Disabled persons in Tennessee are eligible to apply for a disabled parking placard that entitles the person to park in specially reserved parking spaces for those living with disabilities. A placard entitles both a disabled person to park in reserved handicap parking spaces and a driver parking such a vehicle for the benefit of a disabled person to park in such spaces. There are several rules regulating the use of the disabled persons placard and the use of reserved handicapped parking spaces.
Qualified as Disabled
A driver may qualify as disabled in Tennessee if he has had an arm, leg, foot or hand amputated, or if he has a condition rendering him similarly disabled as certified by a physician. A person requiring the use of a wheelchair and anyone suffering from an ailment that prohibits him from being able to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest is also considered disabled. This includes, but is not limited to, persons experiencing pulmonary or cardiac illnesses, using crutches or wearing a brace. A person is also determined to be disabled if his vision is not better than 20/200.
Tennessee state law requires all cities and counties to provide free parking to all disabled persons with a disabled parking placard displayed in their car. No fees may be extracted for parking in any metered parking space, on streets, or in municipal parking lots as long as the parking placard is displayed and the disabled person present.
Any person parking in a parking space reserved for disabled persons who does not have a disability placard is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined up to $100. Also, according to state law, a person who falsely represents herself as a disabled person is subject to potential fines and penalties up to and including jail time.