Handicap placard = free parking

Handicap placard = free parking

Wait! What? Yes. Exactly.

I just found out that with a handicap placard in my car because of my broken foot, I can park at most meters in the City of Chicago ... without paying. Not that I'd recommend breaking your foot to get free parking, but I suppose if you have to gimp around on crutches for several months, this is a nice perk.

Two more perks wrought by the handicap placard:

  • Front-row parking at most stores and businesses -- with extra room at each side to hop around and pull out those crutches.
  • Exempt from time limits at parking meters. (Except for those pesky 30-minute ones. Those you have to pay attention to.)

You do have to get a doctor's note and stop by the DMV to get the placard, but after a few days of taking advantage of the tag, I have to say it's worth it. And, it should also be noted, that people with disabilities get to line jump at the DMV.

For more information about this perk, and how to get a placard if you need one, be sure to visit the Illinois DMV website.

While I absolutely hope I'm walking before the placard expires in November (eek!), I will definitely take advantage of the situation in the meantime.

Oh, and I'm going to start taking photos of cars in handicap spaces that shouldn't be there. Now that I know how difficult it is to get around without the full use of my legs, I have a whole new respect for people who need these spaces. And I'm taking pictures if I see people misusing their handicap placard, too. If you're walking without a limp, crutches, wheelchair  or oxygen, I've got to question why you need to park up front.

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  • "You do have to get a doctor's note and stop by the DMV to get the placard..."

    As Fox Chicago News has frequently pointed out, and you imply in your last paragraph, no one doesn't. And, of course, the "free" part was publicized as being the motivation for the fraud, as opposed to those who don't want to walk 1/4 mile in the Woodfield parking lot.

    In fact, the most egregious of these stories was handicap parking placard abuse around CTA headquarters. Not only did they park for free, but apparently they were exempt from riding the cattle cars they manage.

    And, as I pointed out a similar inaccuracy in an Illinois lottery commercial, Illinois doesn't have a DMV.

  • You can't look at a person and tell whether or not they need that placard.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Apparently the Secretary of State's Police can, though.

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