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Information for Disabled Drivers in California

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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 emmanuel21 on 7th Jul 2011

i didnt recive my parking

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.

Submitted by Dorothty L. Vocke on 5th Jul 2011

My wife is blind, and really

My wife is blind, and really needs a renewal

Submitted by Pam Dahlhauser on 1st Jul 2011

I have always received my new

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

Submitted by rbgus@msn.com on 24th Jun 2011

I sent in my application for

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?

Submitted by Woody88 on 1st Jul 2012

My application was sent in

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

Submitted by Sean McGonagle on 20th Jun 2011

I still haven't received my

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

Submitted by techieanoop on 26th May 2011

I have a IL Disabled Parking

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

Submitted by pennye56 on 26th May 2011

I haven't receive my placard.

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

Submitted by ckmoton on 9th Jun 2011

I haven't received my new

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

Submitted by nanalynda on 18th Jun 2011

We have moved since 2009 we

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

Submitted by ckmoton on 9th Jun 2011

will I get a reply from dmv

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 2nd May 2011

I would like to report abuse.

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 30th Apr 2011

I just rec'd my new placard

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

Submitted by magnumforc on 16th Oct 2014

Shred it

Shred it

Submitted by Anonymous on 28th Feb 2011

Hi, my husband has had a

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?

Submitted by scubasuz on 11th Jan 2012

Hello, I had to get a

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!!

Submitted by Anonymous on 18th Feb 2011

My placard indicates that it

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?

Submitted by Alexander Holzer on 20th Apr 2015

My disabled person placard

My disabled person placard has been automatically renewed in the past. I have not received a new placard as of this date?

Submitted by apakzamir1942 on 26th May 2011

My placard indicates that it

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 19th Feb 2011

Permanent placard

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 15th Feb 2011

i was given a ticket for not

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 27th Apr 2011

You send a photocopy of your

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 7th Feb 2011

I sent a application for a DP

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

Submitted by Scoop51 on 31st Jul 2010

I mailed my application on

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?

Submitted by luifer7 on 1st Jul 2010

Mailed my application for

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

Submitted by MYRLE24 on 6th Nov 2009

I mailed my application for a

I mailed my application for a temporary Placard on 10/5/09 and as of 11/6/09 I have not received my disability placard. Can someone trace the application and advise the expected arrival date.

Submitted by carolyn farr on 18th Oct 2009

I mailed in an application a

I mailed in an application a couple weeks ago for a permenant disablity placard. I still have not recieved it. How can I check the status? Thank you.

Submitted by machado on 9th Oct 2009

I sent in a change of address

I sent in a change of address on 7/21/09. I have not recieved my

renewal as of yet.

Please advice what I should do.

Sincerely

AJ Machado

Submitted by Mavis Esmond on 5th Sep 2009

I applied, by mail for a

I applied, by mail for a Disabled Placard on approximately 15 Jun 2009. As of this date 9/5/09, I am still waiting on the status of this request.

I would appriciate knowing the status.

Thank you

Mavis Esmond

Submitted by Pipirinais40 on 29th Aug 2009

My desability is balance

My desability is balance problems. when i walk

Yesterday 8/28/09 i went to dmv of Inglewood Ca because i want a duplicate of my driver licence because i lose it . I have been handycaped since 1997 and i do NOThave any accidents even a tickets i have a perfect driving record.

My surprice was a clerck told me i have to pass a Safety Driving Test if i do not have any infraction or receive a ticket i have to do this test.

i feelt descriminate for two thing one i am and Hispanic person and other i an a handicap

My question is Why i have to pass a test if only i want to get a duplicate of my driving licence

How many people with doesn't are handicap do so many infraction and get tickets doesn't have to take this kind of test WHY ME?

Submitted by Babshairbs on 27th Jul 2009

Hi, I went into the pharmacy

Hi, I went into the pharmacy to get something and parked in a 3 minute zone with my handicap place card clearly in view. To my surprise I received a $50 ticket! On the ticket the officer wrote 3 minute Passenger loading zone + OBS 2:55 vehicle left unattended+DP not Exempt+. Does a 3 minute loading zone mean you have to have someone sitting in the car? and if so, why does it not state that on the sign? What do you do if you are alone? I put up my DP card, that should be enough. Also what does OBS mean?

What are the actual rules for a DP card? Are they different in Beverly Hills?

What should I do? Please let me know asap.

Thank you, B. Taber

Submitted by Anonymous on 20th Apr 2011

read your DP ID EXPLTATIOM

read your DP ID EXPLTATIOM PART THRU.

Submitted by Anonymous on 30th Mar 2011

Did you get an answer? I am

Did you get an answer? I am looking at the same violation

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th May 2011

The white zone is a passenger

The white zone is a passenger loading/unloading area. Yes, someone must remain in the car and you only have 3 minutes to do your business or you must move your car, presumably to allow another motorist to utilize that 3 minute space. You are not exempt if you have a HP. The city does not and should not have to explain what each color zone means. When you take your written test for a Calif. License, you are asked about parking zones...you are expected to know it.

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th May 2011

The white zone is a passenger

The white zone is a passenger loading/unloading area. Yes, someone must remain in the car and you only have 3 minutes to do your business or you must move your car, presumably to allow another motorist to utilize that 3 minute space. You are not exempt if you have a HP. The city does not and should not have to explain what each color zone means. When you take your written test for a Calif. License, you are asked about parking zones...you are expected to know it.

Submitted by JIM ROLL on 23rd Jul 2009

I AM ASKING A QUESTION FOR A

I AM ASKING A QUESTION FOR A FRIEND AS THEY DID NOT RECIEVE A RENEWAL FOR THIER PLACARDS AS OF THIS DATE. THE VPLACARD NOS ARE 251084 L AND 688669 K.THEIR NAMES ARE KENNETH BRADY AND RUBY BRADY AND THEIR ADDRESS IS 2350 REDWOOD WAY NAPA, CA RM 150. VTHEY HAD MOVED FROM 3716 WILLIS DR NAPA, CA. CAN YOU PLEASE CHECK WHY THEY DID NOT GET THE RENEWASL? PLEASE ADVISE AND THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ANY ASSISTANCE YOU CAN PROVIDE. THANKS! JIM

Submitted by fernando gutierrez on 21st May 2009

how can disable my car?

how can disable my car?

Submitted by jesuslizarde on 26th Jul 2009

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I applied for a disable Placard. I have not heard from your department as of yet. I had a back operation at VA Loma Linda Hospital and will take

a while to heal. I'm 70 years old and it makes it hard to walk far distances from he park-

ing lots. Can you please reply asap. Thank you. Mr. Jesus Lizarde

Submitted by CHAR1207 on 2nd Oct 2013

I sent in a disabled placard

I sent in a disabled placard app about 4 weeks ago, how do I find out about the status?