Handicap license plates on motorcycles

Just today, I saw a motorcycle in a handicap parking spot. When I looked closer, I saw it had a handicap license plate (a little International Symbol of Access on a MC tag).

Okay, now I’m interested…how is it possible to be disabled enough to need handicap parking, yet still be able to ride a motorcycle? I mean no offense; I’m genuinely interested.

Being disabled doesn’t mean you are in a wheelchair. It might be easy to ride, but hard to walk. It’s not even certain that your legs are the disabling part of the body.

Something like angina or COPD or bad asthma.

Seem to remember a thread on this recently.

Some amputees ride bikes with or without modified controls, that could figure in a few more ways to qualify.

I know a guy who had a bad knee, but continued to engage in interstate motorcycle touring for many years. He could ride 1000 miles in a day, but walking was a real bitch (as was getting on/off his bike). I don’t know whether he had a handicapped plate on his bike or not, but I’m pretty sure he would have qualified.

My wife is disabled and I can have a plate for that, but only one. We have a car and a bike, so I just asked for the hang tag, so I can move it from vehicle to vehicle.

As it turns out, I’ve never used it on the bike. There have always been better options for a bike.:cool:

People can be handicapped in mysterious ways. Here is a case in point, which I have never been able to figure out.

I was going to a scientific conference in Philly, which is where I grew up. I landed in Philly and took the SEPTA train from the airport to 30th St. Beck to back with my seat was a man accompanied by two grad students who were obviously going to the same meeting. He had bought a handicapped ticket. When the conductor came has asked the man for proof of eligibility. Whatever he showed the conductor was satisfactory. Later the man discussed with his students whether they should take a taxi or walk to the dorm they were staying at at 39th and Locust, about a mile away, and decided that, even with their luggage (fairly minimal, to be sure), they could walk.

Some handicaps are intermittent. So you use the seat or the parking, just in case, and then see how things go. I’ve got arthritis in my knees, so standing still for any length of time is a bitch, but sometimes walking is no problem at all. If the handicapped ticket got me early boarding, or a guaranteed seat, it would be worth it to avoid standing.

My sister has multiple sclerosis. There was a period where she had, loosely, a certain number of steps before her balance would go wonky. She used her placard to allow her to hoard steps, but if she wanted her legs to stay strong, she needed to use as many steps as she could. So she budgeted them.

For a lot of difficulties, if what you’ve got isn’t acting up, you need to take advantage of that to get your exercise in, or your difficulties will worsen. But you never know when it will act up, especially if you’re buying tickets days in advance.

While not all chronic medical conditions require a parking permit, it is important to realize that most chronic medical conditions will not be detected with simple observation.

96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible.

Multiple Sclerosis as mentioned above is an example where someone may not have the ability to walk long distances but may have no problem riding a motorcycle.

Many years ago, I briefly dated a very nice man who qualified for handicapped plates, and yes, he did own a motorcycle and had a special plate for it. Several years prior to this, he was in a near-fatal car accident and walked with a cane as a result, due to one leg being very weak and basically held together with assorted hardware. When I met him, I thought he had a BKA but that wasn’t the case.

Most of the time, he didn’t take advantage of his special plates except when he was at a place like a shopping mall or a large civic event, or during the winter because those spaces were the first ones cleared and usually more level than the “normal” spaces.


you know I seem to remember a glorious rant about a handicapped plate on a Lamborghini from a decade in a half ago …….

So what was the rant? Rich people can’t be disabled?:smiley:

that and envy …… its in the bowels of the pit………

But the lady I worked for was disabled due to rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t walk and after work we stopped at a grocery store so I could get a few things for her

the van opened up and had a lift for her chair and I went down on it and some smart asses made some quip on how all that disabled stuff was abused and ripped off …………

I flipped them off and went in the store…

My mother was offered 60% disability back when you two were young; she has similar mobility now as she did back then and she can walk a lot better than she can stand. Her diagnosis has changed through the years from some variant of “I didn’t even know someone your age could have arthrosis!” to “you’re 30, your bones are 60” to “arthrosis”.

They added a wheelchair van sticker in Arkansas.

That’s in addition to the standard handicapped plate.

Van parking has extra wide spacing to accommodate the lift. They are marked and designated as van parking.

So far, enforcement has been pretty lax. I see cars with handicapped plates in van parking regularly.

I don’t know if she still races (it’s been a while since I raced so I don’t follow it anymore) but Carol Hollfelder is a paraplegic that club-raced her Ferrari 355.

I have a good friend who was recently diagnosed with MS. Just by looking at her, you’d never know anything was wrong with her. She’s perfectly capable of driving, and, most of the time, she’s able to walk around with no problem. But, she gets fatigued very easily, and is subject to bouts of weakness where she has to sit down. She doesn’t ride a motorcycle, but if she wanted to, she’d be physically perfectly capable of doing so. On the other hand, walking across a parking lot from a remote space, especially on a bad day, could exhaust her.

My mother also had MS. When I was young, her condition was much like my friend’s is now. She drove, went grocery shopping, ran errands, took me to appointments, etc. All the normal day-to-day stuff anyone else would do. But there were times she just had to sit down and rest. Regardless of where we were. Being able to park in a handicapped spot near her destination vs. parking in a remote spot in a big parking lot could easily be the difference between being able to walk to and from her car in one go vs. having to stop in the middle of a parking lot to sit and rest. She didn’t ride motorcycles, but, again, at that stage of her disease, she certainly could have physically.

My students still bring up how I used to wheel up to school at full speed and drift into a parking spot in front. Then take my cane (off the back of my bicycle) and hobble into the building.

I used to work with an old scooter tramp that had a fake leg. He rode a kick start pan head.

A few times when my bike was down, he’d make an excuse to hang out while I waited for my ride, I could tell he’d had a long day.

After the last person rolled outa the dealership we worked at, he’d lean over and say “Why don’t you kick an old man’s bike for him” and hand me the keys.:smiley:

But most days, he limped no worse that any other kicker owner:p;)