Each state has its own rules and guidelines for disabled drivers. It is important to know the different rules for your state.
In the state of Hawaii, for instance, you are eligible for a disability parking permit if you suffer from one of the following conditions:
Inability to walk 200 feet without taking a rest
If you have a cardiac condition classified as a Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
If you have a lung disease that restricts or severely inhibits your ability to breathe
If you are legally blind
If you suffer from an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition that inhibits your mobility
If you use portable oxygen
If you require a cane, crutch, wheelchair, or some other assistive device to walk
What types of permits are available in Hawaii?
Hawaii offers several types of disability permits. One is the temporary disability placard, which is available if you expect your disability will last less than six months. Temporary placards are valid only for six months and must be renewed. To renew, complete the Person with a Disability Parking Permit Application. The application requires that you have a licensed physician certify that you do in fact suffer from a disability that will make you eligible for disabled driver status. Lastly, you must submit the form, in person, to your nearest county DMV. This location should be listed on your application form.
A second option is a permanent placard, which is valid for four years. The application process for the permanent placard is the same, and still requires confirmation and authorization by a licensed physician.
A third option is a special license plate, and this is available if you have a permanent disability. While permanent placards in Hawaii are free, a temporary placard will cost you 12 dollars, along with an additional fee of 12 dollars for each replacement temporary placard. Special license plates cost five dollars and fifty cents along with any registration fees. Please note that you must submit your application in person unless your physician verifies that you cannot get to the county office. In this case, you will be allowed to mail your application to your closest DMV.
What happens if someone is abusing a disabled parking placard?
Misusing or abusing your disabled parking privileges is a misdemeanor, and may result in fines from 250 to 500 dollars. Make sure that you do not lend your placard to anyone else. In order to use the placard you must be inside the vehicle, acting as either the driver or a passenger. You may also be fined for displaying an expired placard. Please make sure that you renew your temporary placard every six months, or if you have a permanent placard, that you renew it every four years.
Can I use my out-of-state placard or license plate if I am visiting Hawaii?
Yes. Hawaii, perhaps because it is such a popular destination for tourists, allows you to use your out-of-state parking placard while you are visiting.
What if I lose or damage my placard?
In this case, you must download the Person with a Disability Parking Permit Application, enclose the original placard, and submit both items to your closest county DMV.
Where am I allowed to park with my disabled parking placard and/or special license plate?
You may park anywhere you see the International Symbol of Access. You may not park in areas marked “no parking anytime” or in bus zones. Also, you may park in a metered space for up to two and a half hours without paying the meter fee. Please note that many states have very specific laws about how long you may park in a metered space. Some states allow you to park for an unlimited amount of time, while others, such as Hawaii, will allow a long but limited amount of time.
Where should I display my placard?
You should hang your placard from your rearview mirror. However, while you are driving be sure to place the placard elsewhere, as it might obstruct your vision if it is left hanging from the mirror. Make sure that the expiration date is facing the windshield so that a law enforcement officer can see the placard easily if he or she needs to.
If you feel that you need assistance while driving, you might want to look into obtaining a disabled driver placard and/or license plate. There are obvious benefits, and you do not want to cause yourself more pain by trying to do more than you should. By following the guidelines above, you will be able to apply for a disabled driver parking placard and/ or license in the state of Hawaii.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Disabled Driver Laws and Permits in Hawaii and was authored by Valerie Johnston.