Living with mesothelioma on a daily basis is extremely tiring. Anything that helps to conserve your much-needed energy is a valuable service.

Being able to use a handicap permit or disability placard and park close to entrances can make trips to the doctor, the store, or anywhere else a little more manageable.

But how do you get one of these placards? Read on to find out.

The Process: Step-by-Step

Applying for a handicap permit varies from state to state, but the steps involved are basically the same.

  1. Get an Application: You will need to find out which agency supplies disability applications in your state. They are often provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the tax collector’s office, or other agencies. Most states have also put their applications online for easy access.
  2. Complete With Your Doctor’s Help: After you complete your part of the application, ask your doctor to fill out the designated area to confirm that you have a disability.
  3. Submit Your Application: Submit your completed application to the appropriate agency. Your placard should arrive within several weeks.

Types of Disability Parking Permits

There are two main types of handicap or disability parking permits. Although these designations may vary from state to state, the criteria involved will follow a similar format.

  • Temporary Placard: Issued to people with disabilities expected to last under 6 months. A temporary placard can be renewed if the disability lasts longer than this time.
  • Permanent Disability Placard: Issued to people with disabilities that last longer than 6 months. Check your local state guidelines as to when these placards must be renewed, as each state has different rules.

For mesothelioma patients, these various permits are helpful because the permit type can be changed as your treatment and your physical needs change.

Display and Use of the Placard

Your placard needs to be displayed from the rear-view mirror of your car while parked. Some states have laws that don’t allow the placard to hang from the mirror while driving. As always, please refer to your local DMV for the rules and regulations.

The placard allows you to park in any parking space designated for a person with disabilities. It is important to note that these permits are issued to a specific person and not to a vehicle. Therefore, the placard can be used only if you are in the vehicle.

When traveling, it’s a good idea to check with the local DMV to find out if they recognize disability placards from other states.

If you have any questions, contact your state’s DMV for assistance.

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Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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  1. Bureau of Motor Vehicles – Maine. (n.d.). APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY PLATES/PLACARD. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  2. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (2018, October). Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  3. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (2019, May 17). Temporary Disabled Person Parking Permits. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  4. Georgia Department of Driver Services. (n.d.). How to Apply for a Disability Parking Permit. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  5. Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. (2017). Handicapped Vehicle/Parking Permit. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  6. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. (n.d.). Vehicle Registration – Disability Plates/Placards. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

  7. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. (2019, December). Application for Disability Placards. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from

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