In Michigan, 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:

  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
  • Must use a wheelchair, walker, crutch, brace, or other ambulatory aid to walk.
  • Are restricted by lung disease to such a degree that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume in 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter.
  • Use portable oxygen.
  • Have a Class 3 or Class 4 cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
  • Suffer from an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition that severely limits your ability to walk.
  • Rely on an artificial source of oxygen.

Disabled persons can acquire a disability placard or disability 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 $500 or imprisonment of up to 30 days, and suspension of your special parking privileges.

Other facilities available for disabled drivers include:

  • Free parking at designated parking areas.
  • Ability to take a leashed service animal along to the SOS.
  • TTY for Speech and Hearing Impaired.
  • Specially designated counters for Disabled Persons at the SOS offices.

Visit the section on Michigan SOS’s Disability Plates for details.

HOW TO APPLY FOR DISABLED STATUS

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

Duration of status

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

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

  • Placards for the permanently disabled are valid for 4 years.
  • Temporary placards are valid for up to 6 months or the date noted by your physician, whichever is lesser.

How to apply for disability license plates or a disability placard

To obtain disability license plates:

  1. Download and complete the Application for a Disability License Plate.
  2. Have a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, or optometrist sign the Physician’s Statement of Patient’s Disability portion of the form.
  3. Provide information regarding your driving license, and the license plate that you currently hold.
  4. Submit the completed form to the nearest office of the Secretary of State, or mail it to the address on the form.

To obtain a disability placard:

  1. Download and complete the Disability Parking Placard Application.
  2. Have a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or optometrist sign the Physician’s Certification portion of the form. If you wish to avail of free parking, get your physician to complete and sign Part 3 of the form as well.
  3. Submit the completed form to the nearest office of the Secretary of State, or mail it to the address on the form.
  4. Disability plates are mailed 10 days after your application is approved.

FEE

A permanent or temporary disability placard is free. A fee of $10 is charged for replacing lost placards. There is no fee for renewal of permanent placards.
If you already have a regular license plate, you can cancel it and obtain a disability license plate at no extra charges. If you are applying for a new disability license plate, normal registration charges apply. If you use a van to transport a disabled person from your household who uses a wheelchair, you can avail of a 50 per cent discount on license plate fees.

RENEWAL

Once the 4 year validity of permanent disability placards is over (they expire on the applicant’s birthday):

  1. You can apply for renewal up to 45 days prior to expiry.
  2. Write an application requesting renewal. Do not forget to mention the number of your existing placard.
  3. Submit the completed renewal request to the nearest office of the Secretary of State, fax it to (517) 322-1063, call (888) 767-6424, or mail it to the following address:
    Michigan Department of State
    Office of Customer Service
    Distributed Services Unit
    P.O. Box 30764
    Lansing, MI 48909-8264    

    You can also email renewal requests to soswebmaster@michigan.gov.

  4. Holders of permanent placards do not require recertification by a doctor.

REPLACEMENT

To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates:

  1. Apply in person at the nearest office of the Secretary of State.
  2. Carry some form of approved identification and the fees.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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