By Kelly Youngblood
Pregnant women in their third trimester can now obtain a temporary disability parking placard thanks to a new law that became effective Jan. 1.
House Bill 3027, or “Henry’s Law,” allows third-trimester mothers-to-be to park in a disabled parking spot for at least 90 days.
Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Secretary of State, said the application process is easy. An individual just needs to fill out a portion of this form, and have a physician fill out the rest. Once completed, the form can be taken to a local DMV and a temporary disability placard can be handed out on site.
“I think it’s been made probably as simple as possible to be able to (apply) and that kind of goes along with the Secretary of State (Jesse) White’s philosophy of wanting to make things as easy as possible for people and to serve the public as well as we can,” he said.
Bill Bogdan, the Disability Liaison with the Illinois Secretary of State, said they don’t know how many women have applied since the law was passed because they don’t track disability information, permanent or temporary, due to HIPPA.
Bogdon also noted, in general, before the law was passed, their office did issue temporary disability placards to expectant mothers “if the pregnancy caused a short-term disability and they had a form filled out by the physician.”
“Now, because of the law, we actually included pregnancy as a qualifying condition on the actual form where before pregnancy wasn’t on the form,” he said. “Before a doctor had to write pregnancy as a diagnosis. The new law says any expectant mother entering in her third trimester is now eligible for a temporary placard.”
With in-person services at most driving facilities being closed for a period of time, Druker says it has posed some challenges with publicizing some of the new laws. However, he said he now hopes to be able to communicate more about these new laws in order to benefit women across the state.
“We think it’s a good thing,” Druker said, “and hopefully as many people as possible that are entitled to it take full advantage of it.”
For more information about disability parking placards, click here.