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Posted 09/13/2023 in Disability Parking Permit

Online Guide to Handicap Parking in Washington

Online Guide to Handicap Parking in Washington

A Guide to Handicap Parking in Washington


Handicap parking spaces play a vital role in ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. In Washington, the regulations and guidelines regarding handicap parking are strictly enforced to accommodate the needs of disabled individuals. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a detailed overview of handicap parking in Washington, including the rules, requirements, and frequently asked questions.

A Guide to Handicap Parking in Washington

Disabled parking in Washington is governed by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) and follows the guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the regulations to ensure compliance and to provide equal access to individuals with disabilities.

Understanding Handicap Parking Spaces

Disabled parking spaces are specially designated parking spots reserved for individuals with disabilities. These spaces are strategically located near building entrances or amenities to provide convenient access for disabled individuals. They are identified by the blue and white International Symbol of Access (ISA) and are typically wider than regular parking spaces.

Requirements for a Handicap Parking Permit

To park in designated parking spaces in Washington, individuals must possess a valid handicap parking permit or license plate issued by the DOL. The following are the requirements to obtain a handicap parking permit:

  1. Eligibility: Individuals who have temporary or permanent disabilities may be eligible for a disabled parking permit. Disabilities include mobility impairments, visual impairments, and certain medical conditions.
  2. Medical Certification: To obtain a parking permit, a medical professional, such as a doctor or physician, must certify the individual's disability by completing the appropriate form provided by the DOL.
  3. Application Process: The applicant must complete an application form, available on the DOL website, and submit it along with the medical certification to the DOL. There may be a fee associated with the application process.
  4. Renewal: Parking permits in Washington are typically valid for a certain period, after which they need to be renewed. The renewal process involves re-certification of the disability by a medical professional.

Online Guide to Handicap Parking in Washington

Handicap Parking Violations and Penalties

Violating parking regulations can result in fines and penalties. It is essential to adhere to the rules to ensure equal access for disabled individuals and avoid legal consequences. Here are some common violations and their corresponding penalties:

  • Parking in a designated space without a permit: Fine up to $450.
  • Misuse or fraudulent use of a disabled parking permit: Fine up to $1,000 and potential vehicle impoundment.
  • Blocking or obstructing a designated parking space: Fine up to $250.

FAQ's about Handicap Parking in Washington

  1. Can non-disabled individuals park in disabled spaces temporarily? No, these parking spaces are reserved exclusively for individuals with disabilities. Non-disabled individuals should not park in these spaces, even temporarily, as it denies access to those who truly need it.

  2. Can out-of-state disabled parking passes be used in Washington? Yes, Washington recognizes out-of-state parking passes. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with Washington's specific regulations and requirements to ensure compliance.

  3. Can businesses or establishments have their own designated disabled parking spaces? Yes, businesses and establishments can provide additional disabled parking spaces beyond the minimum requirements. It is recommended for businesses to consult the DOL guidelines and ADA regulations when creating designated handicap parking spaces.

  4. What should I do if I encounter a vehicle parked illegally in a disabled space? If you come across a vehicle parked illegally in a designated space, you can report the violation to local law enforcement or the parking enforcement authority. Provide them with the necessary details, such as the vehicle's license plate number and location.

  5. Are disabled parking spaces required in residential areas? These parking spaces are typically not required in residential areas. However, if a resident with a disability requires a designated parking space near their residence, they can contact their local city or county authorities to discuss possible accommodations.

  6. Can individuals with disabled parking passes park in metered spaces without paying? In Washington, individuals with valid parking passes are allowed to park in metered spaces without paying. However, it is essential to check for any specific local regulations or time limits that may apply.


Navigating handicap parking regulations in Washington requires an understanding of the rules and guidelines established by the DOL and ADA. By adhering to these regulations, we can ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to parking facilities. Remember, handicap parking spaces are crucial for creating an inclusive society where everyone can move freely and comfortably.