New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Guidelines for Issuing Parking Permits
to People with Disabilities
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (NYS VTL) requires all cities, towns and villages in New York State to appoint an agent to issue permits to severely disabled individuals. These permits allow holders to park legally in spaces reserved for people with disabilities. The permits must be issued to the person with the disability, to use when the disabled person drives (or is a passenger in) any vehicle that is not being used for commercial purposes. Permits must also be issued to state facilities or agencies licensed by New York State , or any of its political subdivisions, that operate a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting persons with disabilities.
Eligibility for a Permit
Any NYS resident who qualifies as a severely disabled person is eligible for a statewide parking permit. The NYS VTL refers to NYS residents with permanent disabilities, not just drivers with disabilities. The permit offers an alternative to disabled drivers who do not want to display license plates with the wheelchair symbol. However, a parking permit can also be issued to drivers who have the special wheelchair license plates to use when driving or riding in another vehicle.
Although permits can be issued to people who have a driver license and/or vehicle registration, they are also issued to children of any age, the elderly and others who don't drive or own a vehicle. Parents or guardians may submit an application on behalf of severely disabled person. However, in all cases, the permit must be issued in the name of the person with disability.
Temporary parking permits may be issued to anyone who is certified by a physician as unable to walk without the help of an assisting device, and to visitors from another country who are disabled and traveling in New York State .
A facility or agency licensed by New York State or its political subdivisions, may also apply for a permit for each vehicle it uses primarily to transport disabled persons.
Definition of Severely Disabled Person (VTL S404-a(4)
A "severely disabled person" is an individual with one or more of the following impairments, disabilities or conditions, which affect mobility and are PERMANENT in nature:
- uses portable oxygen
- limited or no use of one or both legs
- unable to walk 200 feet without stopping
- a neuromuscular dysfunction which severely limits mobility
- class III or IV cardiac condition (American Heart Association Standards)
- restricted by lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg of room air at rest
- severely limited in ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
- Another physical or mental condition not included above which constitutes an equal degree of disability. The disability prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty, and is of such a nature as to impose unusual hardship in using public transportation facilities
Physicians licensed in New York and other states may provide certification for conditions 1, 2 and 3 above. However, only physicians licensed in NYS may certify that someone is eligible for a permit as described in condition 9 above. A podiatrist licensed in NYS may only certify applicants for severe disabilities of the foot.
Temporary Parking Permits
Temporary parking permits can be issued to any person who is unable to ambulate without the aid of an assisting device, as certified by a physician (VTL S1203-a(3). These devices include wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes, prostheses, portable oxygen or others. Temporary permits are issued for periods of six months or less.
Renewal Requirements for Temporary Permits
Applicants who have a temporary parking permit that is due to expire, and who are still disabled, must return to their physician to obtain new medical certification attesting that they are still temporarily disabled.
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law does not provide for a user fee, and a fee may not be charged for issuing an original or renewal parking permit.
License Plates for the Disabled
Disabled individuals may apply for plates at any Motor Vehicles office. They must provide proof of disability, along with other items that are necessary for registering a vehicle.
Customers who already have a valid, permanent parking permit issued in New York State , or who have a permit that was issued in the state where they previously lived, are required to submit a doctor's statement as proof of disability.
Disabled registrants who already have standard New York license plates, and who now want disabled license plates, must bring proof of the disability, or a valid, permanent parking permit, the New York plates and registration, to any Motor Vehicles office. The disabled plates may also be obtained at the same time your registration is renewed.
For detailed information regarding handicap parking permits and license plates, visit www.nysdmv.com.