I get asked this question often. “I have (insert syndrome/illness/physical impairment here), would I be eligible for a permit?”
Only the issuing authority can tell you that for certain and they only way to find out is to apply. As a general guide though you should consider the guidelines for eligibility in each state and remember that you will require a medical practitioner to fill out a form describing how your situation impairs your ability to walk or your mobility.
Since 2009 there has been an ongoing and in many opinions, not so successful attempt at harmonising the more than 200 permit types across Australia, through the Australian Disability Parking Permit Scheme. These permits are also known as an ADPP. Information about how to apply in each state is available here. There is also an information video available to watch via YouTube.
Further information is available on the following State and Terriitory websites:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Eligibility Criteria in each state is described as follows:
To be eligible for a mobility parking permit in the ACT a person must:
- Be unable to walk and/or have pain or difficulty in walking 100 metres;
- Require the use of crutches, a walking frame, callipers, a scooter, a wheelchair or other mobility aid; or
- Be blind.
To be eligible for a Mobility Parking Scheme permit in NSW, you must have a disability. This is defined by legislation as someone:
- Who is unable to walk due to the permanent or temporary loss of use of one or both legs or other permanent medical or physical condition, or
- Whose physical condition is detrimentally affected as a result of walking 100 metres, or
- Who requires the use of crutches, a walking frame, callipers, scooter, wheelchair or other similar mobility aid.
Mobility Parking Scheme permits are also available to people who are permanently blind. Guidelines for permanent blindness from the Commonwealth Social Security Act 1991 are:
- Visual acuity on the Snellen Scale after correction by suitable lenses must be less than 6/60 in both eyes, or
- Constriction to within 10 degrees of fixation in the better eye irrespective of corrected visual acuity, or
- A combination of visual defects in the same degree of visual impairment as that occurring in points 1 or 2.
Northern Territory does not list the specific eligibility criteria and each council is responsible as the issuing authority for the ADPP. All applications are considered on a case by case basis from the information provided by your medical practitioner.
To be eligible for an ADPP, the applicant must be a Queensland resident and meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
• Must be unable to walk and always requires the use of a wheelchair; or
• Their ability to walk is severely restricted by a permanent medical condition or disability;
• Their ability to walk is severely restricted by a temporary medical condition or disability.
A temporary medical condition or disability must be of at least six (6) months’ duration, as certified by a doctor or occupational therapist.
Please find below examples of some types of mobility impairments that might be a severe restriction on an applicant’s ability to walk:
• The applicant is unable to walk and always requires the use of a wheelchair.
• The applicant always requires the use of a mobility device (for example, walking frame, elbow crutches). Please note a shopping trolley should not be considered a mobility device.
• The applicant has a severe mobility restriction affecting their ability to carry out basic activities (for example, the applicant cannot walk from a parked car to the entrance of a building such as a shopping centre, bank or medical facility, without stopping several times due to severe pain, extreme fatigue or loss of balance).
• The applicant has a severe mobility restriction as a result of a chronic condition (for example, of the heart, lung or kidneys and relies on portable oxygen to assist them to walk or walking could cause angina and/or heart attack or severe breathlessness).
Important note for the Medical Practitioner
Under law the Registrar of Motor Vehicles must not issue a disability parking permit unless:
• the person has a temporary or permanent physical impairment; and
• their speed of movement is severely restricted by the impairment; and
• their ability to use public transport is significantly impeded by the impairment;
• in the case of a temporary physical impairment, the impairment is likely to endure for more than 6 months but is not likely to be permanent.
Tasmania does not specify the eligibility criteria, however the application form requires information from the medical practitioner including the diagnosis, how the applicant’s mobility is affected, the type of mobility device they use and the frequency of assistance required. Tasmania does not provide temporary membership to their Transport Access Scheme. Applications are only accepted for permanent disabilities.
Victoria has eligibility requirements for two levels and for permanent and temporary permits.
Permanent Disability Parking Permits
To be eligible for a category one permit
- a Medical Practitioner must confirm that an individual has a significant ambulatory disability and they cannot access a vehicle in an ordinary parking bay, or they are required to use a complex walking aid* that prevents access to a vehicle in an ordinary parking bay, or
- a Medical Practitioner must confirm that an individual has either an acute or chronic illness in which minimal walking may endanger their health, or
- a Specialist Medical Practitioner or Clinical Psychologist must confirm that an individual is an extreme danger to themselves and others in a public place without assistance by a carer.
*A complex walking aid is defined as an aid which has more than one contact point with the ground.
To be eligible for a category two permit:
- A Medical Practitioner must confirm that an individual has a significant ambulatory disability or severe illness which does not affect their ability to walk, however they require rest breaks when continuous walking is undertaken.
Temporary disability parking permits
Temporary permits will be issued to an individual ability to walk is significantly restricted on a temporary basis and is not likely to improve within six months.
To be eligible for an ACROD (Australian Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled) Parking Permit you must meet one of the following criteria:
You are unable to walk and always require the use of a wheelchair, or
Your ability to walk is severely restricted by a permanent medical condition or disability, or
Your ability to walk is severely restricted by a temporary medical condition or disability.
Similar to QLD and VIC, WA asks the medical practitioner for detailed information about how the applicant’s condition affect’s their mobility.