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Tips for Displaying Your Handicap Placard Correctly in Washington

Tips for Displaying Your Handicap Placard Correctly in Washington

Tips for Displaying Your Handicap Placard Correctly in Washington


When it comes to displaying your handicap placard correctly in Washington, it's not just a matter of convenience but also legality and courtesy. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, adhering to the rules is crucial. In this guide, we'll provide you with a step-by-step breakdown of the dos and don'ts, ensuring you're well-informed and compliant. Let's make sure everyone can access the necessary amenities easily.

Understanding Handicap Placards

In this section, we'll delve into the fundamentals of disability permits. Understanding these basics is the first step in ensuring you use them correctly.

What Is a Handicap Placard?

A handicap placard, also known as a disabled parking permit, is a special identification card that allows individuals with disabilities to park in designated accessible parking spaces.

Types of Placards

  • Temporary Permits: Issued for a limited period to individuals with temporary disabilities.
  • Permanent Permits: Provided to those with long-term or permanent disabilities.
  • Organization Permits: Used by organizations that transport disabled individuals.

Eligibility for a Placard

To qualify for a handicap placard in Washington, you must have a disability that impairs your mobility and meet specific criteria outlined by the Department of Licensing.

Tips for Displaying Your Handicap Placard Correctly in Washington

Tips for Displaying Your Placard Correctly in Washington

Now, let's get into the heart of the matter: how to correctly display your disability permit in Washington to avoid fines and ensure accessibility.

Secure Placement

  • Hang It on the Rearview Mirror: Hang the pass from your rearview mirror when parked. Ensure it's visible from the front and back.
  • Face Forward: Always make sure the placard's front (the side with the expiration date) is facing outward.

Display Duration

  • Only When Parked: Display the pass only when your vehicle is parked in a designated handicapped space.
  • Remove When Driving: Remove and stow the pass while driving to prevent obstruction.

Expired Passes 

  • Renew on Time: If you have a temporary pass, ensure it's renewed on time to avoid any lapses in accessibility.
  • Do Not Use Expired Passes: Using an expired pass can result in fines and penalties.

Sharing Passes 

  • No Sharing Allowed: Passes are non-transferable, meaning they can only be used by the person to whom they are issued.
  • Penalties for Misuse: Letting others use your pass when you're not present can lead to fines and the revocation of your privileges.

Be Mindful of Others

  • Respect Accessible Spaces: Only park in accessible spaces when you or the person you're assisting has a handicap pass.
  • Leave Van-Accessible Spaces for Vans: If you have a van-accessible pass, use van-accessible spaces, leaving room for wheelchair ramps.


Q: How do I apply for a disability permit in WA?

A: You can apply through the Washington Department of Licensing by completing the necessary forms and providing the required medical certification.

Q: Can I use my out-of-state disability permit in WA?

A: Yes, WA recognizes out-of-state permits, but you must adhere to Washington's parking regulations.

Q: What are the penalties for misuse of a disability permit?

A: Misusing a handicap placard can result in fines, the revocation of your permit, and even criminal charges.

Q: How can I renew my temporary disability permit?

A: You can renew your temporary pass by reapplying and providing updated medical certification if necessary.

Q: Are there fines for parking in a disability space without a permit?

A: Yes, fines for illegally parking in a disability space in Washington can be significant.

Q: Can I lend my permit to a family member?

A: Permits are non-transferable and should only be used by the person to whom they are issued.


Displaying your handicap placard correctly in Washington is not just a legal requirement; it's a way to ensure accessibility for all. By following the tips outlined in this guide and respecting the rules, you contribute to a more inclusive community. Let's make Washington a place where everyone can access the services they need.