Step-by-Step Guide to Securing Your Disability Parking Permit

For many Australians living with disabilities, a Disability Parking Permit (DPP) is more than just a piece of paper—it’s a crucial tool that enhances their mobility and independence. At Abled Care Services, we understand the challenges faced by individuals with mobility impairments and are committed to providing support and information to make life a bit easier. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about disability parking permits, from eligibility criteria to the application process.

What is a Disability Parking Permit?

A Disability Parking Permit (DPP) is a special permit that allows individuals with significant mobility impairments to park in designated spaces closer to building entrances and other amenities. This permit not only provides convenience but also ensures safety and accessibility for those who need it most.

Types of Disability Parking Permits

Understanding the different types of disability parking permits can help you determine which one suits your needs. There are three main types of permits available in Australia:

Individual Disability Parking Permit

The Individual DPP is issued to people with a permanent disability. It allows the permit holder, as well as their family, friends, or support workers, to use the permit when transporting the permit holder in a vehicle. This permit is valid for five years.

Temporary Disability Parking Permit

The Temporary DPP is for individuals with a temporary disability, such as an injury that temporarily impairs mobility. This permit is valid for up to six months and must be disposed of once the temporary disability is resolved.

Organization Disability Parking Permit

This permit is for organizations that provide transport services for individuals with disabilities, such as retirement homes or hospital shuttles. The permit can only be used when transporting eligible individuals.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a disability parking permit, the eligibility criteria can vary depending on whether you are applying for a temporary or permanent permit, as well as by state or territory. Here’s what you typically need to demonstrate:

1. Mobility Limitations: You must show that it is challenging for you to walk 100 meters without assistance. This assistance may include the use of a walker, wheelchair, or other mobility aids.

2. State and Territory Variations: Application criteria and the cost of the permit can differ between states and territories. It’s important to check the specific requirements of your state or territory.

Eligibility for a disability parking permit varies by state and territory, but generally, you must demonstrate significant mobility impairment. Here’s a look at the criteria for a few regions:

New South Wales

To be eligible in NSW, you must: Be unable to walk due to permanent or temporary loss of use of one or both legs. Have a medical or physical condition that is severely affected by walking 100 meters. Require the use of mobility aids such as crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair.


To be eligible in Queensland, you must: Being unable to walk and always requiring a wheelchair. Having a severe restriction in walking ability due to a permanent or temporary condition lasting six months or more.

South Australia

To be eligible in South Australia, you must: A permanent physical impairment or a temporary impairment is likely to last more than six months. A condition that severely restricts your speed of movement and ability to access public transport.

How to Apply for a Disability Parking Permit?

If you believe you qualify for a disability parking permit, the application process can vary slightly depending on your state or territory, and whether you need a permanent or temporary permit. However, most procedures follow a similar general format:

  1. Complete an Application Form: Start by obtaining and filling out the necessary application form from your local authority or their website.

  2. Consult with Your GP: Schedule a meeting with your general practitioner (GP) to discuss your need for a disability parking permit. If your GP agrees, they will complete part of the application form, detailing the medical reasons why you need the permit. They may also need to provide additional documentation about your condition and its impact on your mobility.

  3. Occupational Therapist Letter: In some cases, your GP may require a supporting letter from your occupational therapist to further substantiate your need for the permit.

  4. Submit Your Application: Submit the completed application form to the issuing authority’s office. This can often be done in person or through their online platform.

  5. Provide Documentary Evidence: Along with your application, you will need to present proof of identity and any other required documents. This might include a Centrelink disability pension card, a supporting letter from your GP, or a photo exemption letter.

  6. Approval and Payment: Once your application is approved, you may be required to pay a fee for the permit, depending on your state or territory’s regulations.

While the process may seem lengthy, it is designed to ensure that only those who genuinely need a disability parking permit receive one. This helps prevent misuse and ensures that parking spaces are available for those who truly need them

Renewing Your Permit

Disability parking permits typically need to be renewed every three to five years, depending on your state or territory. The renewal process usually involves reapplying and providing updated medical documentation.

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What if my disability is not visible?

Get a Parking Permit for People with Invisible Disabilities

Something many people don’t consider is those living with invisible disabilities which affect mobility. Often, these disabilities aren’t immediately apparent. They might not use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, for instance, and may not have any “obvious” signs of limited mobility.

However, people living with invisible disabilities can need a DPP because their condition often or always prevents them from walking long distances without significant difficulty or pain.

Remember, everyone needs to get a disability parking permit in the same way. So anyone who holds a DPP has acquired their permit legally (and somewhat painstakingly). Accessible parking spaces are theirs for use.

Whether their disability is visible or not, a DPP holder has the right to an Australian Disability Parking Scheme space. If anyone thinks they don’t, they’re subscribing to one of many disability parking myths.


Navigating the process of obtaining a disability parking permit can be daunting, but it’s a necessary step to ensure greater independence and accessibility. At Abled Care Services, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can make mobility easier and enhance your quality of life.

For more information, visit our website or contact our friendly team at Abled Care Services today

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