Disabled Person's Parking Card
The permit is available if you are a driver or passenger of a vehicle. It is valid for 2 years from the issue date.
The scheme is run in Ireland by the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA).
It costs €35 to apply and you can apply online to the IWA or the DDAI. They will ask you some questions to check if you qualify and then send you an application form by email or post.
The parking permit is known as the Disabled Person’s Parking Card or
Permit and the EU Parking Card for People with disabilities.
Check if you qualify
You can apply for a card if you are a person with severe restricted mobility or are certified as blind.
You will need one of the following:
- Have your medical practitioner or consultant certify that you meet the medical and mobility criteria.
- Hold a Primary Medical Certificate. If so, you will automatically qualify, but you still need to apply for the card.
- Be certified blind by The National Council of the Blind a GP, Ophthalmologist or Optician. You will still need to apply for the card.
You can check if you are eligible on the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland website or the Irish Wheelchair Association website.
How to apply for a Primary Medical Certificate
You must apply for the Primary Medical Certificate through your Local Health Office. A Primary Medical Card is very useful as you can use it for other related benefits such as to exempt yourself from paying VAT, motor tax and Vehicle Registration Tax.
How to use the parking card
You can use the card in any vehicle you are travelling in, either as a passenger or driver. This means you can bring the card with you and display it in the vehicle that you are driving or travelling in.
You can park in assigned disabled person’s parking spaces. These spaces have the wheelchair symbol painted on the ground or have a sign with a symbol displayed.
How to display your parking card
You must have a valid card displayed on your vehicle windshield to use a disabled parking space. The card will show your signature and photograph.
You can use the card when you travel within the EU. Make sure to bring your card with you.
Remember that you must follow the motoring laws and restrictions on parking when travelling abroad. The EU Commission has produced a publication, Parking card for people with disabilities in the European Union.
If you are travelling outside the EU, you should contact the embassy for that country.
Information on using the parking card abroad is available in the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Guide for the disabled traveller.
Parking offences and disabled spaces
It is an offence to park a vehicle in a disabled parking space unless you have a valid card. If you illegally park in a disabled parking space, you will get a parking fine of €150. This increases to €225 if not paid within 28 days.
From 1 January 2023, the fixed charge amount for misusing a disabled parking badge will be €200 (increasing to €300 if you do not pay within 28 days).
Traffic wardens and members of An Garda Síochána have the power to request and inspect a parking card to ensure it is not being misused.
How to apply and renew
Two organisations offer the card in Ireland.
You can apply online on the website of the Irish Wheelchair Association, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can apply online on the website of the Disabled Drivers Association or email email@example.com.
A parking card costs €35. You can buy a windscreen holder which costs €2.
You will need to get a Garda at a Garda station to identify your photo and sign part of your application form.
Renewing a parking card
The parking card must be renewed every 2 years. You will receive a renewal form several weeks before your parking card is due to expire. So, if you change your address, you should tell the organisation that gave you the card.
If you have had any surgery or treatment that may have improved your mobility, you should include this information in the mobility section of the renewal form.
Replacing a lost parking card
If you lose, misplace or if your card is stolen, apply to the organisation that gave you the card: The Disabled Drivers Association or the Irish Wheelchair Association. You will have to pay the standard fee of €35 again.
The law for the disabled parking card scheme is in Section 35 of the Road Traffic Act 1994 and SI 182/1997 Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997.