Fiol Law Group|Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2018
If you or a loved one struggle with any type of disability, you may qualify for a handicap placard for your vehicle in Florida. Handicap placards allow drivers to park in handicap spots and have an easier time getting in and out of different buildings throughout Florida. Everyone who uses a handicap placard should know how to renew placards, as well as when and where they apply.
Qualifying for a Handicap Placard in Florida
A driver must meet several criteria to qualify for a handicap placard in Florida:
- The individual cannot walk 200 feet without rest.
- The individual suffers from severe mobility restriction due to an orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic medical condition.
- The individual suffers from severe lung disease.
- The individual requires permanent use of a wheelchair.
- The individual is legally blind.
An individual who wishes to obtain a Florida handicap placard must complete the Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit and provide proof of his or her medical condition signed and dated within the last 12 months by a qualified physician. This could be a general physician, osteopath, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, podiatrist, or optometrist. The fee for a temporary handicap placard is $15 and no fee to apply for a permanent handicap placard.
It is important to note that some individuals who suffer from these medical conditions cannot legally possess a Florida driver’s license. For example, you cannot obtain a license if you are legally blind. However, these individuals typically live with caregivers or guardians who manage transportation, and they can qualify for handicap placards to care for their disabled loved ones and find parking more easily. Many organizations also provide transportation for the handicapped, and these organizations may apply for and use Florida handicap placards as needed.
Renewing Your Handicap Placard in Florida
A temporary handicap placard in Florida lasts for six months and then the driver will need to renew the placard. For example, if an individual suffered an injury that does not interfere with driving ability but does make walking to and from the car difficult, he or she may secure a temporary handicap placard to use during recovery. A permanent handicap placard is valid for four years for a disabled person and expires on the owner’s birthday. If an organization that provides transportation to disabled individuals obtains a permanent handicap placard, the validity period is also four years and expires on June 30 of the expiration year.
Regulations for Handicap Placard Use
It is important to know how to use your handicap placard appropriately to avoid legal penalties. For example, it is not legal to use another person’s placard or to allow another driver to borrow your placard. Handicap placard owners must have the decal with expiration date visible when hanging the placard from the rear-view mirror while parked.
Handicap placards allow drivers to park in designated handicap parking spaces, but they may not park in the striped areas near handicap spaces, zones designated for buses and large vehicles, or any other area labeled with a “No Parking” sign. In most parts of Florida, a handicap placard allows a driver to park in a metered parking spot free of charge for up to four hours.
Anyone who has an out-of-state handicap placard may use his or her handicap placard from his or her home state during his or her time in Florida. If you plan to travel outside of Florida, you must consult with other states’ regulations for handicap placards and may need to apply for a temporary placard in your destination state. However, some states will authorize the use of a Florida handicap placard, so be sure to check before heading out on your trip. If you have questions or concerns about handicap placards in Florida, you can consult with your local Department of Motor Vehicles office for more information.