When you’re driving or looking for a parking spot, it’s not uncommon to see handicap license plates on a few motor vehicles. In fact, you may know someone who has them. It could be your sibling, parent, grandparent, cousin, distant relative, or friend.
But let’s be honest. If you weren’t closely involved in the process, do you know what it took for them to get those handicap license plates?
Here’s the short answer: a long time.
The application process that the DMV uses to provide handicap license plates is not easy to navigate. What’s worse is the material you have to review before you even apply.
There’s a long list of eligibility requirements that you have to evaluate before applying for handicap license plates. And on top of that, you have to go down a rabbit hole of research to determine whether you actually need a handicap plate or just a handicap permit.
Getting these types of license plates is not straightforward. But if you’re in a situation where you need handicap plates, you should know how to get them.
What are handicap license plates?
Before you learn how to get handicap license plates, you need to know what they are.
In a nutshell, handicap plates grant you special parking privileges if you have a physical disability. These privileges manifest as reserved parking spots that are conveniently located close to buildings, making them the most desirable spaces.
If you have a handicap placard, you can also park in one of these useful spots. However, it’s important to remember that handicap plates and placards are not the same. They have similar benefits but slightly different meanings and guidelines attached to them.
Handicap license plates, for example, indicate that you have a permanent physical disability. Dark blue handicap placards also suggest this information. However, unlike license plates, you have to renew a dark blue handicap sticker after a certain period of time.
But maybe you have a temporary physical disability. In this case, you need to get a red handicap placard. And this type of sticker has to be renewed at a specific time as well.
The time at which you renew your handicap placards will depend on the state that you live in, and the time frame will differ based on the type of placard you have. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that placards and plates indicate different things and come with different rules for keeping them.
What are the eligibility criteria?
If you’re wondering if you’re eligible for handicap license plates, your first step should be consulting your physician. Your doctor has insight into whether your condition meets the necessary criteria.
However, your physician’s insight doesn’t mean you can bypass the research process altogether. You’ll still want to review the eligibility requirements to get a full picture of what it’ll take to get handicap license plates. And the criteria will differ across the U.S.
You’ll need to look up the requirements for your specific state. But there are common conditions that typically qualify you for handicap plates. Those conditions are the following:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Significantly impaired mobility
- An ailment that reduces your ability to use your legs or walk
- Regular vision problems like partial and low-vision sightedness
- Loss of a limb, including both hands or one of both legs
- Limited use of hands and legs
These physical disabilities and ailments are just a handful of conditions that qualify you for handicap license plates. However, most states have much more detailed lists. New York, for example, outlines several other qualifications, including:
- Legal blindness
- The use of portable oxygen
- The inability to walk 200 feet without stopping
- A neurological, orthopedic, or arthritic condition that leads to severe limitations
- A neuro-muscular condition that prevents mobility
Ultimately, research will be the best path to understanding if you’re eligible for handicap plates. Your state DMV should have the answers you need, and you’ll want to review them thoroughly before you start the application process.
How to get handicap plates through the DMV
If you meet one or more of the criteria for handicap license plates, the next step is to apply for them. To complete this step, you might consider going to the DMV. It’s the conventional route that most people take.
But it’s the longest path that you can go down to get your handicap plates. The DMV requires you to do several tedious tasks during the application process. For example, consider New York again. The procedure at this state’s DMV demands a handful of steps.
1. Showcase proof your disability
Unless you have a visible, obvious, and permanent physical disability, like the loss of a leg, foot, or hand, your physician must confirm your physical ailment. You can get this confirmation in a couple of different ways.
The first way is to get your doctor to fill out the Medical Certification, Part II, on the application for getting handicap license plates. You can get this document by going to your local DMV or contacting the DMV Call Center.
But regardless of the route you choose, expect a long wait time. The DMV is never a place where you can get in and out in a timely manner. It always takes a while to get what you need whenever you visit.
Now, the second option is slightly better. Instead of asking your doctor to fill out the application, you need to ask them for a statement confirming that you have a qualifying disability.
However, the statement should be on your physician’s letterhead. And it must be less than one year old, explain your condition, and include your doctor’s professional signature and license number.
2. Provide proof of identity
This rule is pretty standard across every state. If you want to get handicap license plates, you need to prove your identity.
Luckily, you can do this very easily. All you have to do is bring a driver’s license, passport, or something else that confirms who you are. Once you have material that will work, you can scratch this task off your list quickly.
3. Complete and turn in the application
The last step is another complicated one, depending on how well you understand the DMV’s application.
Getting handicap license plates will require you to fill out a form for approval. And while that sounds like an easy task, if you’ve ever been to the DMV, you know their applications can be confusing, poorly written, and long.
Sometimes, it can seem like you’re filling out a tax form more than an application for a motor vehicle. You usually have to ask an employee for assistance or clarification on questions, and sometimes, they don’t have the answers you need.
A better solution for getting handicap license plates
If you want to avoid the headache and wait time you’ll likely experience with the DMV, you can take advantage of another solution.
Barry Risk Management, Inc. provides handicap license plates if you have a temporary or physical disability. You can work with Barry Risk Management, Inc. online — you don’t have to leave your home to get what you need.
And you can rely on a representative to guide you through the entire process of getting handicap license plates. Barry Risk Management, Inc. has representatives that know your state’s eligibility criteria, the information that you’ll have to provide, and the exact way to fill out your application.
You can take out the research phase, guesswork, and questions. With Barry Risk Management, Inc., all you have to do is sit back and let a representative handle the hard work for you.
Instead of going to the DMV, contact Barry Risk Management, Inc. today if you need to get handicap license plates quickly!