We will be traveling through Germany soon with my elderly mother who has a US disabled parking permit. Can we use this same permit in Germany? Do they have disabled parking places?

Germany has a very nice system of handicapped parking places, clearly marked with some form of the international blue sign and a wheelchair. (If she uses a wheelchair, be forewarned, however, that some German streets do not yet have handicapped-accessible curbing.)

Visitors from the UK may use their parking permits due to reciprocity agreements within the EU. Reciprocal agreements, however, do not extend to non-EU countries. Moreover, rules governing the use of a disabled parking permit vary from Ordnungsamt to Ordnungsamt (the municipal authority responsible for licensing). Several calls to various agencies brought multiple answers. Most seemed puzzled by the question but eventually said if the parking permit was legally issued in your home country, it could be used here.

I would suggest (although it’s certainly not legal advice) that you bring the permit with any documentation you used to obtain it in the US. Generally, Germans expect such a permit to be used by someone who has limited mobility. If your mother has obvious difficulties in walking, it should not be an issue. However, if you are going to be in one location for an extended period of time, you might want to contact the local Ordnungsamt (usually located somewhere in city hall) upon your arrival.