Buying a handicap van is an amazing experience. It offers you the freedom to get around without having to worry about cramming your wheelchair into a small car’s trunk; it allows you to get out of the house and travel to destinations near and far; it gives you a sweet new ride to show off to your family and friends.
But what if you’ve never driven one before? Sure, it can be a bit daunting to purchase and register a new type of van that you’ve never owned before, and you may have questions: what type of requirements are necessary to become licensed to drive the van? How do you get a handicap placard in Illinois? What about special license plates?
These are all great questions, and ones that we are happy to answer. So check out this handy guide to driving your brand new handicap van in Illinois
How Do I Get a License?
First off: you do not need to obtain a special license to drive a handicap van in Illinois. You may, however, have to go through a few extra hoops in order to get one.
When you apply for a license in Illinois, you are required by law to disclose if you have a mental or physical condition. You are also required to notify the office of the Secretary of State within ten days of any changes that occur in your condition.
You may also need to provide a medical report that documents your condition, so having this prepared before applying can save you some time. So long as you don’t have a severe condition that prevents you from driving safely, you shouldn’t have a problem moving forward with the process.
Remember, if you are proven to be fit to drive, it is your right to do so!
How Do I Get a Handicap Placard and License Plate?
In order to legally park in handicap spots throughout Illinois, you must first obtain and display a non-expired handicap placard within your vehicle or have a permanent disability license plate on your van. Depending on your condition, you may also qualify for meter exemption, saving you from have to pay for parking in cities.
You can obtain one by contacting the office of the Secretary of State once you have your handicap van ready to hit the road. The process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require too much time to obtain.
Do you have any questions about driving a handicap van in Illinois, or any other state? Let us know and we will be happy to answer them!