How to get a handicap parking permit in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Have you ever wondered how to get a handicap parking permit in your state? Under federal law, anyone with a wide range of challenges is entitles to accessible parking. This can include people who are in recovery from short-term injuries or illnesses, and are eligible for temporary handicap parking permits. Below, we outline how to obtain a permit in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

New York
Who’s eligible?

Applicants must live in New York to be eligible for a permanent parking permit but do not need to be a licensed driver or own a vehicle. They must also provide proof of a qualifying disability, defined as one or more of the following impairments, disabilities or conditions that are both permanent in nature and affect mobility:

  • use of portable oxygen;
  • legal blindness;
  • limited use, or no use, of one or both legs;
  • inability to walk 200 feet without stopping;
  • a neuromuscular dysfunction that severely limits mobility;
  • a Class III or IV cardiac condition (American Heart Association standards);
  • severe  limitation in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition;
  • restriction because of lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg of room air at rest; or
  • any other physical or mental impairment not previously listed which constitutes an equal degree of disability, and imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty.

A state facility or agency licensed by the state or locality may also receive a parking permit for vehicles primarily used to transport people with qualifying disabilities. new-york-handicap-parking-permit-signs

How to obtain a permit

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not issue handicapped parking permits. Applicants must contact the city, town, or village clerk to find out which local agency issues the permits.

Generally, the agencies follow the same guidelines for issuing the permit as the DMV does for disability license plates, but there may be some differences. Most accept Form MV-664.1, which is available at any DMV, DMV call center, or online.

However, some localities have their own application form, and not all localities issue temporary permits. Contact the local issuing agent for specific information on how to obtain a permit.

Regardless of the form, all applicants must present proof of disability, which can be shown in one of two ways:

  1. Have a medical doctor, osteopath, optometrist, or podiatrist complete Part II (Medical Certification) of Form MV-664-1. Podiatrists must be licensed in New York; they can certify applicants only for severe disabilities of the foot; or
  2. Obtain a statement from a doctor certifying the applicant’s qualifying disability. The statement must be less than a year old, describe the condition and how it limits mobility, be on the doctor’s letterhead, and include the doctor’s professional license number and signature. If the doctor practices outside of New York , the statement must identify his or her licensing state.

A similar statement is also acceptable from

  •  a hospital, clinic. or medical facility;
  • the NYS Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the NYS Department of Education; or
  • the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in the Office of Children and Family Services (for verification of legal blindness).

Applicants with an obvious, visible, permanent disability, such as the complete or partial loss of a leg or foot, may have the requirement for a medical statement waived by the local issuing agent.

To apply for a temporary permit, applicants must present the same proof of disability as required for a permanent permit. The temporary permit will allow the same access to reserved parking spaces.

Fee

Parking permits for disabled persons are issued free of charge.

Validity/expiration of placards/permits

Temporary placards are valid for up to 6 months. If it is nearing expiration and the applicant still has a qualifying disability, he or she must obtain a new medical certification before applying for another parking permit.

Renewing your permit placard

Because issuance regulations vary by locality, applicants will need to contact the local issuing agent to determine renewal procedures.

Lost placard/replacement

Because issuance regulations vary by locality, applicants will need to contact the local issuing agent to determine procedures for replacing lost, stolen, or damaged permits.

Where to hang the placard/permit

The permit is designed to hang from the rear view mirror when parked but should be removed when the vehicle is being operated.

 

New Jersey
Who’s eligible?

A person is eligible if he or she

  • has lost the use of one or more limbs as a consequence of paralysis, amputation, or other permanent disability;
  • is severely and permanently disabled and cannot walk without the use of or assistance from a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device;
  • suffers from lung disease to such an extent that the applicant’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest;
  • has a cardiac condition to the extent that the applicant’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association;
  • is severely and permanently limited in the ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition;
  • cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest; or
  • has a permanent sight impairment of both eyes as certified by the N.J. Commission of the Blind.
new-jersey-handicap-parking-permit-signsHow to obtain a permit

Applicants must complete the application form (SP-41), which can then be dropped of at the local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agency or mailed to

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Special Plate Unit
PO Box 015
Trenton, NJ 08666-0015

Applications for temporary placards are available at any local police station or online. A qualified medical practitioner must certify that the applicant qualifies for a temporary placard. The completed form, along with a check or money order made payable to the Motor Vehicle Commission in the amount of $4.00, must be submitted in person to a municipal chief of police.

Fee

Permanent placards are free. Temporary placards are issued for a fee of $4.00.

Validity/expiration of placards/permits

Permanent placard holders must be medically recertified every three years. Temporary placards are valid for 6 months.

Renewing placards

Permanent placard holders must be medically recertified every three years. The recertification application may be dropped off at any local motor vehicle agency or mailed to

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Database Correction Unit
PO Box 141
Trenton, NJ 08666-0141

Permanent placards are renewed every 3 years, and renewal notices are mailed to the placard holders. Temporary placards are allowed a one-time six-month renewal.

Lost placard/replacement

Damaged, stolen, or lost placards may be replaced by visiting any MVC agency. If the applicant’s placard is

  • damaged, he or she must bring the damaged placard and his or her original “Person with a Disability Identification Card”;
  • lost, he or she must bring his or her original “Person with a Disability Identification Card”;
  • stolen, he or she must bring a copy of the police report, as well as his or her original “Person with a Disability Identification Card.”

If both the placard and “Person with a Disability Identification Card” are lost or stolen but not yet expired, it may be possible to reissue a new placard and identification card. The applicant must have a driver license or other form of identification, though, and a notarized statement or police report attesting to the loss or theft of the identification card and placard.

Where to hang the placard/permit

Placards must be displayed on the rear view mirror of the vehicle whenever it’s parked in a designated wheelchair symbol parking space. They must be removed when the vehicle is in motion.

 

Pennsylvania
Who’s eligible?

Eligibility extends to someone who is

  • does not have full use of an arm or both arms;
  • cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;
  • cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device;
  • is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that his or her forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 MM/HG on room air at rest;
  • uses portable oxygen;
  • has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association;
  • is blind;
  • is severely limited in his or her ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition; or
  • is someone in loco parentis of a person specified by any of the conditions above.
How to obtain a permitpennsylvania-handicap-parking-permit-signs

Applicants must complete Form MV-145A and submit it to

PennDOT
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 68268
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8268
Fee

There is no fee for a disability parking placard.

Validity/expiration of placards/permits

Four types of placards are available:

  1. Person with Disability Parking Placard, which is valid for 5 years;
  2. Severely Disabled Veteran Person with Disability Parking Placard, which is valid for 5 years;
  3. Person with Disability Temporary Parking Placard, which is valid 6 months; or
  4. Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Decal, which is valid during Pennsylvania’s motorcycle registration period
Renewing placards

Permanent placards are renewed in March and September each year. Permanent placard holders will be mailed a renewal notice 60 days before the placard expiration date. Those who do not receive the renewal notice should complete Form MV-145A.

Temporary placards may not be renewed. Temporary placard holders require recertification by a licensed health care provider after their placard expires.

Lost placard/replacement

Replacement placards may be applied for by completing Form MV-145A. The previous placard number will be listed in PennDOT’s computer system. If the previous placard is ever located, it should be returned to the PennDOT as it will be considered null and void.

Where to hang the placard/permit

The placard must be hung from the rear view mirror so that it is visible from the front and rear windshield of the vehicle.

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