Finally had to do it! Couldn't deny or procrastinate any longer!

I had my Internist complete the paperwork for a handicap placard on Wednesday. I didn't want it, not that anyone does, but it is to that point. Think I'm going to have to get a cane soon too.

I know you have all had this moment in time, and had to deal with yourself! I should have had one a decade ago, but thought someone else may have needed it more, as they are not always plentiful...

Hi SK,

I initially got the handicap placard and cane for my husband, but now I am so glad to have them. They are very helpful. I don't always take the last handicap space, thinking someone else might need it more. However, my sister reminds me that no one she sees limps more than me. Hummmmm.........

You can keep your handicap placard in your car and not use it unless you need to. I have one. Most of the time there are regular (not handicap) spaces close enough, so I don't use it. On a few occasions a particular parking lot had no regular spaces; I would have to park too far away.

Once, however, I drove into a small lot before a meeting (another lot was a longer walk). There was one regular space and four handicap spaces. I was about to turn into the regular space but saw that behind me was another person attending the meeting but who had no disability. So I turned into one of the handicap spaces and let her park in the last regular space.

So get the handicap placard but use it only if necessary.

I went through the exact same thing, a few years ago. I try not to use it still lol

Hi Phoebe,

My husband has very bad knees, talk about procrastinate, he should have had them replaced decades ago. Believe it or not, the very worst place for him to find parking is at the VA hospital, so he applied for the plates. He still has to walk great distances as the parking there is so poor, especially for handicap. They do have a small bus that travels the lot to pick them up and take them to the hospital, but this is a volunteer, just one at that and unless he shows up, there is no such service. What are they thinking at a VA hospital, that there are only a handful of disabled?

My point is that even though I am in a car with a disabled tag, it is registered to my husband, NOT to me, and unless he is in the car with me, I am not legally allowed to use the disabled parking. So just a word to the wise, in case you are not aware, if your laws happen to be the same. :) I know those fines can be hefty!

It's good to hear from you! Hope things are going well with you?

That is a good reason that everyone who is disabled should have a handicap tag or placard. I think that in most states the placard is registered to the individual, not to the car (some disabled people, particularly elderly, do not have cars and do not drive but are driven by family, friends, or caregivers). So if you and your husband are disabled, you should have a tag or placard in the car in case (this is rare but can happen) you are checked by the police.

John Shaw

SK said:


My point is that even though I am in a car with a disabled tag, it is registered to my husband, NOT to me, and unless he is in the car with me, I am not legally allowed to use the disabled parking. So just a word to the wise, in case you are not aware, if your laws happen to be the same. :) I know those fines can be hefty!

Thank you for the very good advice. I will ask my doctor to sign an application. I always figured that if a policeman saw me hobbling along with my ankle brace, knee brace and cane,, he wouldn't question me........ I do try to shop at small stores where there is always adequate regular parking nearby. I do not do well at malls or large stores - even if you can park close by, there is so much walking inside.

Interesting, my sister lives in Ohio, and when she tried to get a handicap tag for her husband who was severely handicapped, the doctor said "no" because her husband can not drive. So she had to push his chair through parking lots, she wasn't able to drop him off and leave him along.

I think it is very unfortunately that the VA makes parking so difficult when there must be so many with disabilities.

Thanks again for the good advice. Phoebe


The problem is when the officer does not see you (perhaps you are already in the store) but sees that there isn't a placard in the car parked in a handicap space, typically after there have been complaints.

Your sister's husband's doctor was incorrect. A disability placard can be issued to someone who doesn't drive or even have a car. It could be used by family members or care givers who drive the disabled person. One of the reasons listed on the Ohio form is "is blind". Obviously, a person who is blind does not drive. (

I shop in small stores (except for the super market) but I often walk in malls for exercise. For that, I use a walker with wheels. By using that I can get exercise, something that I really need. In the supermarket I push a cart, which functions much like a walker. In smaller stores I can get by with just my cane and braces

John Shaw

Cary, NC.

Thank you so much for your advice, John. I always thought my sister should pursue the issue further, although her husband, who is now passed away, did not make many trips out of the house.

I do have a handicap placard which was issues for my husband. It is only because of procrastination that I haven't gotten one for myself, but I am not going to put it off any longer. I agree totally that the shopping cart helps greatly with walking. The last time I went to the mall, I took my husband's transport chair, which had the same effect, and used iy to carry my purchases. (I was getting an ice cone maker, which was very heavy. This worked great.)

As far as walking goes, I have a older, arthritic dog (we are a good team), so I try to walk her as much as possible. We have a large yard which always needs maintenance, and I figure this is very good exercise. I am a caregiver for my husband, so at the end of the day, I feel I have had plenty of exercise. My former physical therapist gave me exercises to every day, but sometimes I just don't have the endurance to do them. Hopefully, doing them every other day will be okay.

I appreciate hearing how people in this group are managing. I did not develop my problems until later in life, so I am still learning how to deal with them. As the physical therapist advised at our last session, pacing yourself is the most important, but it takes a little practice.

My best to all of you, Phoebe