PARKING PERMIT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES PROGRAM
A parking permit for people with disabilities ensures that when a person has mobility limitations, they can park in one of the designated parking spots throughout British Columbia. People with mobility limitations are entitled to a permit even if they do not own a vehicle. As long as the parking permit holder is either driving or being transported in the vehicle, a valid parking permit may be displayed on the rear view mirror when the vehicle is parked in a designated spot.
If you have mobility limitations and wish to apply for a parking permit, you must obtain a parking permit application form from the SPARC BC website or request one be mailed to you. Complete the form in its entirety, and have your physician complete Section 2 of the form. Both you and your doctor must sign the application. A carefully completed application accompanied by the processing fee can be processed within 2 to 3 weeks. Acceptable forms of payment are cheque, money order, Visa, MasterCard or Interac, if applying in person. Sorry, we do not accept cash.
Fully completed applications with both your signature and your doctor’s signature, take two to three weeks to process. Applications with missing or incomplete information, or without the required signatures, may be delayed.
Based on a physician’s recommendation, anyone with a permanent or temporary mobility limitation is eligible for a parking permit for people with disabilities. A physician must assess the individual, and confirm that the applicant is limited by one of more of the following conditions:
PARKING WITH YOUR PERMIT
Designated parking spaces for people with disabilities are identified with a signpost that displays the universal symbol of accessibility. Sometimes the symbol is painted on the parking lot ground in the space provided. Having the permit properly displayed on a vehicle rear view mirror allows you to use the designated parking spot.
You can learn more about Vancouver parking regulations by visiting the City of Vancouver Park Smart site.
Some designated spots are free, while others are pay for parking. Generally, street parking is metered and in most municipalities you are required to pay the meter rate even if a valid parking permit for people with disabilities is displayed. The parking permit does not exempt the user from obeying other parking laws or from payment appropriate parking fees. As each municipality is responsible for their own bylaws and enforcement, parking privileges may vary slightly. Private parking lots and mall parking are enforced by the business or mall management.
Permits must be displayed in the vehicle by hanging them from the rear view mirror. The registration number and expiry date must face away from the driver, so that they are easily visible when looking through the windshield from outside the vehicle. If you are unable to reach the rear view mirror, you may also display the permit on the vehicle dashboard, with the registration number and expiry date facing up. Parking permits must only be displayed when the vehicle is parked.
PARKING PERMIT AND SPARC BC MEMBERSHIP
No, having a parking permit for people with disabilities does not automatically make you a SPARC BC member. You do not even have to be a parking permit holder in order to be a SPARC BC member. To learn more about becoming a member, see our Membership and Donation section.
Your annual or monthly donation toward membership helps SPARC BC work with communities in building a just and healthy society for all, and supports important programs like the parking permit program for people with disabilities. Your membership also helps us with other programs, such as research, public education, and policy advocacy. Becoming a member entitles you to vote at the Annual General Meeting, and to keep up to date on what is happening in your communities. To learn more, see our Membership and Donation section.
For details about becoming a SPARC BC member, please see the Membership and Donation section of this website.
TRAVELLING WITH A PARKING PERMIT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Yes. All provinces and territories in Canada participate in the ECMT Agreement on the reciprocal recognition of parking permits from across Canada. Parking permits issued by officially recognized issuing agencies from any of the provinces and territories in Canada can be used in British Columbia. To read more about this agreement click here.
Yes, you may enjoy the same privileges here as you do in your home country. Canada has an official reciprocal agreement with the European Union. Parking permits issued by officially recognized issuing agencies from countries within the European Union and the USA can be used in British Columbia. To read more about this agreement please click here.
Visitors from other regions of the world may also use their parking permits in British Columbia and the rest of Canada; however, as we do not have official agreements with other countries, we advise you to carry a copy of your official documentation from your issuing agency if your parking permit looks very different than that described in “What does a valid permit look like”.
We cannot guarantee all enforcement agencies will recognize your permit from another country as valid; therefore, we suggest you consider taking out a temporary parking permit from SPARC BC. See “What should I do if I cannot bring my parking permit with me to British Columbia?”