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Information for Disabled Drivers in New York

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In New York, 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: Use portable oxygen.
  • Are legally blind.
  • Have limited or no use of one or both legs.
  • Are unable to walk 200 ft without stopping.
  • Have a neuromuscular dysfunction that severely limits mobility.
  • Have a Class 3 or Class 4 cardiac condition according to the standards laid down by the American Heart Association.
  • Are severely limited in your ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.
  • Are restricted by lung disease to such an extent that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm of mercury of room air at rest.
  • Have a physical or mental impairment or condition not listed above which constitutes an equal degree of disability, and which imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents you from getting around without great difficulty.

Disabled persons can acquire a parking permit or special 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 $50-$150

(plus a mandatory $30 surcharge), a revocation of their special parking privileges.

Other facilities available for disabled drivers include:

  • 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.
  • Waiver of metered parking fees for persons with severe disabilities.


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

Duration of status

Special license plates are available only to those who are permanently disabled. The vehicle must be registered to the person with the permanent disability, regardless of the fact whether that person drives. The applicant must also be at least 16 years old to have a vehicle registered in their name

Parking permits may be issued to those with permanent or temporary disabilities. These permits are issued by designated local authorities such as the local town/city clerk or the police department. The validity of parking permits for the permanently disabled varies, depending on the issuing agency. Temporary parking permits are usually valid for only 6 months, and may also be issued to non-residents.

How to apply for special license plates or a parking permit

To obtain special license plates:

  1. Download and complete the Application for a Parking Permit or License Plates for Persons with Severe Disabilities.
  2. Disabled Veterans whose disability is service connected may fill out request for plates for a disabled veteran's form. This form must also include proof of service connected disability.
  3. Have a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or podiatrist complete and sign the Medical Certification portion of the form.
  4. Fill out a Vehicle Registration/Title Application form and attach the necessary documents.
  5. Surrender the current license plates of the vehicle, if any.
  6. Apply in person with forms, documents and fees at the nearest DMV office.

To obtain a parking permit:

  1. Download and complete the Application for a Parking Permit or License Plates for Persons with Severe Disabilities.
  2. Have a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or podiatrist complete and sign the Medical Certification portion of the form. Certification for temporary disabilities can only be completed by a medical doctor or osteopath.
  3. Apply in person at the office of the appointed issuing agent in your locality. As detailed in page one of the form, this is usually the town/city clerk or the local police department.


You do not need a doctor's certificate, if:

  • You are permanently disabled and have an obvious, visually-identifiable disability, such as the loss of a leg.
  • If you already hold a valid permanent parking permit which was issued within the last year, when applying for special license plates.
  • You already have a special license plate, when applying for a parking permit.


A permanent or temporary parking permit is issued free. Special plates for persons with disabilities cost $25. If the transaction is carried out at any time other than when you are renewing your registration, an additional transaction fee of $3.75 will be charged.


Special license plates for persons with severe disabilities are renewed along with the vehicle registration. No additional fees or medical certification is required for renewing special license plates.


To replace lost, stolen or mutilated placards or plates, visit your nearest DMV office.


Submitted by Raymond Miller on 8th Feb 2016

Being disabled sometimes

Being disabled sometimes traveling long distances to doctors appt. using the HOV LANE can be very helpful. Just received HOV ticket 250.00 answered in Suffolk county,Ny. Spent 2.5hrs. in traffic moved over to HOV Lane,got pulled over,proved everything to cop,courts, and no reduction of ticket. Had no lawyer,could not afford. do have disable parking permit. Also recieved a bulb out and no muffler BS tickets,cop said : You have clean license 10yrs.,you will pay it,have nice day. Heading to trial, Prosecuter said letter head Repair shop,signed,bulb replaced, had mufflers no repairs needed was not good enough,500.00. Without lawyer be here all day waiting for trial or Fine of total 750.00,cop no show,snowstorm,Feb.5.2016. took 750.00 hit. That is a lot of food ,rent ,off my table. Suffolk county no heart, just pure greed. How many more people they doing this to? Left a lot out of story, Thank you for reading. I was scared they might send me to Jail. Question; IF Prosecuters, Judges income are paid by taxes, Why not have a Defense attorney for us paid by taxes,that would be FAIR then,not you pay out of pocket if can. I was told 10yrs.once in a while you have to take a hit.