Many may be under the misconception that they aren’t eligible for a handicapped parking permit or plate, or that they don’t need one when they’re dealing with pain on a frequent basis. If you are unable to walk further than 200 feet without resting, cannot walk without assistance, restricted by lung or heart conditions, use portable oxygen, or are limited in your ability to walk, you should apply for a handicapped parking plate or placard. After all, handicapped parking was created for these very reasons.
Qualifications for disabled parking may vary by state, and each state has their own requirements to obtain handicapped parking permits. Generally, you must fill out and have your physician sign a form certifying your disabilities and need for disabled parking. There may be a fee associated with obtaining these parking rights, but it’s usually just a one time fee, around $15.
Unfortunately, abuse of disabled parking is quite common. Plain and simple – it isn’t right to take away much needed parking spaces from someone that really needs it. If someone parks in a handicapped space without the proper identification, you should inform local law enforcement.
Another difficult aspect about handicapped parking is the judgement that you may receive from others. Our solution? Politely inform them you can’t see all disabilities from the outside, and move about your day. Don’t let yourself suffer by walking the entire length of the parking lot and tiring yourself out before you even get into the store. Remember, handicapped parking isn’t a luxury for disabled persons, it’s a necessity.