If you are severely affected by interstitial cystitis (IC), you may want to apply for a handicapped parking sticker or disability access parking privileges. Permits may be granted on a short-term basis (such as three months) or long-term basis (typically a four to five year period). Usually permits and placards applications are processed through your state’s local department of motor vehicles. Most states allow you to mail the application to the state agency for processing.

If your IC affects your ability to walk 150 to 200 feet without stopping to rest or without the assistance of others or assistive devices, you may qualify for a permit. Review your state’s medial requirements—you may also qualify based on other health considerations.

Most states now offer online applications which may be downloaded or completed online, however the requirements for obtaining parking permits and placards vary with each state:

  • Some states charge an application fee, but others provide the permits at no charge.
  • Many states require a doctor’s note documenting the medical necessity for a handicapped permit. Check the specifics of your state’s requirements—you may need a “prescription” from your doctor or you may need a letter from your doctor describing the severity of your IC symptoms and how these symptoms impact your ability to walk short distances without stopping to rest or without assistance. Your state may accept a letter from another member of your healthcare team such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Other states do not required medical documentation.
  • Some states require that you submit proof of a current state driver’s license to obtain these special parking permits. For license plates, state applications may require the car be registered in your name.

Applications are easy to find online. Google your state and handicapped parking permit.

Revised Monday, March 30th, 2015