Are you or someone you know in need of an Accessible Parking Permit? Ontario Accessible Parking Permits, or APPs, are issued to a person or company vehicle that is used to transport people with disabilities. These allow access to parking spaces closer to destinations, unusable by people without a permit. This way, travelling and commuting with a disability can be stress-free, without the worry of having to walk far. Below, we discuss how to know if you’re eligible for application, the different types of permits available and what to do if your APP is lost or stolen.
How do I know if I’m eligible for an Accessible Parking Permit?
The first step to understanding Accessible Parking Permits is finding out if you are eligible for one. “An accessible parking permit holder is the person who has the eligible health condition and will be named on the Accessible Parking Permit,” according to ontario.ca. In order to obtain an APP in Ontario, a letter from your healthcare practitioner is required. Practitioners include:
- Nurse practitioners
- Occupational therapists
What must this letter contain?
This letter must confirm that you have a health condition that is eligible. These health conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Inability to walk without a wheelchair, brace or crutch
- Lung disease to an extent that prevents you from breathing properly
- Portable oxygen tank is a medical necessity
- Cardiovascular disease that prevents an individual’s functional capacity
- Arthritic, neurological or musculoskeletal disease that prevents walking
- Vision is 20/200 or poorer in the better eye with corrective lenses
- Mobility is limited by one or more functional impairments
The 5 types of Accessible Parking Permits
When you determine if you are eligible for an APP, your next step is to figure out which permit you should apply for. There are five different permits available, each with their own restrictions and use. Remember, all of these permits require a form of identification that displays your full name and signature, as well as date of birth.
1. Permanent permit
If your regulated healthcare provider determines you have a permanent disability, you may apply for a permanent permit. A permanent permit is valid for five years, and you can renew without the re-certification from your healthcare provider.
2. Subject to change permit
If your healthcare provider determines that your disability is subject to change, you may apply for this permit. This is essentially the same as a permanent permit, however, you must re-certify your permit by your healthcare provider in order to renew after five years.
3. Temporary permit
If your healthcare provider determines you have a temporary disability, you may apply for a temporary permit. This is valid for 12 months, and you must re-certify by your healthcare provider in order to renew.
4. Traveller’s permit
If you hold an accessible parking permit but are travelling outside of Ontario, you can get a traveller’s permit to park your car where you depart. This can include an airport or train station. This way, you can keep and use your regular permit during your trip. A traveller’s permit is only valid for 12 months, or for the remaining validation period of your APP. The length your traveller’s permit is valid for is determined by whichever is less.
5. Company permit
If you are a company or organization that transports people with disabilities, you may get a company permit for your vehicles. Company permits last for five years, and you can renew it if your company/organization meets the proper criteria.
How do I apply for an Accessible Parking Permit?
The application process for receiving an Accessible Parking Permit is very simple. Visit your local ServiceOntario centre to obtain an application or download the online application form.
From there, you will fill out Part A of the application. Part B is for your healthcare practitioner to fill out. Once you are done, you can submit your application form online, in person, or by mail. You will need to bring a piece of ID showing your full legal name, date of birth and signature.
If you are applying on behalf of a child, make sure to include your identification along with the child’s. While you wait for approval, visit your nearest ServiceOntario or contact them at 1-800-387-3445 to see if you’re eligible for an interim permit.
What do I do if they seize my permit or it is lost?
Once you have your APP, it’s important to understand what to do if something happens to it. If it is seized, it is an issue that will be brought to court. It is not possible to replace your seized parking permit until the issue is resolved in court. Call the Accessible Parking Permit service office at (613) 545 4651 for more information.
If your Accessible Parking Permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you can get a new one by filling out the form on the ServiceOntaro website. In order to do this, you will need to have the following permit holder’s information handy:
- Full name (first, middle, last)
- Date of birth
- Mailing and residential address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Driver’s licence number
If by chance your Accessible Parking Permit is stolen, you will need to call the police and report it. This is because someone may be using it illegally! After contacting your local police, you will get an occurence number that you will need during your application.
Can I park in an accessible parking spot without a visible permit? Can I use someone else’s permit?
The short answer is, no. Ontario law permits that you clearly display your APP with all information visible on your dashboard or sun visor to park in an accessible parking space. Additionally, ONLY the permit holder can use this parking space, and it must be either a passenger or driver of the vehicle. If someone ineligible uses the permit without the named permit holder in the vehicle, you can face fines up to $5,000 and permit seizure.
How do I renew my APP?
There are three ways to renew your information. You can either renew online, by mail, or in person. You are eligible to renew online if you have a permanent permit and consent to ServiceOntario reviewing your application again. Renewing online requires a drive’rs licence number and ID. Renew online today!
However, if you’d like to renew by mail, you need to provide a photocopy of a piece of ID, showing your birth date, signature, and full legal name. Once you complete the form, send it along with your (photocopy) ID to your closest ServiceOntario centre. Renewing in person is also possible. Make sure to bring your identification documents and complete the form before visiting a ServiceOntario near you.
What does it cost?
Obtaining or renewing an Accessible Parking Permit is free.
Can I apply for an APP if I have a motocycle?
If you own a motorcycle and require an Accessible Parking Permit, you must apply for a decal to display on your licence plate. You can get a motorcycle decal if you:
- Hold an unexpired permanent or subject to change accessible parking permit
- Hold a valid motorcycle driver’s licence (class M or M2)
- Have a valid motorcycle plate attached to a motorcycle, or motor assisted bicycle, which is owned or leased and registered in your name
Additionally, you must carry your APP with you at all times, even if the decal is displayed on your plate. You can apply online, in-person or by mail.
When should I return an Accessible Parking Permit?
You should return an APP to ServiceOntario within 30 days when:
- The person whose name is on the permit is deceased
- The permit holder is no longer a person with an eligible health condition
- The permit contains incorrect information
- The permit is cancelled
You can return a permit by mail or in-person at a ServiceOntario centre.
What happens if I’m visiting Ontario and require a permit?
Through ServiceOntario, you can apply for a visitor’s APP if you can prove you have a valid:
- Permit issued by your home jurisdiction, or
- Number plate or other marker/device bearing the international symbol of access for a person with a disability issued by your home jurisdiction
Additionally, visitors to Ontario who are applying for a visitor’s Accessible Parking Permit must show:
- Proof of identity, which can be “one official out-of-province government document bearing name and address (ex. passport)”
- Plus one of the following:
- Out of Province (OOP) hospital card
- Healthcare practitioner’s certificate or letter
- Medical insurance document
- Another appropriate medical document
- Application for Accessible Parking Permit form (SR-LV-129), completed by a Regulated Healthcare Practitioner
The visitor permit is valid for the duration of the trip and/or up to six months. “A sponsor may apply for a permit in advance of the visitor’s trip to Ontario. The sponsor will be required to provide all the documentation stated above for the visitor and valid identification for themselves.”
We hope this article helps you understand Accessible Parking Permits, whether you’re eligible for one, and what to do if you qualify. Contact us today to discuss your current insurance needs!