How to Get an Ohio Handicap Placard (and Who’s Eligible)

Ohio residents need a completed application and written verification of their condition from a health care professional to receive a handicap placard.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
background
As of 2022, handicap placard regulations in
Ohio
state that motorists who have a professionally diagnosed visual, audio, or physical impairment may apply for a permanent or temporary disabled license plate or placard.
Being disabled presents many challenges while driving. Reserving front-row parking for those who need it most is the bare minimum society can do to accommodate anyone with different abilities. But, of course, individuals seeking a handicap license plate or placard will need to fulfill certain requirements to qualify.
If you’re looking for more information, you’ve come to the right place. This guide was currated to help the 13.8% of disabled Ohio residents get the application process started. 
Read on to learn how to get an Ohio handicap placard (and who’s eligible).
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How to get a disabled parking placard or plate in Ohio

To be recognized as a disabled driver and legally able to utilize a disabled parking space, you’ll need one of the following:
  • Temporary placard: Valid for up to 6 months
  • Permanent placards: Valid for the duration specified by your doctor
  • Disability license plates: Valid with your vehicle registration
Whichever you obtain will display the International Symbol of Access (ISA)—you know, the blue and white stick figure in a wheelchair. But, that’s not to say you have to be in a wheelchair to be eligible for a placard. 
Speaking of eligibility, let's get into the details of what defines impairment and who qualifies for a disabled placard or plate.

Who’s eligible for a disabled parking placard?

An impairment may be audio, visual, or physical. As long as a physician deems your condition severe enough, you can apply for a disability placard. Here are the eligibility requirements used to define severity according to the
Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Form 4826
:
  • Inability to walk 200 feet without resting
  • Inability to walk without assistance from a balance device
  • Restricted by lung disease to such an extent that it could be dangerous
  • Uses portable oxygen
  • Has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s function is limited
  • Inability to efficiently walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • Is blind, legally blind, or severely visually impaired
Many permanent and temporary disabilities fall into one or more of these categories, but a certified health care provider must confirm your eligibility before applying. 
Here is what the provider’s verification must include:
  • Name of person with a disability
  • An indication that you’re applying for a disability placard
  • Signature of the health care provider and date
  • Estimation of disability length (may not exceed 5 years)
Putting the process aside for a moment, it’s important to have professional confirmation of your diagnosis because some disabilities, like asthma, are less obvious. You don’t want to run into a situation where you have to personally justify your disability to law enforcement, store management, or a nosey citizen.

How to apply

Once it’s been confirmed by a medical professional that you fall into one of the disability-eligible categories, you can start your application. 
You’ll need to submit a completed
Application for Disability Placards
(BMV Form 4826) for disability placards and/or a
Health Care Provider Certification of Eligibility for Disability
(BMV Form 4834) for disability license plates.
You can order up to two disability placards in Ohio—this can be convenient if you regularly drive multiple cars. But make sure the placard is removed if someone not disabled is operating the vehicle! If you want to apply for a disabled license plate, you will have to show proof of vehicle ownership, too (or proof of lease works, as well).
There is a small fee of $5 per placard due upon application. Once you’ve completed all the paperwork, you can submit your application and payment at your local
Ohio BMV Office
or by mail to the following address:
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 16521
Columbus, OH 43216

Renewing a disabled parking placard

It’s important not to let your disability placards or license plates expire; otherwise, you could be subject to a $250 to $500 fine for parking in a handicapped spot without a valid ID, according to
Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.69
.
To renew a temporary disability placard, you’ll need to get reevaluated by a health professional and resubmit Form 4826. But hopefully, this isn’t necessary, and you’re fully rehabilitated!
Even though this sounds a little counterintuitive, permanent disability placards also have an expiration date. Unfortunately, your certified verification from a health care provider is only valid for up to five years, so you’ll have to periodically repeat the same application process.
To renew a disability license plate, all you have to do is renew your vehicle registration!
Key Takeaway Ohio requires all disabled drivers to complete an application and health evaluation before receiving their handicap parking placard.

Guidelines for veterans with disabilities

Disabled parking placards are available to veterans who have suffered service-connected impairments. Ohio offers all disabled active military the opportunity to apply for a parking placard, as well. A close parking spot is the least Ohio can do to thank our troops—salute!
Although, the application process is slightly different. Disabled active military and veterans will have to submit the
Application for Removable Windshield Placard for Active Duty Military / Veterans with Disabilities
(BMV Form 4531) and a confirmation letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another bonus for the disabled military community: the $5 fee is waived.
Key Takeaway Ohio’s disabled veterans and disabled active-duty members can apply for a parking placard free of charge!
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FAQs

Unfortunately, the only ways to renew a disabled parking permit in Ohio are by mail and in person at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles Office.
Handicap placards cost $5 in Ohio, with a limit of two.
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