Disabled Parking Permit Scheme

Guide to the Disabled Persons Parking Permit

IWA's Motoring Service has recently launched an online portal to handle first-time applicants to obtain an application form for a Disabled Parking Permit and also Parking Permit holders to renew their Permits.

Click here to use IWA's Parking Permits Customer Portal

Please check the guide below for full information on how to use the scheme as a first time applicant or an existing permit holder.

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How to Apply for your first Parking Permit

You have two options to apply for a first time Parking Permit application form:

Option A:

You can apply online. If you apply online you will receive the application form in a speedier manner.

To choose this option Click APPLY NOW

Option B:

You can contact our office on 045 893 094 or email maats@iwa.ie

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How to renew an existing Permit

Option A:

If you already have an existing parking permit and it is due for renewal, you can now complete this process online. You will need to go through an online registration process if this is your first time renewing through the online system.

To choose this option Click RENEW NOW

Option B:

You can also choose to renew your Parking Permit by post. Shortly before your Parking Permit is due for renewal, you will receive a renewal notice to the address associated with your Parking Permit. Please check your renewal letter for more details and instructions for renewing by post.

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Origins of the Disabled Parking Permit Scheme

Disabled Persons Parking permit image

The Disabled Parking Permit scheme was born out of a basic necessity to maintain independence for people with limited mobility. A person with a disability requires access to a disabled parking bay because of its size and access to amenities and facilities. An accessible parking bay is larger than the standard parking space which enables a driver or passenger to transfer into their wheelchair or alighting from their vehicle. Additionally, accessible parking bays are located near amenities in order for people to access; work, education, public transport, post office, shops, bank, social events, etc. The value of accessible parking bays cannot be underestimated as their availability supports disabled people’s right to inclusion.

Click here to see our DVD which highlights the importance of accessible parking bays for disabled motorists and passengers.

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Entitlement to the scheme

In Ireland the Parking Permit enables the permit holder to park the vehicle in designated on-street accessible parking bay free of charge for an unlimited duration unless otherwise stated.

Generally, all street parking spaces or local authority car parks provide parking at no cost to the Permit holder. However there may be time restrictions in place in certain locations.

The terms of the scheme does not cover private car parks, however, in practice the majority of private car parks recognise the Disabled Parking Permit as the basis for eligibility to park in the accessible spaces. However Permit holders are advised to check with private car parks in relation as to whether they recognise the permit or not and whether payment is required.

The Parking Permit does not entitle the permit holder to park in bus lanes, loading Bays, clearways, single or double yellow lines or any other restricted area.

The provision for the disabled parking permit scheme is set down in Section 35 of the Road Traffic Act 1994 and SI 182/1997 Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997 and is administered by Irish Wheelchair Association and Disabled Drivers Association.

The Disabled Parking Permit is designed in accordance with EU legislation and is recognised in all EU states. The Permit is valid for two years from the date of issue. Generally, the card is not issued to anyone under 3 years of age

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Conditions for Use

The Disabled Parking Permit Card is issued with terms and conditions attached, they are as follows:

Permit holders terms and conditions

  • The Parking Permit is for the sole use of the driver/passenger it has been issued to.
  • The Parking Permit is only to be used in a vehicle in which the Parking Permit holder is either the driver or the passenger.
  • The Parking permit is of two-year duration.
  • In the event of the death of the Permit holder, the Permit is returned to Irish Wheelchair Association.
  • In the event of the Permit being lost or stolen, the permit holder must report this to Irish Wheelchair Association immediately.
  • The Irish Wheelchair Association retains the right to withdraw the permit in the event of the permit being abused.
  • The Disabled Parking Permit is a legal document and it is a criminal offence to copy, alter or forge a Parking Permit.
  • Disabled Parking Permit holders are requested to use accessible bays only when necessary and are encouraged where possible to use regular parking bays.

When the Disabled Parking Permit is in use, it must be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle so that the card’s expiry date, serial number and wheelchair symbol are clearly visible from outside of the vehicle.

A Parking Permit holder is legally obliged to present their card for examination by an Garda Siochana and Traffic Wardens.

On receipt of your new permit, all Permit Holders are required to RETURN their old permit. Failure to do so will prevent any future permits being issued.

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Appeals Process

If your application for a Disabled Parking Permit is not successful you can appeal the decision.

The Irish Wheelchair Association operates an independent appeals process where your application will be reviewed by an independent medical health care professional. The appeal process will cost €35.

When an appeal has been successful the Irish Wheelchair Association will proceed by issuing the applicant a Disabled Parking Permit and reimburse the appeals fee of €35. The fee for issuing of the parking permit will still apply.

When an appeal is not successful, regretfully no permit will be issued and the appeals fee will not be reimbursed. For further information or queries on the appeals process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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Location of Accessible Parking Bays

If your application for a Disabled Parking Permit is not successful you can appeal the decision.

There are a range of parking facilities available to people with disabilities in towns and cities throughout Ireland. Accessible parking bays are slightly wider than an average parking space and located near amenities to enable ease of access.

These accessible parking bays are clearly marked by signs and road markings. Increasingly accessible parking bays are painted blue. Information on the location of disabled parking spaces can be obtained by contacting your local authority.

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Permit Renewal/Return

The Disabled Parking Permit Card is issued with terms and conditions attached, they are as follows:

Permit holders terms and conditions

The Disabled Parking Permit must be renewed by the holder every two years. An out of date Parking Permit is not valid and has no entitlement for use. Renewal notices are sent to permit holders approximately four to six weeks prior to the permit’s expiry date.

The renewal notification will be sent, automatically, to the address given on your original application. If a change of address has occurred in the intervening period, please let us know.

f you have applied online, you can make this change yourself by accessing our online service with your password that you used to at the initial online registration. If not you can simply contact us on the following email maats@iwa.ie or call us on 045 893 094

On receipt of your new permit, all Permit Holders are required to RETURN their old permit. Failure to do so will prevent any future permits being issued.

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Lost/Stolen/Replacement permits

If your Disabled Parking Permit has been lost or stolen, contact us directly at Irish Wheelchair Association, Parking Section, Clane 045 893 094 or email maats@iwa.ie. We will issue you a replacement application form.

The form requires An Garda Siochana to complete the details on the loss or theft of your parking permit and for you to countersign the form in the presence of the Garda.

A fee of €35 will apply to replace your lost or stolen Disabled Parking Permit.

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Misuse and Fines

Traffic Wardens and members of An Garda Siochana have the power to request and inspect a Disabled Parking Permit to ensure it is not being misused. In response to the misuse of a Disabled Parking Permit the Irish Wheelchair Association retains the right to withdraw the Disabled Parking Permit.

A fixed charge of €150 will be issued to drivers without a valid Permit who park their cars in disabled parking spaces.

In areas where clamping is in operation (Dublin, Cork and Galway), cars parked illegally in these spaces will be clamped and the fee for release will be €80 or more.

The misuse or duplication of a Disabled Parking Permit may constitute a criminal offence.

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European and International use of the Irish Disabled Parking Permit

The Disabled Parking Permit, also known as a 'European Parking Card' can be used within the 27 member states of the EU. The Permits are also, generally, recognised in the USA and Canada.

As entitlements attached to the disabled parking permits vary from country to country, it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of use before you travel. It is important to be aware and observant of each country’s parking laws and restrictions.

The EU Commission has produced a publication, Parking card for people with disabilities in the European Union (pdf) to assist people travelling abroad.

If you are travelling in the UK or Northern Ireland, particular attention should be paid to disabled parking permit restrictions and payment conditions. For further information click this link.

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Qualifying Criteria

In order to qualify for a Parking Permit, you must have a permanent medical condition and a severe mobility problem. In 2010 a review of the scheme changed the focus of the qualifying criteria around an applicant’s mobility rather than their specific medical condition.

How to Qualify for a permit

In order to apply for a Parking Permit, you must complete one of the following three options:

1 - Certified by your GP
Be certified by your GP or medical practitioner that you fall under the relevant criteria. You must bring the permit application form which is available on line to your GP for completion. To proceed with this option please APPLY NOW.

2 - Be a Primary Medical Certificate holder
The Primary Medical Certificate is not the Medical Card and is only awarded to people with a very high level of disability. Primary Medical Cert Holders automatically qualify for a Disabled Parking Permit. To apply for a Primary Medical Certificate please contact your Local Health Office(HSE). For further information, see the Citizens Information website. If you are a Primary Medical Cert holder and you wish to proceed with this option please APPLY NOW.

3 - Be Certified Blind
Be certified blind by The National Council of the Blind (NCBI) a GP, Ophthalmologist or Optician. Applicants certified blind automatically qualify for a permit. Please note if you proceed with this option you will be required to return an application form certified by one of the following:

  • NCBI
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Optician
  • GP

If the applicant suffers from Sight Loss or Visual Impairment and wishes to proceed with this option please APPLY NOW.

What applicants may not qualify?

To avoid any unnecessary disappointment please note that individuals with the following medical conditions may not qualify:

  • Those with Intellectual Disabilities or behavioural conditions whose mobility is not severely restricted
  • Those with temporary mobility problems or only upper limb difficulties whose mobility is not severely restricted

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DVD's to watch

Vehicle Adaptions and Driver Training

Duration: 9mins 47secs

Outlines the variety of vehicle adaptations, driving tuition and the assessment process.

Your space or mine?

Duration: 2mins 20secs

Highlights the importance of the disabled parking bay to a driver or passenger with a disability.