Parking for people with disabilities: It's A Necessity
Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities
From SPARC - Social Planning and Research Council
Last Update: 09.01.1997
What is the Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities?
The Parking Permit Program, operated by the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C., issues parking permits to
enable people with disabilities to legally park in designated zones throughout British Columbia. The program works to
ensure accessibiliy for all in the communiy. Since 1985, the program has issued over 65,000 permits, averaging about
sixty per day.
Why do people with disabilities need special parking ?
Special parking allows people with mobility impairments to have access to buildings and services in the community.
The people who qualify for parking pemmits either need the extra width of the special stalls to get in and out of their
vehicles when using a wheelchair, crutches, or canes, or need to park close to a building entrance because their health
prevents them from walkinq very far.
Did You know...
A person commits an offense under Division 38 of the Motor Vehicles Act pertaining to Disabled Persons' Parking Permits who:
- makes a false statement in an application
- stops, leaves standing or parks in a disabled zone a vehicle displaying a permit unless it is for the purpose
of transporting a person with a disability
- mutilates, defaces or alters a permit
- stops, leaves standing or parks in a disabled zone a vehicle that does not display
- a permit issued under this Division, or
- a permit of similar nature issued by another jurisdiction
- lends or transfers a permit to another person, whether or not that person is disabled
What does a valid Permit look like ?
The permit is made of whiee plastic and has the blue and white accessibility wheelchair symbol on it.
There is a hook so the pemmit can hang from a rear-view mirror. Each permit also has a registraeion number and
an expiry date.
How is a valid Parking Permit obtained ?
If you have a mobility impairment, ask your doctor or call SPARC of B.C. for a parking permit application form.
The form should be filled out in your name by both you and your doctor. Check to make sure that the form has been
completed correctly and mail it to SPARC. A carefully completed application accompanied by the nominal
application fee can be processed within a few days.
What are the criteria for receiving a Permit ?
Anyone with a permanent or temporary disability who needs an extra wide parking space in order to get in and out of
their vehicle, or who cannot walk more than 100 meters (about 300 feet), or who is blind would be eligible for a permit.
The volunteer Advisory Committee for the Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities establishes the criteria
for eligibility and oversees the operations of the Parking Permit Program.
I do not have a disability, but I drive people who do. Do I qualify for a permit ?
No. All applications are completed in the name of the person who has a disabiliy. That person is responsible for the
permit. If the applicant is unable to be responsible for the permit, then someone with power of attomey, a family member,
or friend may act as a designate and fill out the application on behalf of the person with a disability.
The organization I work for transports people with disabilities. Do we qualify for a Permit ?
Maybe. Organizations which transport several people with disabilities will sometimes qualify. Phone the SPARC Office
for more information and the proper application form.
I broke my leg and need crutches. Can I get a Permit ?
Yes. Temporary permits can be obtained. Your doctor must specify on the application form a date vvhen you will
recover or be reassessed. This would become the expiry date of your Permit.
How long is my Permit good for ?
Permanent permits are good for three years. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail, so it is important to keep
SPARC informed of any address changes. Temporary permits are good unbl the date specified by your doctor.
Can I lend my Permit to my spouse, friend or anyone else who also has a disability ?
No. it is illegal to lend your permit to anyone and, if you do so, it may be taken avvay from you. Parking permits are
issued to individuals. and may only be used when the permit holder leaves the vehicle.
Where is my Permit valid ?
Your SPARC parking permit is valid throughout Canada. If you are planning to travel outside of Canada. you should
check with the authorities where you will be staying.
The Permit Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee is a group of volunteers committed to ensuring the maintenance and enforcement of a standard
system of parking for people with disabilities in B.C.
The committee is composed of people from various regions of the province and provincial organizations representing
people with disabilities such as: B.C. Parapleglc Association, B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities, Kinsmen
Rehabilitation Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Seniors Resource and Research Society, and the Stroke
Assoclation of B.C.
The Social Planning and Research Council of BC
SPARC of B.C. is a voluntary association of people committed to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of
our citizens and communities. SPARC was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1966, and has worked on accessibility
issues since 1969.
Your membership support or donation helps better our work on disability issues and on social issues that affect all
British Columbians. Membership in SPARC also includes a free subscription to SPARC News: Community Affairs in
British Co!umbia. Any contribubon will be appreciated and is a tax credit.
For more information
The Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.
106 - 2182 West 12th Ave.
Vancouver, B.C. V6K 2N4
Phone: (604) 736-4367