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Information for Disabled Drivers in California

In California, drivers certified by licensed health personnel to have impaired mobility or a condition which substantially interferes with mobility may qualify for "Disabled" status.

You are also considered a disabled driver if you have

  • A heart, lung or circulatory disease.
  • Any disorder that limits the use of lower extremities; or either or both hands or legs.
  • Documented problems with vision, including partial-sightedness or low vision.

Disabled persons can acquire a Disabled Person (DP) placard or DP license plates. These entitle you to special parking privileges in areas designated for disabled persons, whenever you are the driver or a passenger of the vehicle. Misuse or abuse of these privileges is a misdemeanor; offenders can get fines of $250-$1000 and/or imprisonment in county jail for up to 6 months. Forgery and/or trading in counterfeit or genuine placards invite higher penalties, including time in state prison.

Other facilities available for disabled drivers include:

  • Window decals for holders of DP placards or plates, whose vehicles have wheelchairs or lifts that obstruct the rear license plate.
  • Ability to take a leashed service animal along to the DMV.
  • Alternative methods to complete the written Drivers License Examination.
  • TTY for Speech and Hearing Impaired.
  • Specially designated counters for Disabled Persons at the DMV office.

Visit the section on California DMV's Disabled Customers for details.

HOW TO APPLY FOR DISABLED STATUS

You are considered to have disabled status when you acquire a DP placard or license plates. The procedure to acquire these is explained below.

Duration of status

DP license plates are available only to those who are permanently disabled.

DP placards may be issued to those with permanent or temporary disabilities:

  • Placards for the permanently disabled are valid for 2 years.
  • Temporary placards are valid for up to 6 months or the date noted by your physician, whichever is lesser.
  • Travel placards valid for 30 days are available for CA residents with permanent DP placards or plates.
  • Travel placards valid for 90 days (or the date noted by your physician) are available for non-residents who are permanently disabled.

How to apply for DP license plates or a DP placard

To obtain DP license plates:
  1. Download and complete the Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG 195).
  2. Have a licensed physician, surgeon, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or certified midwife sign the Doctor's Certification of Disability portion of the form.
  3. Provide the current registration card in your name, or documents that prove the vehicle is registered in your name; as well as any registration fees due on the vehicle.
  4. Surrender the current license plates of the vehicle.
  5. Mail the completed form, along with any fees, to the address on the form.
To obtain a DP placard:
  1. Download and complete the Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG 195).
  2. Have a licensed physician, surgeon, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or certified midwife sign the Doctor's Certification of Disability portion of the form.
  3. Mail the completed form, along with any fees, to the address on the form.
Alternatively, to obtain either the plates or the placard, you can make an appointment online and take the form to a local DMV office. You will receive your placard (or plates) within approximately two weeks. Along with your new plates, you will receive a self-certification form verifying your eligibility for the plates, which you must carry with you when in the vehicle, and present upon request by law enforcement officers or other authorized persons.

EXEMPTIONS

You do not need a doctor's certificate, if:
  • You have lost (or lost the use of) either or both hands, or lower extremities, and you appear at a local DMV office in person.
  • You already have a California DP or Disabled Veteran (DV) license plate, and the number is entered in part "A" of the application form (for plates) or part "B" of the application form (for placards).

FEE

A permanent DP placard, or a travel DP placard is free. There is also no fee for replacement. A fee of $6 is charged for a temporary placard. There is no fee for permanent DP plates. Substitute plates cost $17.

RENEWAL

Once the 2 year validity of permanent DP placards is over (they expire on June 30 of an odd-numbered year):
  1. The DMV will automatically mail you a new placard and ID card to the address on record.
  2. If your address has changed, download and fill out the Change of Address Form (DMV 14) and mail it to the address on the form. Note that the online "Change of Address service" is not available for placards - you must manually fill out and mail the form.
  3. Holders of permanent placards do not require recertification by a doctor.

REPLACEMENT

To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates:
  1. Download and complete the Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers and Documents (REG 156).
  2. Enclose any mutilated placard or remaining plates.
  3. (For placards) Mail the application, along with any fee (for substitute temporary placards or plates) to:
    DMV Placard 
    PO Box 942869 
    Sacramento, CA 94269-0001.    
  4. (For plates) Mail the application, along with the substitute plate fee of $17, to:

DMV

SPU-MS D238

PO Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450.    
  1. Alternatively, make an appointment and take the completed application to a local DMV office.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Reviews of Information for Disabled Drivers in California

i just saw a blue placard handicap vehicleand the driver Park at my local park the driver got out and went on the tennis court and played two hours of tennis what as a citizen can we do because as someone who's had an injured family member I know how important these spaces are we took the picture who do we send them to you

My fiance has just recently become disabled and she has never had a license, am I eligible to apply with my license under her name or is there another process I must take since I am her full time driver

I have an Ontario/Canada accessible/disability parking permit. Can I use it when I travel to California USA? Stella

I received a parking ticket on my RV. It was parked overnight on a major street in West Hollywood. There is no parking restrictions posted except for the late afternoon and street cleaning once a week. It was not street cleaning day and AI moved it well before 4:00PM. My Handicapped Palacard was hanging from my rear view mirror

I am a person that is disabled and I want to know if the hand controls that I put in my car if they have to be certified by the DMV or not?

i have disabled spouse(legally blind) can I get a disabled placard?

I got a parking ticket as my placard was not displayed. I made a copy of my place card and with a letter stating that my wife took it down and I forgot this one time to place it on the mirror. I gor a statement back form city of Long Beach stating ticket is upheld as it is my responibility to ensure the placard is visible at all times when parked at a meter or in a time zone. - IF I want to fight this they are asking for FINE $49 + $25 - any chance of winning?

yes you can win, especially if this is your 1st citation due to no placecard, same happened with me, pay the fine, and in your description tell them your placecard was on dashboard officer must not have seen it.. with in 2weeks you will get an refund ck in mail.

Disabled persons parking placard document was in wallet and went into washing machine. Need replacement of document. Do not need Placard, just paperwork.

My husband passed away and I need to discontinue receiving the placards. How do I do this?

Found a permanent Disabled Placard #D487396 expires June 30 2013 in Brea, Ca.On the ground at a 76 gas Station. Mailed it to DMV in Sacramento.

Just recently i got a disabled parking ticket for some reasons i forgot to hang my placard on the rearview mirror. Now they are asking my "customer receipt copy" which i don't know what happen to it.I don't remember if i ever got it. My question is? How can i get a customer receipt copy of my placard number 209653G.

Simply, return to the dmv and request an original copy or id for your placard. In Ca. it costs about five bucks.

my doctor even thou I am permently disabled will only give my a temporary placard and charges me even though I fill everything out except her signature charges me 30.00 every 6 months

I have License suspended because i'm disable person what I have to do to get one what are the steps to follow??

I recieved a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot with my disabled mother-in law in the car, with an expired placard. She has since renewed it and has a dr note as well. How do the judges view this? This is a misdemeanor with a heavy fine!!

My husband has not received his permanent handicap placard #950998H. It expired June 30. How does he get a new one?

MY NAME IS . DARLENE BRANCH DANIELS. AND I DID NOT GET MY PARKING PLACARD IT.EXPIRES JUNE 30TH OS. WHAT DO I .HAVE TO DO .TO GET MY NEW ONE. MY NUMBER IS #673629 H MY PHONE IS. 415-641-1998.

My mother has not received her permanment handicap placard #770935A. It expired June 30, 2011. She needs a new one. How long will it take?

My mother's name is Chiyoko Goto. 535 Rosewood Lane, Pasadena, CA 91103

my placard expired June 30 and its now July 6 i havent receive the new one yet. What should i do?

my place card expired june30 2011 its now jully 14 i havent recieve the new one yet

I have not received my placecard and it expired on 6-30-11.

Here it is July 5,2011 and I have not received my Disabled Placard for the one that expired on June 30. You don't say how to get a new one.

Still have not received my new placard, so I got a ticket today. Hope I can get out of it, thank you DMV.

My permanent handicap placard expires on June 30, 2011, and I have not received a new one yet.

I have not received my 2013 Placard. My 2011 Placard Number is 599977A. Thank you.

i didnt recive my parking placard i use to live in 15560 amar rd apt#24 la puente ca 91744.know i live in 3883 buchanan st spc#54 riverside ca 92503.can they send it to me to this new adreess.i will apreciated.

My wife is blind, and really needs a renewal

I have always received my new placard in plenty of time before old one expires but I have not this year.

I sent in my application for a permanent disability placard 6 weeks ago. As I still haven't received it, can make an appointment at a DMV office and bring in another application?

My application was sent in Oct 2010 and I never got a responce.

I still haven't received my new handicap placard yet. What should I do.

I have a IL Disabled Parking Placard and I am in California for some time around 20 days. Will my IL parking placard will work or i have to take a new one here

I haven't receive my placard. what did I do?

I haven't received my new Disability Placard for 2011-2013

We have moved since 2009 we filed a change of address with the DMV, but I have not received my new placard for 2011 - 2013 what is the next step do I need to take to receive my new placard as we are nearing the end of June.

Old/address

2201 S Waverly Dr.

Anaheim, Ca 92802

New mailing address

Po Box 444

Fort Dick, Ca 95538

Street address

100 Chicama Place

Crescent City, Ca 95531

Thank you,

Lynda Favilla

will I get a reply from dmv regarding my disability placard I haven't received?

I would like to report abuse. Where do I send the info to?

I just rec'd my new placard in the mail, what do I do with the old one?

Hi, my husband has had a total hip replacement and we had sent our application in with a check three weeks prior to the operation. We are now approaching our 6th week and have not received the temporary placard. How can we expedite this process so he can park in the disabled parking area?

Hello, I had to get a temporary placard to because I also need THR surgery. I called the DMV and they told me to come in to a branch office to get the placard and not to send the application in the mail because it can take months to get the placard in the mail. They also said that the disabled person can have a friend or family member come in to apply for the disabled person. Hope this helps!!

My placard indicates that it will expire in June of this year. As of 2/18, I have not yet received a renewed placard. Should I wait longer or take action?

My placard indicates that it will expire in June of this year , I have not received a renewed placard.Should I wait longer or take action?My new address:

Ahmad apakzamir

1702 Piedmont

Irvine ca 92620

Permanent placard renewal

You do not need to renew your permanent placard. DMV will automatically mail your new placard and identification card to the address shown on DMV records. If your address has changed, you must file a change of address with DMV to ensure the placard will be mailed to your most recent address.

Sandra

i was given a ticket for not displaying my placard i do posess a handicap placard how do i get this ticket signed off and how do i go about it

You send a photocopy of your placard to the court and request that the ticket be dismissed in the interests of justice.

I sent a application for a DP placard on Oct 6, 2010...it is now Feb 7, 2011. I can't understand why it would take 4 months to process my application. I tried calling several times and was put off with all kinds of excuses. No one tried to find my application or even say that they recieved it.

If I could get the application back I would go to the local DMV office for processing.

Who can I talk to to resolve this problem?

Robert McMahon

I mailed my application on June 11, 2010. It is now July 30, 2010. Is it normal to take more than six weeks to receive a handicapped placard? Judging from the comments here, this seems to be a common complaint. What is a realistic expectation for receipt?

Mailed my application for Temporary DP 2 weeks ago and I want to know the status thanks

 

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