Even if you are not a disabled driver, you might want to familiarize yourself with the disabled driver laws in your state. Each state treats disabled driver privileges, and Minnesota is not an exception. Let’s start with eligibility.
How do I know if I am eligible for a disabled driver placard and/or license in the state of Minnesota?
You may qualify as a disabled driver in Minnesota if you have one of the following:
- A cardiac condition classified as a Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
- Arthritis that restricts your ability to walk
- Any condition that requires you to carry portable oxygen
- A lung disease that inhibits your ability to breathe
- If you cannot walk 200 feet without requiring assistance or stopping to rest
- If you cannot walk without a significant risk of falling down
- If you have lost an arm or leg that has been replaced by a prosthetic limb
- If you cannot walk without a wheelchair, cane, crutch, or some other assistive device
If one or more of these applies to you, then you may be eligible for disabled driver parking privileges in Minnesota.
How do I apply for a placard and/or license plate?
To obtain a license plate, your next step is to complete the Application for Disability Parking Certification. You must take this form to a medical professional, such as a chiropractor, physician or physician’s assistant, or an advanced registered nurse, and have him or her verify on the form that you suffer from a condition that qualifies you for disabled driver parking privileges. Next, submit the form to your closest Driver and Vehicle Services Division, or mail the form to the address on the form. The fee for a license plate is 15 dollars and fifty cents.
Are there any fees associated with my placard?
Yes. Temporary placards cost five dollars, while permanent placards are free.
How do I know if I am eligible for a temporary or a permanent placard?
Your doctor will make this determination. Temporary placards are for temporary disabilities, or those that will go away in six months or less. Permanent placards are for those disabilities that will persist for much longer, perhaps even a lifetime. Permanent certificates or placards are valid for six years. Minnesota is unique in that it offers disabled drivers two additional options: short-term certificates, which are valid for seven to 12 months, and long-term certificates, which are valid for 13 to 71 months. Many states offer only temporary, which are valid for six months to a year, and permanent, which are valid for several years.
What if want to lend my placard to a friend because that friend has an obvious disability?
This is illegal, and doing so may result in up to 500 dollars in fines. Your friend needs to go through the same process that you did to apply for his or her permit. Your parking permit should be only in your possession. The only time you may use your permit is if you are in the vehicle, either as the driver or as a passenger. Otherwise, you may not use your permit. Remember: the permit is issued to you and not to your vehicle.
Where am I allowed and not allowed to park with my permit and/or license plate?
In all states, you may park anywhere you see the International Symbol of Access. You may not park in areas marked “no parking anytime” and in loading or bus zones. Each state has its own unique regulations regarding parking meters and for just how long a disabled driver may park in a metered space. If you are a disabled driver and you are going to be visiting another state or just traveling through, please be sure to check on what that state’s policies are on metered parking.
How do I renew my placard once it expires?
To renew in the state of Minnesota, you must complete the Application for Disability Parking Certificate (Form PS2005). Please be aware that you must get new medical certification if you are going to renew. Not all states require this, but Minnesota does. Make sure that your doctor clearly states on the form that your disability is going to be extended. In cases when your disability is being extended, you will not have to pay a fee to renew. If this is not the case, then you will pay five dollars for a temporary placard, five dollars for a short-term placard, but you will pay nothing for a long-term placard. You may submit your renewal to the address on Form PS2005, or you may submit it in person at your local Minnesota DMV.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Disabled Driving Laws and Permits in Minnesota and was authored by Valerie Johnston.