New Accessible Parking Permit Application FAQ's

Why was the scheme changed?

The Disability Parking Permit (DPP) Scheme in Victoria was last updated in 1995 and does not align with the Australian Disability Parking Scheme. The scheme was administered by each of the 79 different Victorian councils. Each council interpreted the scheme differently and had individual administration processes. That lead to confusion within the community as well as the potential for inequitable outcomes for applicants and opportunity for the misuse of permits.  

The updated scheme continues to be administered by the 79 Victorian councils but the process for applying for and renewing permits is more streamlined. The new APP Online Service provides community members with an easier application process and misuse of permits will be reduced, freeing up disability parking bays for the people who really need them. 

What are the main differences with the new Scheme?

The Accessible Parking Permit (DPP) project aims to streamline the permit application and renewal processes, clarify eligibility requirements, and introduce systems and tools to improve management of permits across Victoria.   

Changes being made include: 

  • Permit holders who have been medically assessed as having an agreed permanent disability will no longer have to return to their medical practitioner for reassessment as part of the permit renewal process
  • The permit duration will be increased from three years to five years for individuals (with non-temporary permits)
  • The permit application and renewal processes will be streamlined with applications to be submitted through a new state-wide digitised system
  • Permits will adhere to a standard, highly secure permit design rather than 79 variations which currently exists
  • The name of the scheme will be changed from ‘Disabled Persons Parking Scheme’ to ‘Accessible Parking Permit Scheme’.

The following features will be retained:

  • Green Permits/Category 2 Permits will continue to allow a permit holder to park for twice the permissible time in an ordinary parking bay
  • Those with significant intellectual disabilities are eligible for a permit.

Have the eligibility criteria changed?

The overarching eligibility criteria has not changed however the wording and the process by which a medical practitioner assesses a patient’s mobility or medical condition has. 

Do I need to apply for a new permit?

You will need to apply for a new permit when your permit expires. 

 

Can I keep using my existing permit?

Existing permits can be used until their expiry date. 

 

I was previously told I don’t need to see a GP – why do I need to see one now?

Permit applications were managed by 79 councils and this led to a range of variations in application processes and outcomes, including variations in process for people with permanent disabilities.   

The APP Scheme has updated the questions GPs and OTs will use to asses eligibility against the scheme. Every applicant for a permit will need to be assessed at least once by a GP or OT using the new application process and criteria questions.   

GPs and OTs will have the ability in this new assessment process to categorise someone as having a permanent disability. This will mean they will no longer require a functional assessment to renew their permit.

I was previously eligible for a permit but was not after applying for a renewal, why?

As part of disability parking scheme update, clearer assessment questions were developed in consultation with medical practitioners to allow GPs and OTs to assess mobility issues against the criteria. This related to both space requirements to exit and enter vehicles and the impacts of walking distances may have on an applicant’s health. Previously questions were open to a broad interpretation. They are now more aligned with assessing against the scheme criteria.

I am a parent of a disabled child, why can’t my partner and I have a permit for each car?

 The conditions of use for an accessible parking permit only allow for an individual to hold one permit. Permits are assigned to individuals, not vehicles. This was also a condition of the old scheme.

It is recognised that this will create inconvenience and difficulties for some people who share responsibility for caring for someone with mobility issues. However, this needed to be weighed against the potential for permit misuse, where people can hold multiple permits.

 

Why can’t I get a permit on-the-spot anymore?

Permit administration, printing and distribution is now managed through one central process, which does not require a visit to your local council to process a form. Once your medical practitioner has undertaken your functional assessment it should take 10-15 days for your application outcome to arrive in the mail.  

 

Why does my GP or OT not know the outcome of my assessment?

Your GP or OT will answer a range of questions that assess eligibility for a permit against the criteria. The answers to these questions determine your eligibility. Prior to the assessment outcome being known, your local council will check your application against any know duplicate permits or previous cancelled permits. It is only after this assessment step is the outcome of your application determined and you are advised by mail.

 

Why can’t my GP or OT decide if I get a green or blue permit?

Permit type has always been determined by functional assessment against set criteria questions and not personal preference or request. GPs and OTs are required to answer criteria eligibility questions, the responses to which determine permit eligibility and permit type.