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Information for Disabled Drivers in New Jersey

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

By New Jersey law, eligibility for license plates and/or placards for persons with disabilities are limited to conditions where the applicant:

  • Has lost the use of one or more limbs as a consequence of paralysis, amputation, or other permanent disability.
  • Is severely and permanently disabled and cannot walk without the use of or assistance from a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device.
  • Suffers from lung disease to such an extent that the applicant's forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixth mm/Hg on room air at rest; or uses portable oxygen.
  • Has a cardiac condition of the extent that the applicant's functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association.
  • Is severely and permanently limited in the ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition; or cannot walk two hundred feet without stopping to rest.
  • Has a permanent sight impairment of both eyes as certified by the NJ Commission of the Blind.

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 up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 18 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 MVC.
  • Alternative methods to complete the written Drivers License Examination.
  • TTY for Speech and Hearing Impaired.
  • Specially designated counters for Disabled Persons at the MVC office.

Visit the section on New Jersey MVC's Special Plate Unit page for details. There is a Program for the Aged and the Disabled (PAAD) which entitles you for special discounts on MVC services. For details, call the hotline number of PAAD (800) 792-9745.

HOW TO APPLY FOR DISABLED STATUS

You are considered to have disabled status when you acquire a DP placard or license plates. An identification card will be issued when you get your placard and/or plates. You must carry this anytime you are in the vehicle to be able to enjoy the special privileges. 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 with the ID card are valid for 3 years.
  • Temporary placards are valid for up to 6 months and if the disability is not improved at the end of six months, you may renew it only once. The MVC does not issue these; you can get them from the local chief of police.
  • Disability placards held by for NJ residents are considered valid in most other states.
  • Disability placards held by for non-NJ residents are considered valid in New Jersey. It would be advisable to however have a medical statement issued by your doctor stating your disability.

How to apply for DP license plates or a DP placard

To obtain DP license plates:
  1. Download and complete the Application for Vehicle License Plates and/or Placards for Persons with Disabilities, indicating if you are applying for placard or plates.
  2. If you do not have a license or a photo ID, you need to provide a 6-point ID.
  3. Have a licensed medical doctor, podiatrist, or chiropractor who is practicing in New Jersey sign the Physician's Certification portion of the form.
  4. If you are applying for license plates, 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.
  5. Surrender the current license plates of the vehicle.
  6. Ensure that all documentation is in order by referring to this Checklist. 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 Vehicle License Plates and/or Placards for Persons with Disabilities, indicating if you are applying for placard or plates. Only permanent placard are issued by the MVC.
  2. Temporary placards are not handled by MVC. You need to apply for these with the local police by completing a form and paying $4.
  3. Have a licensed medical doctor, podiatrist, or chiropractor who is practicing in New Jersey sign the Physician's Certification portion of the form.
  4. Ensure that all documentation is in order by referring to this Checklist. 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 take the form to a local MVC office. You will receive your placard (or plates) within approximately three weeks. Along with your new plates, you will receive an identification card 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.

FEE

A permanent DP placard and the accompanying identification card are issued free. There is also no fee for replacement. A fee of $4.00 is charged for a temporary placard. DP plates do not cost anything different from the regular plates.

RENEWAL

License Plates need to be renewed every year. At the time of renewal, if you are recovered from your disability, then you need to surrender your special plates and apply for regular plates. Temporary placards expire after 6 months and if your disability continues, they can be renewed only once, again for 6 months. Permanent placards are issued for a period of 3 years. At the end of 3 years:
  1. The MVC will automatically mail you a renewal notice. Change in address must be informed online to the MVC within a week
  2. You need to attest you are still disabled, and a new ID card will be issued. The original placard can be used.
  3. The MVC may ask for a certificate from a doctor verifying your medical condition.
  4. Holders of permanent placards do not require recertification by a doctor.

REPLACEMENT

To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates:
  1. Head to the local MVC office with your damaged placard. You can show your original Disabled Person ID card, and get a new placard. If your ID is lost, you can take your original placard and get a new ID.
  2. If your ID and placard are lost, submit a notarized statement confirming the loss. You need to show some other form of identification and get a new placard and ID.
  3. You can also download and complete the Application for Vehicle License Plates and/or Placards for Persons with Disabilities.
  4. Enclose any mutilated placard or remaining plates and the fee.
  5. Note that the original Disabled Driver ID card should be sent by mail. Photocopies will not be considered.
  6. For placards and/or plates, mail the application, along with any fee as applicable, and damaged plates and/or placards to the address on the form:
For any queries, you can contact the New Jersey toll-free number of (888) 486-3339 or (609) 292-6500 if you are out of state. You can also check the Department of Health and Senior Services Citizens website.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

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