What Is a Disabled Parking Permit?

Misty Amber Brighton

A disabled parking permit is a sign placed on the vehicle of an individual with physical disabilities. This placard allows that person to park in a designated handicapped parking space. The requirements for having such a permit vary from one country to the next, but generally include certification of the disability by a licensed physician. This sign may also be referred to as a blue badge, handicapped permit, disabled placard, or disabled badge.

Disabled parking allows individuals with disabilities to park close to an establishment.
Disabled parking allows individuals with disabilities to park close to an establishment.

Most public buildings have parking spaces designated for people with disabilities. These spaces are generally very close to the building's entrance so that people with limited mobility will not need to walk very far in order to use the facilities. They are sometimes outlined in blue and may also have a picture of a wheelchair on them. Individuals who wish to utilize one of these special parking places must have a disabled parking permit displayed on their vehicle or be subject to towing or fines.

A disabled parking permit can be in a number of different formats, but they usually include a picture of a wheelchair. The sign could be a placard hung from the rear-view mirror of the vehicle. This is normally the case when a person has a temporary disability. A disabled placard such as this may have an expiration date written at the bottom of the sign.

Another form of disabled parking permit is one in which a picture of a wheelchair is printed on the vehicle's license plate. This is typically the case when an individual has a permanent disability. A disabled badge such as this is issued by a jurisdiction's motor vehicle bureau. Some documentation of a mobility issue may be required before such a license plate can be issued. This normally requires certification by a medical doctor in most cases.

Advocates for disability rights have played a key role in the increase of handicapped parking spaces in many areas, often by helping pass legislation which requires businesses to provide these parking places. While handicapped parking spaces are common in many countries, the procedure for obtaining a disabled parking permit may vary. For this reason, people with limited mobility should find out the requirements for receiving a disabled placard in their area. Doing so can help them take advantage of their rights no matter where they may be located.

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