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FAQ on Disabled Parking Placards


How do I get a disabled parking permit? Who is eligible?

You must submit application form HSMV 83039, signed by a physician within the last 12 months, to your local tax collector's office with appropriate payment for temporary permits only. In addition to the completed form, be sure to bring a copy of your Florida driver license or Florida identification card.

After you have been issued a parking permit, you will receive a renewal notice before your next expiration date.

If you have any questions concerning the parking permit program, you may call your local county tax collector's office or Customer Service Center at (850) 617-2000.

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Will everyone with a disabled parking permit be able to park for free at meters?

Anyone with a disabled parking permit who parks on the street at a turnstile meter will continue to park for free. However, there are new time restrictions; 4 hours maximum. The law also allows local municipalities to exceed the 4 hours maximum by local ordinance.

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What are the guidelines for public facilities charging a person whose vehicle displays a disabled parking permit to park?

Free parking is granted to the driver of a vehicle transporting a disabled person who has the properly issued permit or special license plate, on public streets and highways in areas used for public parking. Where a parking meter is present, such a permit allows free parking for up to 4 hours, unless more time is permitted by local ordinance.

Please note that the law allows certain public venues to charge parking fees to persons with disabilities as follows: Counties and municipalities may charge a fee for parking a vehicle with a special license plate available to persons with disabilities or transporting a person in possession of a disabled parking permit in the following settings: government lots that are used for entertainment, such as convention centers, cruise port terminals, sports stadiums, sports arenas, coliseums, auditoriums and at facilities or lots that provide timed parking spaces.

An airport that owns, operates, or leases parking facilities, or any other parking facilities that are used for the purpose of air travel, may charge for parking vehicles that display a disabled parking permit or have a special license plate available to persons with disabilities. However, no county or municipality may charge fees for parking in its timed or metered parking spaces, and no publically owned or operated airport may charge parking fees, for a vehicle with specialized equipment used by a person with a disability, such as a ramp, lift, or foot or hand controls, or for utilization by a person who has a disability or whose vehicle displays the Florida Toll Exemption permit is also entitled to free parking in these locations.

What is the limit on the number of days I can park using my disabled parking permit?

The new law allows facilities to restrict the number of days (in a row) a vehicle may be parked with a permit, if the number of days is being restricted for the general public.

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What are the requirements for the size of the disabled parking spaces?

All disabled parking spaces are required to be 12 feet wide with a 5-foot access aisle by October 1, 1997. A 5-foot access aisle may be shared by two accessible spaces. The law also requires the space to have the signage and painting properly maintained.

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Who will enforce the spaces?

The law allows a law enforcement officer, parking enforcement specialist and the owner or lessee of the space that finds a vehicle in violation to have the vehicle towed. The officer or enforcement specialist has the option of writing a ticket for the violation. All violations will be recorded by the local clerk and submitted to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for input into a statewide computer. This will allow the courts to place stiffer penalties on those drivers who are repeat offenders, which can also include 40 hours of community service with a program that serves people with disabilities.

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What new requirements will assist with enforcement?

Access aisles are now a no parking zone for all vehicles whether the vehicle is displaying a disabled parking permit or not. The fine for parking in an access aisle is the same for the disabled parking space, most commonly $250. The placement of the identification number on the permit will allow the enforcement entity to request the identification card or driver license. They can then match the number on the ID to the number on the permit, and match the picture on the ID to the person using the permit. If anything does not match, a ticket will be written.

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What new requirements are in place to deter physicians from signing applications for people who are not eligible?

The application will warn all applicants and physicians that the permits are only for those people who are severely mobility impaired. Any physician who signs an application for someone who is not eligible can be fined $1,000 or one year in jail or both. All applications will now be tracked by computer and the number signed by specific physicians can be reviewed. Any person who applies and is not eligible can be fined the same as a physician.

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What will be done if someone uses a family members' permit or person uses a permit that does not belong to them?

Anyone who obtains or uses a permit that does not belong to them can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor - $1000 fine or up to 6 months in jail. Improper use of the permit is now twice the fee of a disabled parking violation. This should deter people from loaning their permits to family members. It does not matter if you are running an errand for the person with a disability. If the person with a disability is not present -- the fine is $1000.

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(Revised June 8, 2012)

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