Information for Disabled Drivers in Virginia
In Virginia, 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
- Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping or if you need the support of a brace, cane, crutch, wheelchair or another person.
- Restricted walking due to arthritis, neurological or orthopedic conditions.
- Suffer from lung disease or use portable oxygen.
- A cardiac condition classified by the American Heart Association as Class III or Class IV.
- Has been diagnosed with amentia, a condition that impairs judgment and including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder.
- Has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or some form of dementia.
- Is legally blind or deaf.
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 $1000 and imprisonment for up to 6 months. Forgery and/or trading in counterfeit or genuine placards invite higher penalties, including time in state prison. Parking in a space reserved for disabled without displaying your placard or license plates will also result in fines from $100 to $500. To report abuse or misuse of placards or plates, please call (866) 266-6474.
Special assistance for disabled drivers includes:
- Special license plates and drivers license for the speech and hearing impaired. You can apply for these at any DMV office.
- Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH) will arrange for the interpreter and the DMV will incur the cost of the interpreter.
- The DMV or the customer can make an appointment with the DDHH. The phone number of DDHH is (804) 225-2570.
- A driving license indicator is available for the speech and hearing impaired and insulin dependent customers which will help the law enforcement officers to identify the disability.
Visit the section on Virginia 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 5 years.
- Temporary placards are valid for up to 6 months. If you need it for more than 6 months, you will to apply again and recertify.
How to apply for DP license plates or a DP placard
To obtain DP license plates or a DP placard:
- Download and complete the Disabled Parking Placards or License Plates (MED 10).
- Have a licensed physician, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, chiropractor or a podiatrist sign the Doctor's Certification of Disability portion of the form.
- Annual registration fees are waived for the disabled veterans. They are also entitled to plates for one motor vehicle owned by the veteran.
- For veterans applying for disabled license plates, you can
- Submit only the Veterans Certificate of Disability (VSA 54) which is signed by the physician to certify the disability plates and Veterans Association to certify your entitlement and the Special Interest License Application (VSA 10).
- 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 in person to a local DMV office. You will receive your placard (or plates) within approximately two weeks. The receipt given at the DMV office can be used to hang on the rear view mirror which entitles you to use the disabled parking till the plates or placards arrive.
A permanent DP placard, or a temporary DP placard is $5. There is also no fee for replacement. There is no fee for permanent DP plates. Annual registration fees will not be charged for Veterans with a qualifying disability. They are eligible for plates for one motor vehicle owned and used personally by him/her.
Holders of permanent placards do not require recertification by a doctor. The permanent disability placards expire on the last day on month and year indicated on the placard. Your license plates valid till your vehicle registration.
If the address on your placard has changed, please change the address online before renewing.
To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates visit the local DMV office.
- Location and hours of Virginia DMV offices.