DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

Information for Disabled Drivers in California

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save DMV.com Exclusive!

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 $20.

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

Submitted by Monalucy on 7th Dec 2015

Can a doctor who's licensed

Can a doctor who's licensed in another state approve my California disabled placard? I am disabled by a rare, degenerative illness that affects my mobility but the only doctor I have found who can diagnose and/or treat it, since I moved to California over 30 years ago, is in another state.

Submitted by Rickleonard on 19th Nov 2015

We are a private physical

We are a private physical therapy business that has reserved handicap spaces. Can non patrons park in the spaces for an unlimited amount of time denying access to our clients?

Submitted by changtaoguo on 28th Aug 2015

My renew placard should sent

My renew placard should sent to me before June 2015, but I haven't got it on end os August, What should I do.

Submitted by changtaoguo on 28th Aug 2015

Before I received my renew

Before I received my renew placard can I still use my old one?

Submitted by kalenae on 10th Aug 2015

if i have lost a leg, do i

if i have lost a leg, do i have to take a new test at the dmv?

Submitted by SUTTERCARE on 19th Sep 2015

LOST A LEG IN 2007 AND HAVE

LOST A LEG IN 2007 AND HAVE BEEN DRIVING EVER SINCE IN ARIZONA LEGALLY . dO i HAVE TO MODIFY MY CAR TO DRIVE IN CA?

Submitted by wdinga on 6th Aug 2015

I have a question! I live in

I have a question! I live in a mobile home park and they do not have any handicap parking spaces available. Is the mobile home park required to have handicap spaces? I have been to a DMV office in Hemet and they said that they didn't know.

Submitted by cicikhamsy on 29th Jul 2015

My name is Cici Lee Khamsy, I

My name is Cici Lee Khamsy, I send in an application for a disabled person placard on July 2, 2015, up til now I haven't receive the card, can you let me know if the placard is send out or not. Thank you.

Submitted by jazzy12 on 1st Jul 2015

I have not received my

I have not received my Disabled placard and it is June 27, 2015, I would like to know if it was mailed out and on what date was it mailed?

Submitted by c.rose on 16th Jun 2015

How can I find out the DP

How can I find out the DP place card number when it was stolen so I no longer have the card nor then envelope it was sent in?

My great Grandmas card was stolen out of the car in the envelope it was sent in and now trying to help her fill out the replacement application but it asks for the PLACARD number?

Submitted by liljayscee23 on 3rd Jun 2015

I changed my address at the

I changed my address at the DMV about 2 years ago in West Covina and I haven't received my new handicap placard, shouldn't I received it by now?

Submitted by Barbara Hirschler on 23rd May 2015

I sent application signed by

I sent application signed by my doctor several weeks ago.

when will I receive it?

Submitted by Frustrated1a2b3c on 18th Mar 2015

Is there a easy way to ask

Is there a easy way to ask DMV to review the issuance of a placard? I see the same guy park in the very front of my gym almost every day. I see him working out and walking around with no discernible physical impairment. Meanwhile, people who have obvious issues have to walk further........doesn't seem fair.

Thank You

Submitted by ladeefingers54 on 2nd Jul 2015

In reply to your comment

In reply to your comment about the guy who "doesn't look disabled"; there are millions of people who are truly disabled that show no physical signs. Being disabled doesn't mean you have to have a missing leg, etc. Being disabled can also be within a person and you wouldn't even know it. Did you know that many health insurances, including Medicare, provide diabled people with free gym memberships to help them with their disabilities? I go to the gym maybe 3 times a month if I can and I'm disabled....but you wouldn't even know it by "looking" at me. I'm on the Silver Sneaker program for ages 60+ thru Medicare. Might I suggest next time you see a person using a disabled placard...take a moment to realize that his disability might not be visible to you, but it certainly is visible to him/her. Have a great day and pray you never have to go on disability. :)

Submitted by GooniesAndy on 24th Feb 2015

You guys really need to make

You guys really need to make sure people understand that this is NOT the DMV's website and then delete all of these posts with personal information! People are posting their addresses and placard numbers here!

Submitted by jaschlott on 14th Nov 2014

Will CA honor a handicap

Will CA honor a handicap placard from AZ? Going to San Diego for Christmas from Tucson, AZ.

Submitted by joneseyharp on 23rd Jun 2014

i just saw a blue placard

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

Submitted by joelrdominguez on 3rd Jun 2014

My fiance has just recently

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

Submitted by GooniesAndy on 24th Feb 2015

My grandmother had a placard

My grandmother had a placard and I'm not sure that she ever had a California drivers license. If she did, it was at least 30 years before she had the placard!

Submitted by stellawai2@yahoo.com on 17th Oct 2012

I have an Ontario/Canada

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

Submitted by mikenwh on 1st Aug 2012

I received a parking ticket

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

Submitted by magnumforc on 16th Oct 2014

It is likely there is no

It is likely there is no overnight RV parking on streets in West Hollywood. Due to the influx of persons who camp out in their RV's and motor homes, many cities have imposed an "No Overnight" parking rule and although it is not posted on every street, it is posted as you come into the city and that meets required ordinances.

Submitted by evaquijada on 23rd May 2012

I am a person that is

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?

Submitted by grantfleet on 19th Apr 2012

i have disabled

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

Submitted by bbowling03 on 20th Mar 2012

I got a parking ticket as my

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?

Submitted by liana8391402 on 21st Mar 2012

yes you can win, especially

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.

Submitted by rodgermouse@att.net on 29th Dec 2011

Disabled persons parking

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

Submitted by lund54@sbcglobal.net on 8th Sep 2014

by mistake I shredded mine

by mistake I shredded mine and my husbands paperwork for our disabled parking placards. Can we get just the paperwork replaced? If so , how do we go about doing it?

Submitted by lund54@sbcglobal.net on 8th Sep 2014

Both my husband and myself

Both my husband and myself have the parking placards. We keep the papers that came with them in the car with the cars registration. In July when we got the new tags and registration we replaced them for the old info BY MISTAKE WE TOOK OUT THE PLACARD PAPERS AND SHREDDED THEM WITH THE OLD REGISTRATION. Can we get new paperwork showing we have these placards legally.

Submitted by jjohnson315 on 6th Nov 2011

My husband passed away and I

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

Submitted by lov2fuss on 18th Oct 2011

Found a permanent Disabled

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.

Submitted by frankvictor on 4th Oct 2011

Just recently i got a

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.

Submitted by delorezramos on 18th Oct 2011

Simply, return to the dmv and

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

Submitted by ginawena on 6th Sep 2011

my doctor even thou I am

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

Submitted by magnumforc on 16th Oct 2014

If you are truly permanently

If you are truly permanently disabled, meaning you will never get better, then you should have a permanent placard. If your doctor believves you will get better, then she just doesn't want to give you a permanent pla\ard note. You always have the option to obtain your records and change doctors if you feel she is just keeping you coming back to collect the fees..

Submitted by rosin on 22nd Aug 2011

I have License suspended

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

Submitted by magnumforc on 16th Oct 2014

If your license is suspended

If your license is suspended you need to have it reinstated through your doctor who certifies you are safe and able to drive. He or she will notify the DMV and it can take up to 90 days for your new license to be received, or paperwork to arrive indicating that your suspension has been lifted.

Submitted by kcaz2000@yahoo.com on 14th Aug 2011

I recieved a ticket for

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!!

Submitted by sandy1 on 16th Jul 2011

My husband has not received

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

Submitted by magnumforc on 16th Oct 2014

I would go to the local AAA

I would go to the local AAA office if you belong to the Auto Club and they should be able to renew it for you there. The DMV is supposed to renew it every two years automatically. However, if you have received Disabled Person license plates in the interim, they won't automatically renew the placard as it's is usually one or the other.

Submitted by DARLENE BRANCH ... on 19th Jul 2011

MY NAME IS . DARLENE BRANCH

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.

Submitted by Misa Kawano on 18th Jul 2011

My mother has not received

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?

Submitted by Misa Kawano on 18th Jul 2011

My mother's name is Chiyoko

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

Submitted by wisdom1962 on 6th Jul 2011

my placard expired June 30

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

Submitted by mysophie on 14th Jul 2011

my place card expired june30

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

Submitted by sheilashouse3 on 6th Jul 2011

I have not received my

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

Submitted by quilting4me2 on 6th Jul 2011

Here it is July 5,2011 and I

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.

Submitted by pfflyer on 1st Jul 2011

Still have not received my

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

Submitted by tasneemhkh on 28th Jun 2011

My permanent handicap placard

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

Submitted by WAYNE CALVIN BYRD on 15th Aug 2011

I have not received my 2013

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