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Disability Parking For Travelers
By: Yudit Frei | May 27 2019

Many people with a disability, particularly wheelchair users and people with mobility disabilities, prefer to take their own vehicle with them on vacations and trips.

The ease of having your own transportation and not dealing with the complications of air travel often outweighs the many hours of driving necessary to visit another state.

accessibleGO put together this state-by-state guide to disability parking rules so you can plan your trip with peace of mind.

Updated and expanded on May 27, 2019.


MarcBruxelle

Disability parking permits
Disability parking permits

A vehicle that belongs to a person with a disability is recognizable by a disability parking permit that may take the form of a placard, card or sticker and is usually displayed in the front windshield. The Department of Motor Vehicles also issues license plates for people with permanent disabilities that displays the Universal Symbol of Access. Passengers with disabilities can often use their parking placard in any vehicle as long as it is clearly displayed.

Parking laws covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Parking laws covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The law under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that commercial facilities and public accommodation must be accessible to all. This includes providing parking spaces that are reserved for people with a disability parking permit and clearly labeled with the Universal Symbol of Access. This means that any place a traveler wants to visit that has a parking lot, should have accessible parking available. Most cities also have “on street” parking that is reserved for drivers or passengers with disabilities in vehicles that display a permit. “On Street” parking places are distinguishable by parking meters or a painted curb.

If you have a disabled placard from your home state it will be recognized in most other US states. In certain states, you can apply for a travel parking placard that will allow you to use accessible parking across the United States for a limited amount of time.

In general, most states follow similar rules for accessible parking. Below is a quick summary to help you before you set off on your travels. Each state has their own site with a clear set of rules and regulations for drivers with a disability placard. Make sure you are familiar with the parking regulations before you travel as they may be different to those in your home state.

So far, our guide covers 23 U.S. states, including the 20 most visited U.S. cities. We will continue to expand and update this guide.

General rules to consider
General rules to consider

Parking spaces in parking lots and on the road that are reserved for drivers with a disability placard are clearly marked with the Universal Symbol of Access.

If a space has a person’s name or license number on the sign or painted on the space, do not park there.

The striped or crosshatched area adjacent to a disabled parking space is for easy access in and out of the vehicle. Do not park in this area.

Your parking placard must be visible through the front windshield of your car.

Do not use a parking placard that has expired or is not in your name.

Arizona
Arizona

Arizona DOT - Disability Information

Placards Issued in Arizona

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Arizona may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Arizona

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Arizona.

California
California

California DMV - Disability Information

Placards Issued in California

Travelers with a disability placard issued in California may use their parking placard in any other US state. California residents who have a permanent (non-removable) parking placard or license plates and will be traveling to other states in another vehicle can apply for a travel parking placard that is valid for 30 days.

Using Out-of-State Placards in California

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in California. However, visitors to California who are traveling in a vehicle that does not have their permanent (non-removable) parking placard or license plates can apply to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles for a nonresident travel parking placard which is valid for 90 days.

Parking Rules in California

You may park next to a blue curb (authorized parking for persons with disabilities) or a green curb (limited time parking) for as long as you wish. Parking spaces that are indicated by the Universal Symbol of Access and crosshatched marking are for wheelchair users only.

You may park at a parking meter with no charge. You may park in any spot that is indicated for resident or merchant parking only.

Do not park where the curb is painted red, white or yellow.

Additional Tips

Please note that service stations in California must refuel a disabled person’s vehicle at self-service rates unless the service facility has only one employee on duty. 

Colorado
Colorado

Colorado DMV - Disability Information

Colorado.gov - Persons with Disabilities Parking Privileges

Placards Issued in Colorado

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Colorado may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Colorado

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Colorado.

Parking Rules in Colorado

You may park in any spaces that are marked by the Universal Symbol of Access. Those with Colorado remuneration-exempt identifying placards may park free of charge at parking meters.

Florida
Florida

Florida HSMV - Disability Information

Florida HSMV - Disabled Person Parking Permits for Florida Visitors

Placards Issued in Florida

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Florida may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Florida

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Florida. If you are visiting from a foreign country with a placard that does not display one of the international symbols of accessibility, you must obtain a Florida temporary disabled person parking permit. Please see the link above for more information.

Parking Rules in Florida

You may park free of charge at on-street parking meters for up to four hours. Do not park in striped areas that are adjacent to accessible parking spaces; this is an access aisle.

Georgia
Georgia

Georgia DMV - Disability Information

Placards Issued in Georgia

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Georgia may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Georgia

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Georgia.

Illinois
Illinois

Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) - Disability Placard Information

Placards Issued in Illinois

Travelers with a disability placard or license issued in Illinois may use their parking placard in most other US states, however, some jurisdictions may not allow free parking, even with an Illinois meter-exempt parking placard.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Illinois

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Illinois, but do not qualify for meter-exempt parking and are required to pay any fees associated with using parking space with a meter.

Additional Tips

If you have a meter-exempt parking placard issued in the State of Illinois, you may park free of charge at a parking meter for an unlimited amount of time, unless the meter has a 30-minute maximum time.

Indiana
Indiana

Indiana BMV - Information for Drivers with Disabilities

Placards Issued in Indiana

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Indiana may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Indiana

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Indiana.

Louisiana
Louisiana

Lousiana Office of Motor Vehicles - Disability Hang Tag
 
Placards Issued in Louisiana

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Louisiana may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Louisiana

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Louisiana.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts

Mass.gov - Disability Placards & Plates

Placards Issued in Massachusetts

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Massachusetts may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Massachusetts

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Massachusetts.

Parking Rules in Massachusetts

In certain areas, you may park at a parking meter free of charge, but please be careful as this does not apply everywhere (e.g. Massachusetts Port Authority does not exempt meter fees).

Do not park in an area that has been painted with crosshatch and is adjacent to a disabled parking space - this is for ramp access only.

Michigan
Michigan

Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) - Disability Parking

Placards Issued in Michigan

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Michigan may use their parking placard in all other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Michigan

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Michigan.

Parking Rules in Michigan

You may park in any spaces that are marked by the Universal Symbol of Access. Only vehicles displaying a Michigan disability placard with yellow free-parking stickers are exempt from paying parking meters.

Missouri
Missouri

Missouri Department of Revenue - Disability Placard Information
 
Placards Issued in Missouri

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Missouri may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Missouri

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Missouri.

New Jersey
New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Human Services - Guide to Accessible Parking

Placards Issued in New Jersey

Travelers with a disability placard issued in New Jersey may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in New Jersey.

Parking Rules in New Jersey

You may park in any spaces that are marked by the Universal Symbol of Access. When parking in a metered space, you must put the appropriate amount of money in the meter.

Additional Tips

When occupying metered parking space for more than the maximum amount of time allotted on the meter, you must fill the meter to the maximum amount allowed. This will permit you to leave your vehicle in the space for up to 24 hours without having to come back and refill the meter.

New York
New York

New York DMV - Parking for People with Disabilities

Placards Issued in New York

Travelers with a disability placard issued in New York may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in New York

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in New York.

Parking in New York City

New York State parking placards and those issued in other states can be used to park in accessible spots in parking lots in New York City, but cannot be used to park on the city streets. Only NYC Disability parking permit holders are eligible for parking on New York City streets (the permits are not valid outside of New York City).

Nevada
Nevada

Nevada DMV - Disabled Parking Laws

Placards Issued in Nevada

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Nevada may use their parking placard in most other US States.

Using Out-of-State Plates in Nevada

Visitors from any other US State may use their parking placard in Nevada.

Parking Rules in Nevada

You cannot park in a disabled parking stall labeled “reserved for the exclusive use of side-loading wheelchair lift” unless your vehicle displays special plates or a placard and it is equipped with a side-loading lift. Having a placard does not waive parking fees for metered spaces and garages.

North Carolina
North Carolina

North Carolina DMV - Disability Parking FAQ

Placards Issued in North Carolina

Travelers with a disability placard issued in North Carolina may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in North Carolina

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in North Carolina.

Parking Rules in North Carolina

You may park without time limits in any spaces that are marked by the Universal Symbol of Access.

Additional Tips

In many, but not all jurisdictions, you may also park longer than posted in any standard parking space. Please check local regulations before doing so.

Ohio
Ohio

Ohio BMV - Disability Plates/Placards

Placards Issued in Ohio

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Ohio may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Ohio

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Ohio.

Oregon
Oregon

Oregon DMV - Disabled Person Parking

Oregon DMV - Instructions and Regulations for Disabled Person Parking Permit

Placards Issued in Oregon

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Oregon may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Oregon

Visitors from any other US State may use their parking placard in Oregon. The Oregon DMV will also issue a foreign visitor disability permit valid for 30 days to a person who meets the requirements.

Parking Rules in Oregon

You can park without time restriction in spaces marked by the Universal Symbol of Access and in any public parking zones with time limits of more than 30 minutes. Wherever a “wheelchair user only” sign is posted, a person is required to have a valid “wheelchair user only” permit to park in the space.

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania DMV - Disability Parking Placard

Placards Issued in Pennsylvania

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Pennsylvania may use their parking placard in all other US states.

Using Out-of-State Plates in Pennsylvania

Visitors from any other US State may use their parking placard in Pennsylvania.

Parking Rules in Pennsylvania

In areas with time restrictions on parking, placard holders may park for 60 minutes longer than the posted limit.

South Carolina
South Carolina

South Carolina DMV - Disability Placard Information

Placards Issued in South Carolina

Travelers with a disability placard issued in South Carolina may use their parking placard in most other US States.

Using Out-of-State Plates in South Carolina

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in South Carolina.

Parking Rules in South Carolina

You may park in metered spaces free-of-charge with no time limit, except at times when the stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited, or in areas reserved for special types of vehicles.

Tennessee
Tennessee

TN.gov - Disabled Plates/Placards

Placards Issued in Tennessee

Visitors with a disability placard issued in Tennessee may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Tennessee

Travelers from any other US state may use their parking placard in Tennessee.

Parking Rules in Tennessee

You may park free of charge at a parking meter for an unlimited amount of time.

Texas
Texas

Texas DMV - Disabled Parking

Placards Issued in Texas

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Texas may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Texas

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Texas.

Parking Rules in Texas

You may park free of charge at a parking meter but may not exceed the stated time allowance unless specifically mentioned in that location.

Virginia
Virginia

Virginia DMV - Disabled Parking Placards and Plates Privileges

Placards Issued in Virginia

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Virginia may use their parking placard in all other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Virginia

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Virginia.

Parking Rules in Virginia

You may park for up to four hours in metered or time-restricted spaces without paying a fee (unless prohibited by the locality).

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.

DC DMV - Disability Access Information

DC .gov - Disability Parking

Placards Issued in Washington D.C.

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Washington D.C. may use their parking placard in most other US States.

Using Out-of-State Placards and Plates in Washington D.C.

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Washington D.C.

Parking Rules in Washington D.C.

Red top meters are reserved for people with disabled parking placards or licenses. You must pay for the meter, but you are granted additional time. You may also park at a regular (non-red top) meter, pay the fee and observe the time limit.

Washington State
Washington State

Washington State Department of Licensing - Disabled Parking

Placards Issued Washington State

Travelers with a disability placard issued in Washington State may use their parking placard in most other US states.

Using Out-of-State Placards in Washington State

Visitors from any other US state may use their parking placard in Washington State.

Parking Rules in Washington State

You may park free of charge for unlimited periods of time in on-street parking, metered parking spaces, and designated accessible parking spots. Van-accessible spaces are designed for use by wheelchair vans only. If you do not use a van you may park there only if no other disabled spaces are available. You may not park in zones or areas where the stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited or in areas reserved for special types of vehicles. Off-street parking facilities that charge for parking may charge the same fee to vehicles with placards.

Additional Tips

Local jurisdictions may impose time limits of no less than 4 hours on the use of standard metered parking spaces or on-street parking spaces designated for people with disabilities, check posted signs.

For travelers from abroad
For travelers from abroad

Certain US states will recognize parking permits issued in other countries. These include the states of California, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, and Texas. Please check the DMV website for the state you will be visiting to learn the specific rules and regulations.

If you need to apply for a temporary parking permit, check the DMV website for the state you will be traveling to. You should be able to download an application form and receive a list of which information you need to supply in order to obtain a travel parking placard for non-residents, such as a copy of your parking permit in your country of residence and proof of identity. There is a fee for this service.

You cannot use a parking permit from another country in Florida but can use it to obtain a temporary permit for the duration of your stay. Obtain the permit (in person, or via a family member, friend or guardian) at any Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles office; show your own parking permit and passport, and pay the fee.

Washington DC offers a one-week disability parking permit that is suitable for tourists. You can download the form by clicking here.

Rental cars
Rental cars
If you have a disabled parking placard or permit that is registered in your name, but not to any particular vehicle, you may use it in any vehicle in which you are the driver or the passenger, as long as it is clearly visible through the front windshield. This applies to rental cars. If you do not own a placard or permit, you can obtain a temporary one from the state in which you are resident or the state in which you are traveling. Please note you may be asked to provide medical information and/or the authorization of your doctor.
Additional resources
Additional resources

The USA Section of the FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller - This website offers a guide state by state and also offers a printable notice that you can display next to your parking placard if you are a visitor in another state.

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