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Information for Disabled Drivers in North Carolina

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Information for Handicapped Drivers in North Carolina

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

You are also considered a handicapped 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.
  • Vision problems and/or is legally blind.

Handicapped persons can acquire a Handicapped placard or Handicapped 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 and/or imprisonment. Forgery and/or trading in counterfeit or genuine placards invite higher penalties, including time in state prison.

HOW TO APPLY FOR HANDICAPPED STATUS

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

Duration of status

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

Handicapped 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 1- 6 months.
  • Plates need to be recertified every 5 years.

How to apply for Handicapped license plates or a Handicapped placard

To obtain Handicapped Drivers Registration plates:

  1. Download and complete the Application for Handicapped Drivers Registration Plates (MVR 37).
  2. Have a licensed physician, an optometrist or ophthalmologist or Division of Services for the Blind sign the 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. Mail the completed form, along with any fees, to the address on the form.

To obtain a Permanent Handicapped placard:

  1. Download and complete the Application for Handicapped Placard or Permanent Disability Registration card (MVA 37A).
  2. Have a licensed physician, an optometrist or ophthalmologist or Division of Services for the Blind sign the 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 take the form to a local DMV office. You will receive your placard (or plates) within approximately two weeks.

FEE

A permanent handicapped placard, or a temporary handicapped placard is $5 each. Only 2 placards will be issued for each person.

Handicap License Plate Fee    
  • Plate Fee, Private Passenger Vehicles - $28

RENEWAL

  1. The permanent handicapped placards have to be renewed every 5 years.
  2. The handicapped registration plates can be renewed by a sticker, but needs to be recertified every 5 years.

REPLACEMENT

To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates, visit a local DMV office.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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