Getting a Handicap Placard or License Plate in Georgia
Most major parking lots in Georgia will reserve at least a few special parking spaces close to the entrance of their respective building where only disabled patrons can park. These are for people who have a hard time getting around on their feet once they have stepped out of their vehicle. To legally park in one of these spaces, however, you will first need to apply for a special handicap placard or license plate which designates you as being mobility impaired. Anyone caught parking in one of these spots without displaying the appropriate placard or plate will be ticketed and fined a hefty amount.
Applying for a Handicap Placard or Plate in Georgia
You’ll have to go to the local Georgia tag office and bring a completed and notarized Disabled Person’s Parking Affidavit (Form MV-9D) with you. Your doctor will be required to complete part of it, certifying that you do indeed have a condition which impairs your movement. Your handicap placard can be either permanent or temporary, depending on the nature of your condition. You will have the option of choosing between a handicap parking placard which hangs from your rearview mirror, a special parking decal, or a permanent license plate with the handicap symbol. You are not allowed to have both a plate and a placard, though you may request additional placards if you have more than one vehicle.
What Defines a Physical Disability?
Handicap placards are given out based on a condition’s effect on your ability to walk. Many people have tried to beat the system and acquire disabled parking status, despite being either entirely healthy or having a condition which does not affect their ability to drive or walk. Because of this, strict rules have been put in place for exactly what qualifies a person for disabled parking. It’s not enough just to have any kind of ailment or illness.
Your doctor has to certify that any of these conditions apply to you before you will be allowed to use a handicap parking space:
- Inability to hear well
- Required use of a portable oxygen tank
- Extreme breathing problems or lung disease
- Inability to walk more than 200 feet without requiring a break, or without the aid of a wheelchair
- Heart condition
- Muscular or neurological condition which prevents full walking
- Complications from pregnancy
- Blindness or severe vision impairment
Fees for Disabled Placards and Licenses
All handicap placards are free if you qualify and complete the application requirements correctly. Getting a permanent license plate made will incur a fee. Handicap designations acquired in Georgia are recognized everywhere in the country, and those acquired in other states are equally valid here (saving you the trouble of getting a new one for every state, and making your Georgia plate that much more useful). Your permanent placard will need to be renewed every 4 years, and a temporary permit will only be good for up to 180 days, at which time your doctor will have to reassess that you still qualify for disabled parking.