Tips to apply for disabled parking placards, avoid fines

Posted at 11:21 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 11:56:39-05

In Maryland, disabled drivers are given special parking benefits that include designated parking spaces, extra time at parking meters and waived fees at meters that don’t comply with ADA guidelines.

Disability parking plates and placards are issued by the MVA to drivers through an online application that requires a physician’s health verification.

Parking placards are free and can be used inside multiple vehicles. Disability plates come with a $20 fee and are given solely to the disabled driver.

To receive a permit, drivers and dependents must be certified as having one of the following 10 disabilities:

  1. Has lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or arterial oxygen tension (pO2) is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
  2. Has cardiovascular disease limitations classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
  3. Is unable to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  4. Is unable to walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, or other assistance device.
  5. Requires a wheelchair for mobility.
  6. Has lost an arm, hand, foot, or leg. 
  7. Has lost the use of an arm, hand, foot, or leg.
  8. Has a permanent disability that adversely impacts the ambulatory ability of the applicant and which is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to a risk or injury if the privileges accorded a person from whom a vehicle is specially registered were denied.
  9. Has a permanent impairment of both eyes so that: 1) The central vision acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or 2) There is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye. 
  10. Temporary Placard (red) Disability is not permanent but would substantially impair the person’s mobility or limit or impair the person’s ability to walk for at least three weeks, and is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to risk of injury if the Temporary Placard were denied.

Placards are valid for four years, while registration tags must be replaces every two years. Placards must be displayed on the rearview mirror or dashboard with the expiration date in clear view.

Anyone found fraudulently using or applying for a placard or plate faces a fine up to $500.

RELATED: Harford County investigators issue 19 citations for disabled parking fraud

Harford County investigators issued 19 citations for fraudulent placard use last week, and urge drivers to respect those with disabilities by parking in appropriate spaces. 

For more details on driving with a disability in Maryland, visit the MVA website

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