How to Get a Handicapped Parking Pass During Chemotherapy

Many people undergoing cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy, do not realize that they may be eligible to receive a temporary handicapped parking permit for their vehicles during the course of their treatment. The side effects of chemotherapy are plenty and can make even a small trek across a parking lot to the hospital or pharmacy feels like mountain climbing. A handicapped parking permit allows for safer, easier mobility and can maintain independence in your everyday life.

Handicapped sign painted on blacktop
Jason Todd / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Handicapped Parking Eligibility for Cancer Patients

Many people believe that handicapped parking permits are limited only to those people with long- or short-term mobility issues with physical indicators or equipment like a cane, walker, or wheelchair to prove it. But in many cases, healthcare providers recognize that chronic illness and/or its aggressive treatment can make it painful or difficult to walk long distances.

Many people with late-stage cancer or those undergoing aggressive cancer treatments like chemotherapy find that some days just walking across the parking lot is too painful or taxing. Though some days may be better than others, having the ability to park in handicapped spaces closer to elevators or building entrances can make all the difference in your pain and quality of life. The first step to getting a handicapped parking permit is to talk to your healthcare provider about your difficulties and the symptoms that limit your everyday mobility.

How to Obtain a Handicapped Parking Permit

Obtaining a parking pass can be as simple as having your healthcare provider sign an application and submitting it to your state's motor vehicle department. There are several different types of handicapped parking permits, some for short-term disabilities and others that are more long-term or permanent. Most temporary handicapped parking permits average about six months in duration.

Some states are more flexible than others when it comes to issuing parking permits to people with cancer and permit regulations vary from state to state. Every state requires an application to receive a handicapped parking permit. In most states, applications are available online or at state motor vehicle offices. Simply print out the application and bring it to your healthcare provider's office for her signature and approval. Keep in mind that it may take a few days to receive the application back from your healthcare provider.

Costs associated with a handicapped parking pass range from zero to about fifty dollars, depending on your state's fee schedule. In some states, there is no fee for low-income individuals and senior citizens. Waivers may be available to some people as well.

Handicapped Parking Permit Information by State

Given that every state has its own rules and regulations regarding handicapped parking permits, you will need to become familiar with your own state's application documents and requirements. The following websites will help you find information about how you can apply for a handicapped parking permit in your state:

By Lisa Fayed
Lisa Fayed is a freelance medical writer, cancer educator and patient advocate.