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Topic: Blue Disabled Parking Badge

  1. #21
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    Simon got some updated info today but hasn't had a chance to post (book rewrites are keeping us busy!) but I'll ask him to come over and post again. Hang on............

    As regards the use of the language, as with anything, it's what you grew up with that makes something acceptable or not acceptable, and over here the term 'disabled' means Not Able. Most Americans find that inaccurate and offensive. In the UK 'handicapped' strikes the same offensive cord. It seems like a useful exercise to acknowledge that neither culture is seeking to BE offensive, and has a genuine interest in using terms that are NOT offensive, within their own culture. When I travel to the UK I say 'disabled', no matter how it sound to my ear. When I'm in the US I say 'handicapped', no matter how it sounds to our overseas visitors. The old 'when in Rome' thing, you know........

    Bottom line, none of us want to offend and I would hope by now we all know the American version of the English language is, well, the AMERICAN version. If language were a static thing we'd all be speaking a language (Old English, at best!) even Brits dont speak any more!

    That's a long way of saying the use of certain terms is different, but we live in different countries and that's to be expected. I hope you understand my use of 'handicapped' just as I understand your use of 'disabled', and put it down to culture, not insensitivity.

    My apologies for hijacking the thread. Back to the real issue at hand!

  2. #22
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    Hi Sarah

    Yes, from PO, that would definitely be the nearest. It is not exactly close, but it is not too hard to get to and is the tax office for South Orange County. Just exit WDW via Hotel Boulevard, turn right on to the 535 (Vineland Rd) and then get on I4 east for one junction, coming off at the exit for SeaWorld (Central Florida Parkway). Take the Parkway all the way east until you hit the South Orange Blossom Trail, then turn right (south) for one block to the junction with Waterbridge Blvd.

    Sadly, we have been told by the Kissimmee CVB today that they have checked with the Osceola County tax office and there is No way for people to apply for the temporary parking permit in advance or by post. It can only be obtained at a local tax office once you arrive. Once again, this is NOT good news and we are trying to mobilise the local authorities to do something better with this situation.

  3. #23
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    Boo hiss. Well that news IS pretty bad, but I didn't expect it to be anything different sadly. It would be SO beneficial to have it set up through the car rental place, but I guess that is a few years down the line.

    Many thanks again for letting me know how to find the tag office, makes a procedure that we're a bit peeved about doing slightly less painful ;)

    Thanks

    Sarah

  4. #24
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    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."

  5. #25
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    OK, here is the very latest latest info, thanks to our friends at the Osceola County CVB, who have obviously been working at this non-stop with the local tax authority.

    And the good news is...........British visitors CAN now apply, officially and properly, in advance, by mail for the temporary disabled parking permit.

    The Osceola CVB have realised it was a confusing situation and, as they are a government body like the local tax office, have liaised directly with their head tax office to authorise written requests, that will then send the necessary permit back by return mail.

    It ideally needs to be sent by certified mail (i.e. so that someone signs for it on receipt at the tax office), and it must include a money order for $15, a copy (both sides) of your UK blue disabled badge, and a copy of your personal details in your passport (the last pages). But, once you have that done, put them all in an envelope

    1) Copy of your UK disabled badge (both sides)
    2) Copy of your photo ID from your passport
    3) Money order for $15 payable to Osceola County Tax Collector

    And send it to:

    Tag Department
    Osceola Tax Collector
    2501 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
    Kissimmee
    Florida 34744
    USA

    You should allow for at least 3 weeks for the process to be completed and it will be valid for a full 6 months.

    The phone number there is 407 742 4000 and fax 407 742 3995.

    You can still apply in person, and the office hours are 8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri.

    Oh, and here is the confirmation in their official document:

    APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A TEMPORARY PARKING PERMIT BY A CITIZEN OF ANOTHER COUNTRY:
    Administratively, a temporary disabled parking permit may be issued to a citizen of another country who is here in a visitor status. The following must be verified:

    • A copy of the out-of-country parking permit. If the permit has two sides, copy both sides.
    • Visually see a passport or comparable identification to verify ownership of the out-of country parking permit. A Florida driver license or ID card is not required.

    NOTE: One valid temporary parking permit may be issued for up to 6 months. The fee is $15.

  6. #26

    Smile

    Thanks Simon for keeping us up to date on this important issue,my son is registerd disabled and we used our blue badge last year,this really made our holiday eaiser and now that we can apply by post for the parking tag will be so much of an advantage

  7. #27
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    Simon, this is excellent news for travellers with disability. I know from our experiences with our son that the ability to use close in parking makes life much easier. Thanks for facilitating this progress.

  8. #28
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    Simon won't blow his own horn on this, but he has worked tirelessly to bring the problem to the attention of those who can make a difference in sorting the permit out in the easiest possible way. He might not like it, but I'm just giving him a pat on the back for a job well done. He really has worked hard to bring the right people together, and it's been an uphill task most of the way.

    So.....

    ....my thanks go out to him and to all the pople who listened and then made it their business to find a solution.

  9. #29
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    Hear hear thanks Simon.

  10. #30
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    Thanks, folks, but this really has been a big effort from the Kissimmee CVB and the Osceola County Tax office.

    I had a meeting yesterday with the head of the Tax Office for Osceola County and was very impressed by how they have worked hard to make this possible. They have pretty much taken a unilateral decision to make this work for visiting tourists and taken it upon themselves to set up the necessary mailing mechanism to handle all the permit applications. It is pretty rare these days for a government body to go out on a limb like this when no-one else seemed interested in dealing with the problem (or even recognising the fact there WAS a problem), but they are definitely a very pro-active bunch with a high regard for the importance of their tourist visitors, which is very heartening. I was also able to pass on the thanks of all here for our concerns being dealt with in such a speedy and satisfactory manner (they really DID pull off an incredible feat in such a short time, once the Kissimmee CVB brought it to their attention). In particular, thanks are due to Larry White at the CVB for not letting the issue drop and to Patsy Heffner and her staff at the Tax Office (which is the big new one on the eastern end of Highway 192 in Kissimmee - a bit further out but with plenty of staff to process applications, even on a Monday morning!).

    So, just to confirm, this mail-in facility is most definitely now available and you can apply to the Osceola County office even if you are not visiting the Kissimmee area as the temporary parking permit is valid for all of Florida.

    Happy 4th of July, folks!

    Simon

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