Using UK Disabled Parking Badge

SimonV

Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
We have now raised this matter with Visit Florida and the powers that be in the tourist business over here and are waiting for an official comment on the matter.

It is interesting that Visit Florida STILL say on their website that British visitors only need to bring their Blue Badge with them, even though we know this is now wrong, and we have pointed this out to them. Just goes to show left hand sometimes doesn't know what right hand is doing.... :rolleyes:

Hopefully we can get the tourist bodies to come up with a proper, concerted response to this, either to have the extra $15 charge removed (as it doesn't count for Canadians) or to be able to pay the $15 fee online in advance, or at least have somewhere locally where visitors can get to easily (and at the weekend if necessary!).

We await their reaction with interest............
 

SimonV

Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
Another quick update: Visit Florida have finally changed their website to give the right information (although it was only when we brought this to the attention of their UK PR agency on Wednesday that they changed it).

Here's what they now say:

Handicapped parking permits: UK-issued Blue Badge permits are no longer recognized as valid handicapped parking tags in Florida. To obtain a temporary, 90-day handicapped parking permit, bring your Blue Badge permit and at least one form of identification to a local tax collector's office upon entering the state. Temporary permit applications for international travelers are not available online. For a list of tax collector locations and more information, visit www.hsmv.state.fl.us.

However, when you click on the web link, you need to click on the Office Locations link and then work out which county you are going to be visiting and where you will find their tax offices (they do, at least, provide a map link to find them).

How many people would even know which county they are going to be in, let alone know where to find the offices (which are all strictly 8.30-5, Mon-Fri)? And you are supposed to arrive off a 9-hour flight, get into a strange vehicle, on strange roads, and go straight to the nearest tax office? Because, if you don't, you can't use any of the (many) disabled parking areas that are provided for your use. It just doesn't make sense.

I can't help thinking that, at best, this is just thoughtless, at worst, it is discriminatory.

Oh, and for those who need to work out the nearest tax offices from the airport, for Orlando International (Orange County) it is: 4576 S. Semoran Blvd. Fl 32822 (just north of the airport); for those arriving at Orlando Sanford (Seminole County), it is: 1101 E. 1st Street in Sanford (again, just north of the airport), Fl 32771. If you fly into Miami (Miami-Dade County), it is: 5400 NW 22nd Avenue, Fl 33142 (just off the Airport Expressway); and in Tampa (Hillsborough County), it is: 1515 North Westshore Boulevard, Fl 33607 (right next to the airport).

Perhaps an online petition might be a good idea?
 
  • SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Here's another quick up-date. A user on another forum has revealed that they have been told they can apply in advance by post, and the details seem to check out well. We are still awaiting confirmation of this, but the instructions are as follows:

    "You will need to apply for a US parking permit. You can process the temporary parking permit through the mail. You will need to make a copy of the Blue Badge from the UK and send it in with U.S. Funds in the amount of $15.00. We will also need a copy of the Passport of the disabled person involved. You will need to mail to:

    Patsy Heffner, Tax Collector
    PO Box 422105
    Kissimmee, FL 34742-2105
    USA"

    There is no indication of HOW you send them $15, as obviously you don't want to put cash in an envelope (even if you have $15 to hand!). The official info doesn't help, either, on this link: http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/disabled_pkg.html

    Hopefully we'll get an answer soon!
     

    mikki.young

    Knows Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2000
    Thanks again Simon. The second option is interesting because it must cost them money to do it that way too - wonder if it is just the local office trying to be helpful? An International Money order would do the trick but would inccrease the cost. I have a US$ checkbook but I suspect most people don't.

    Do you know how we would best set up an online petition?
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    We've had some more communication with Visit Florida and they are currently working on an idea to provide the temporary badge through one of the car hire companies on arrival, which would obviously be the best solution. It could take a while to work out the feasibility, though. VF also insist the Orlando/Orange County tax office does have a facility to pay online, but we certainly can't find this and we have asked for clarification.

    Hope to know more soon!

    Don't know how practical a petition would be, but we'll look into it :)
     

    mikki.young

    Knows Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2000
    A temporary badge through the car hire companies would be great! Really appreciate all your work / communication on this Simon!
     
  • david1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 30, 2006
    Hi all

    Can someone confirm that 4576 S. Semoran Blvd. Fl 32822
    Is the closest Tax office to Roadway International on International Drive for a handicapped parking permit.

    We arrive on a Saturday evening is there any update about getting a badge through the car hire companies?

    Thanks
    David
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    The S Semoran Blvd office is the closest to the airport, but I think you'll find the office at 11210 S Orange Blossom Trail (just south of Central Florida Parkway) will actually be closer to I-Drive. Check it out on this link:

    http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/offices/orange.html

    I'm afraid there is no early likelihood of getting the permit at any of the car hire offices. These things move incredibly slowly and we are awaiting feedback about if it is even possible. It is infuriating that no-one seems to want to take responsibility for this. :mad:
     

    david1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 30, 2006
    Thank for that Simon:thumbsup2

    Looks like the 2 Tax offices are the same distance from wear we are staying just a case of deciding which office to go to.

    Thanks again
    David
     

    ERICS MUM

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2005
    We have used the South Orange Blossom Trail car tax office for a few years now, as we did not know we could use the blue badge over there.:confused3

    I am fairly sure the office is only open 9 to 5 (or 8 to 4) on weekdays, so you would be unlikely to get a permit on your way from the airport. :mad:

    We usually use valet parking on our first night at the hotel (we always stay at Rosen Centre or Rosen Plaza), and they refund the charge once we show them the temporary disabled badge. These hotels offer free valet parking with the disabled badge, which is a great service for us and my Mum! :thumbsup2

    Linda
     
  • SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    OK, here's another up-date, courtesy of our friends at the Kissimmee CVB (while Visit Florida continue to be notably silent on the matter :rolleyes: ).

    The Kissimmee CVB have been speaking to the Osceola County tax office and they have been told, fairly unequivocally, that the Osceola Tax office will NOT mail out any parking permits to anyone, and it is no use sending in postal applications, sadly. So, for those people who have been told by the tax office they they can apply by mail, they have either got hold of a very sympathetic official, or they will not get the parking permit through the post as you hoped.

    This is obviously another backward step in this process, but it confirms what we suspected but could not clarify before, namely that the postal idea never seemed workable, largely because the US tax offices simply don't usually work with postal applications for things like this. You either appear in person (and stand in line) or you don't get the necessary parking permit/vehicle licence, etc.

    We have asked the Kissimmee CVB if they can help put some pressure on the powers that be, and we await any further reaction from them on this (although they have indicated in the past it is something they could do, as it obviously affects them directly).
     

    Donnababe

    Trying To Find My Happy Place
    Joined
    May 5, 2004
    Thanks for the update, Simon.

    I will keep a close eye on this thread as we hope to take a Feb 08 trip.

    We don't mind parking in a regular spot when we're not attending a park, but we really don't want a long trek back to our car if the Powers That Be at Disney et al also decide to void UK Blue Badges in the future.

    I know we can get a temporary permit, but can you please inform us if you hear that the Disney and Universal Parks no longer recognise the badge?

    Cheers!
     

    maestro

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2005
    Not much help for Orlando visitors I'm afraid, but just a FYI for anyone visiting the Boston area. I have just contacted Massachusetts RMV regarding our upcoming trip and the UK blue Badge is recognised throughout the State.
    Hope this info is of some help to anyone else who has a Boston stopover.
    Ceri x
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Curiouser and curiouser........if that is the case about Mass (and I'm checking that, too :D ), that would be an enormous advantage in going back to Florida and beating them with it! This is SUCH an important issue and there is SO much conflcting info (you wouldn't believe what the Orlando CVB have now been told by their local tax office!), it is vital we pursue it to a satisfactory - and consistent - conclusion.
     

    yorkshiregirl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2002
    Hi
    We went to Massachusetts 2 years ago and were told that our blue badge would not be recognized. We faxed our blue badge details and a photo of DH to a very helpful man and received a 'Disabled Persons Parking Identification Placard' to hang in our car. It came very quickly and did not cost anything. It was issued by mass.gov/rmv.
    We were in Boston and Martha's Vineyard for 2 weeks and the police checked it numerous times as we parked in a 'disabled' parking bay.
    DH has just told me that he emailed the details and photo.
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    OK, one last up-date (for now!). After some more confusion in Orange County over the actual regulations, and whether people can/cannot apply by post or even if they can still use the UK blue disabled parking badge, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles have issued an unequivocal and very clear guideline (and also promised to talk to all the tax offices and ensure they are not still handing out conflicting information!). The bottom line is as we feared; people MUST visit a local tax office on arrival and there is no way round this. The important thing is to know in advance and check where the nearest tax office is for your arrival; whether you can get to it immediately after getting clear of the airport or if you need to visit the next day (or after the weekend, as the FDMV points out, quite conveniently, that the tax offices are ONLY open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, and not public holidays either).

    Here's their statement:

    "The Department of Motor vehicles made an administrative decision on this procedure to facilitate access to buildings for the citizen of another country who has a disability while they are in Florida as visitors.

    The person will need to present a copy of the out of country parking permit. If the permit has two sides, we need a copy of both sides.

    Our staff must see a passport or comparable identification to verify ownership of the out of country parking permit. They are NOT required to obtain a Florida Driver’s License or ID card. We will issue one temporary parking permit for up to 6 months and the fee is $15.00.

    Even if a visitor is here staying in a vacation home the procedure would be the same. There is no restriction on the number of temporary permits that can be issued to an out of country visitor. The restriction would be that the out of country permit that was being used as proof of eligibility would have to be current when applying for the permit in Florida . If the out of country permit expires while in Florida and the visitor needed another disability permit issued we would NOT be able to issue with an expired permit as proof of eligibility.

    Issuance of these permits requires a visit to the tag agency. Orange County Tag Agencies are open Monday through Friday 8:30AM until 5:00PM except for Holidays.

    You may also review the information written in the procedures by doing the following:

    go to: www.hsmv.state.fl.us click on motor vehicles then scroll down and on the left side of the page you will see DMV Procedures Manual, click on that then click on Registration and for Parking Permits procedures open RS 38."

    Obviously, we are not happy with the official position and are making enquiries about how we can get things changed and actually make them more user-friendly, as, to my mind, this is clearly discriminatory (whether intentional or not).
     

    leanan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2007
    It's a shame they don't open an office at the airport so if you need a parking permit you can get one when you hire your car.
    Cause that is just too thoughtful of our governement. Too much brain power would be used up and money would be wasted in their eyes.:cool1:
     

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