Even if you are not a disabled driver, it is important that you know what the disabled driver laws are in your state. The following article focuses on the disabled driver laws in the state of Maryland.
How do I know if I am eligible for a disabled parking placard and/or license plate in the state of Maryland?
You are probably eligible to receive special parking privileges if you suffer from one of the following conditions:
You cannot walk 200 feet without requiring assistance or stopping to rest
You require a wheelchair, crutch, cane, or other assistive device
You have a lung disease that inhibits your ability to breathe
You are legally blind
You require portable oxygen
You have an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition that restricts your mobility
If you have lost an arm or a leg
If you have a cardiac condition classified as a Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
If one or more of the above applies to you, then you are most likely eligible to receive a disabled driver placard and/or license plate in the state of Maryland.
I have established that I have one or more these conditions. What is the next step?
The next step is to request an application for “Maryland Parking Placards/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability” (form number VR-210) by calling the MVA at any of the number below:
- Call MVA’s Fax on Demand System at 410-424-3050 and request Catalogue #15
- Call MVA’s Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000
- Call MVA's Customer Service Center from out-of-state at1-301-729-4550
- TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-800-492-4575
Or you may visit your local MVA full-service and express office location, or you may download the form from the MVA web site.
Next make sure that you visit your doctor and have him or her complete and sign the portion of the form reserved for them. They must certify that you do in fact have this disability, and that your disability merits special parking privileges. A physician or physician’s assistant, an advanced nurse practitioner, chiropractor, optometrist, ophthalmologist, or osteopath can complete and sign this part of the form. Next you must mail the form to:
MVA Disability Unit Room 202 6601 Ritchie Highway Glen Burnie, Maryland 21062
Or you may take the form directly to your MVA office (except the Oakland location) to receive your placard in person.
What types of vehicles are eligible for a disabled driver license plate in the state of Maryland?
Below is the list of eligible vehicles:
- Passenger vehicles
- Multi-purpose vehicles
- Trucks up to one ton
- School Buses
- Passenger buses
Where am I allowed and not allowed to park with my disabled driver placard and/or license plate?
In Maryland, as is true in every state, you are allowed to park anywhere that you see the International Symbol of Access. You may not park anywhere that you see “no parking anytime” or in a loading or bus zone.
What about parking meters?
Maryland is unique by offering its qualifying drivers an exemption from paying parking meter fees. This is a complete exemption. In Maryland, disabled drivers can park for up to four hours at a parking meter without paying any meter fees. Please keep in mind that Washington D.C. has different regulations regarding parking meter fees. It should also be noted that every state has a different policy for parking meter fees with disabled drivers. Some states allow you to park for an unlimited amount of time, while others, such as Maryland, offer extended time. Make sure to check what the policies are in the state you are visiting or traveling through.
My friend or family member has an obvious disability. May I lend my placard to them?
No. Your placard should be used by you and you only. No one else should have access to your placard. Lending your placard to someone else can result in fines up to several hundred dollars.
Is there a proper way that I should display my placard?
Yes. In Maryland, as in every other state, you should display your placard on your rearview mirror. If your vehicle does not have a rearview mirror, you may display your placard face up on the dashboard. Make sure that a law enforcement official can see your placard if he or she needs to. Please also note that in Maryland, you should display your parking permit only when you are parked, and not while you are driving.
How do I renew my placard in Maryland? For how long is my placard valid?
You should receive a renewal notice six weeks prior to your placard’s expiration date. Placards for disabled drivers are valid for four years. Temporary placards may be valid from three weeks to six months. You must apply your registration sticker to your license plate every two years.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Disabled Driver Laws and Permits in Maryland and was authored by Valerie Johnston.