicapped plates allow for parking in more places than just spots marked with a sign. You can park next to a blue or a green curb; those are also designated spots.
  • Some states will allow cars with handicapped plates or placards to park in metered zones for free.
  • Mirror placards can be issued for someone with a qualifying condition who will be riding in a car, but the license plates are issued to drivers.
  • Heavy fines may be assessed for abusing handicapped parking privileges. Misusing the plates can bring a fine of $250 or more.
  • Heavy fines may be assessed for abusing handicapped parking privileges. Misusing the plates can bring a fine of $250 or more.
  • USUnited States

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