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Unveiling the Rules and Regulations of Using a Handicap Placard in Maine

Unveiling the Rules and Regulations of Using a Handicap Placard in Maine

Unveiling the Rules and Regulations of Using a Handicap Placard in Maine


When it comes to accessibility and ensuring equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities, the state of Maine has implemented rules and regulations regarding the use of disability tags. These provide parking privileges for people with disabilities, allowing them to park in designated accessible parking spaces conveniently located near entrances. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the rules and regulations of using a handicap placard in Maine, providing you with the necessary information to understand the process and requirements.

Understanding Handicap Placards

A handicap placard, also known as a disabled parking permit, is a special identification card or permit that allows individuals with disabilities to park in designated accessible parking spaces. These aim to provide convenience and equal access to facilities for people with mobility challenges. In Maine, permits are regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Eligibility for a Handicap Placard

To qualify for a handicap permit in Maine, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria. The criteria typically include having a temporary or permanent disability that significantly impairs mobility or causes difficulty in walking. Conditions such as the inability to walk 200 feet without resting, the use of mobility aids (e.g., wheelchair, crutches), or having lung diseases or heart conditions may make an individual eligible.

Applying for a Handicap Placard

Eligible individuals need to complete an application process through the Department of Motor Vehicles. The application requires medical certification from a healthcare professional, verifying the applicant's disability and need for a disability tag. It is essential to provide accurate and up-to-date information on the application to ensure a smooth process.

Documentation Required

When applying, certain documents are typically required. These may include a completed application form, medical certification of disability, proof of identification, and payment for any applicable fees. It is advisable to contact the Maine DMV or visit their official website to obtain the specific list of required documents and any additional instructions.

Types of Handicap Placards

In ME, there are two primary types available: temporary and permanent. Temporary ones are issued for a limited period, usually up to six months, and are ideal for individuals with temporary disabilities, such as those recovering from surgery or injuries. On the other hand, permanent ones are issued to individuals with long-term or permanent disabilities.

Displaying the Handicap Placard

Once you have obtained a handicap placard, it is crucial to display it correctly in your vehicle. In ME, the disability sign should be hung from the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked in a designated accessible parking space. If the vehicle does not have a rearview mirror, it should be placed on the dashboard or another visible location. It is essential to ensure that it is clearly visible to parking enforcement personnel.

Proper Use of Handicap Placards

Maine handicap placards are meant to provide convenience and accessibility to individuals with disabilities. It is crucial to use the placard responsibly and follow the rules and regulations set forth by the state of ME. Here are some key guidelines to remember:

  1. Do not lend or transfer it to anyone else. It is issued to you specifically and should only be used when you, as the disabled individual, are present in the vehicle.

  2. Do not use an expired one. Make sure to renew before it expires to ensure uninterrupted parking privileges. Expired ones are not valid and may result in fines or penalties.

  3. Park only in designated accessible parking spaces. Permits allow you to park in specially designated spaces close to entrances. It is important to respect these spaces and avoid parking in non-accessible areas.

  4. Do not park in restricted zones. It is essential to follow all parking regulations. Do not park in areas marked as no-parking zones or areas that may obstruct traffic or emergency vehicles.

  5. Remove the permit when the vehicle is in motion. Permits should be removed from the rearview mirror or dashboard when the vehicle is in motion. This ensures clear visibility and prevents obstruction of the driver's view.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use my disability pass in other states?

  2. Yes, passes issued in ME are generally recognized in other states. However, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the state you are visiting, as they may have slight variations.

  3. How long does it take to receive a disability pass after applying?

  4. The processing time for applications can vary. It is recommended to contact the Maine DMV or check their website for information on current processing times.

  5. Can I renew my disability pass online?

  6. Yes, ME offers online renewal services. Visit the Maine DMV website and follow the instructions provided for online renewal.

  7. What should I do if my disability pass is lost or stolen?

  8. If your disability pass is lost or stolen, you should report it to the Maine DMV immediately. They will provide you with the necessary instructions for obtaining a replacement.

  9. Can I use a disability pass that belongs to a family member?

  10. No, these are non-transferable and should only be used by the individual to whom they are issued. Using someone else's pass is a violation of the rules and regulations.

  11. Are there penalties for misuse of a disability pass?

  12. Yes, misusing a pass or parking in violation of the rules and regulations can result in fines, penalties, and even the revocation.


Understanding the rules and regulations of using a handicap placard in Maine is essential for individuals with disabilities who rely on accessible parking. By following the proper procedures, eligibility requirements, and guidelines, individuals can make use of placards to access convenient parking spaces and ensure equal opportunities. Remember to use your placard responsibly, respect parking regulations, and be mindful of the needs of others. With this knowledge, you can navigate the process confidently and enjoy the benefits that disability placards provide.