Everyone dreams of finding that perfect parking space just outside the entrance to the restaurant, mall or grocery store.
But for some people, this kind of accessibility is a necessity rather than a luxury.
If you have limited mobility – whether it’s due to a physical disability or a chronic illness – you may be eligible for a handicap parking permit.
Each state has its own criteria for these permits, but because we’re a Pennsylvania-based business, we’re going to look at how to get a handicap parking permit in PA.
Here’s what the state Department of Motor Vehicles has to say on the issue.
Plate and placards
Pennsylvania offers two methods for people with disabilities to access the parking spaces reserved for them: parking placards, which are displayed on rearview mirrors when their vehicle is parked, and license plates.
There are different types of placards, including permanent ones that are valid for five years, and temporary versions that last six months. There also placards designed for veterans, and a special motorcycle decal for disabled veterans.
Who is eligible for a handicap parking permit?
If you have a disability and are wondering how to get a handicap parking permit in PA, talk to your doctor. Your health care provider is the person who will determine eligibility.
Eligibility includes people who are:
- Do not have full use of an arm or both arms
- Cannot walk 200 feet without a rest
- Cannot walk without using – or being helped by – a wheelchair, crutch, cane, brace, prosthetic or other assistance device
- Restricted by lung disease to the point that their respiratory volume for one second – when measured with a spirometer – is less than a liter
- Using portable oxygen
- Suffering from a heart condition to the extend that their functional limitations are classified as Class III or Class IV severity by the American Heart Association
- Severely limited in their ability to walk by an arthritic, orthopedic or neurological condition
In addition, anyone who is a parent, guardian or spouse of a person living with the conditions described above is eligible for a permit.
Where do I go to find out how to get a handicap parking permit in PA?
You can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles website and download the forms you need to get started:
- Form MV-145A is for people with disabilities who want a parking placard
- Form MV-145V is for veterans who want placards, plates or motorcycle decals
These forms must be notarized, and can be sent to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68268
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8268
Meanwhile, Form MV-70S is for people who wish to apply for a disability registration plate. This form must also be notarized, and mailed to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
What if I need a parking spot in front of my house?
This is a local matter, and has nothing to do with PennDOT. Talk to the municipality where you live. At the request of a person with a disability, they can put up a sign as close to your home as possible to signify that the space is reserved for someone with a disability.
At Pennsylvania Stairlifts, we know how important accessibility can be, whether you’re out in the world, or trying to make your way around your home.
That’s why we’re dedicated to helping our customers by installing stair lifts, platform lifts and other features to turn their homes into safer, more welcoming places. Contact us today to learn how we can make your home more accessible.