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How Do I … Apply for a disability parking permit

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For those with mobility issues, having an accessible parking permit for their vehicle makes it easier for them to park closer to stores, businesses or services they need to access. These spots are identified and are traditionally closer to main entrances or accessibility points, like ramps, and are wider than traditional parking spaces, which allows for more room to maneuver when getting in and out of a vehicle.

The ServiceOntario website notes an accessible parking permit is issued to a person, not their vehicle. There are actually two types of permits, a P permit, where the holder can be a passenger only, or a P/D permit, where the holder can be a passenger or a driver. The permit must be displayed on the dashboard or the sun visor of the vehicle when it is parked, and only the person named on the permit can use it. It also needs to be renewed after a set amount of time.

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These cost-free permits are issued for a variety of health conditions, including the inability to walk without assistance (a cane, wheelchair or prosthetic lower limb are some examples), lung disease or the need for portable oxygen, some cardiovascular diseases, visibility limitations and other conditions that limit a person’s ability to walk, like arthritis. There is a full list of health conditions on the ServiceOntario website.

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Applying for a permit has two parts. An application form, which can be obtained from a ServiceOntario location or downloaded from its website, has a section that needs to be completed by the applicant and one that is certified by their health care practitioner. The list of health professionals that can be used include physicians, chiropractors, occupational therapists and some registered nurse practitioners, among others.

Permits can be issued for permanent and short-term disabilities. There are also permits for travelling outside the province, if you run a company or non-profit that transport people with disabilities, and for motorcycles, all of which have specific application processes.

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As mentioned, the permit is issued to a person, so their full legal name needs to appear on it. If the person dies, their health condition changes and they are no longer eligible, or if the information on the permit is incorrect, it needs to be returned to ServiceOntario within 30 days. Anyone caught using a permit registered to another person can face a fine of up to $5,000. –

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