Drivers with Disabilities in CaliforniaPage Overview
California Drivers with Disabilities
If you are a driver with a disability, you can apply for a disabled parking placard or license plate from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The placard will allow you to use designated disabled parking places and has several other parking benefits.
Read below for more information about disabled parking placards, including how to apply for one.
The CA DMV offers several types of disabled license plates and handicap placards for drivers with disabilities:
- Permanent placards and plates.
- Temporary parking placards.
- Travel placards.
A disabled placard or license plate allows you to park in certain places, but some parking is still off limits.
You CAN park:
- In marked disabled spaces, such as those with:
- A wheelchair.
- Blue curbs.
- In green curb spaces for unlimited time.
- In spaces designated for merchants or residents.
- For free at metered spaces.
You CANNOT park:
- In striped areas next to handicap parking spaces.
- At red, yellow, or white curbs.
Permanent Placards & Plates
Permanent handicap parking permits are available ONLY if you have a permanent disability that is certified by a medical professional.
The California DMV issues:
- Permanent placards, if you are a permanently disabled driver.
- Disabled person (DP) license plates, if you have a vehicle registered in your name.
- Disabled veteran (DV) license plates, if you meet the DV plate requirements.
Temporary Parking Placards
If you are temporarily disabled, you can apply for a handicap placard that is valid for no more than 6 months.
A medical professional will need to:
- Certify your disability.
- Indicate how long the placard should be valid.
Once the placard expires, you can reapply up to 6 times in a row. You will need medical certification each time.
You can apply for a travel placard IF:
- You have a permanent disability.
- You are traveling outside of your home state.
A travel placard is valid for:
- Up to 30 days, if you are a CA resident traveling outside of the state.
- Up to 90 days, if you are visiting CA from another state.
You should plan ahead when applying for a CA handicap parking permit because:
- You’ll need to have application completed by a medical professional.
- If you plan to apply in person, the California DMV strongly encourages you to make an appointment in advance.
The application process will be the same regardless of the type of disability placard or license plate you choose to obtain. You can submit your placard application:
- By mail.
- In person.
To apply for a disabled placard or license plate in California by mail, you will need:
- A completed Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (Form REG 195).
- Medical certification completed ON the application by one of the following:
- Physician or surgeon.
- Physician’s assistant.
- Chiropractor (ONLY for disabilities related to the use of lower extremities or hands).
- Optometrist (ONLY for visual conditions).
- Payment for the appropriate fee (see "Fees for Disability Placards" below).
NOTE: You DO NOT need medical certification if you already have a permanent placard or license plate.
Mail all of your application materials to:
P.O. Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232
- The completed Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (Form REG 195), including medical certification.
- Payment for the required fee; please see "Fees for Disability Placards" below for fee information.
NOTE: You DO NOT need medical certification if you are appearing in person AND your disability includes a lost leg or both of your hands.
Disabled parking placards still expire, even if they are permanent. Renewal processes differ depending on the type of placard you have.
Permanent Placard Renewal
Permanent disabled parking placards expire every 2 years, specifically on June 30 in odd-numbered years.
Permanent placards are automatically renewed and mailed to you. You DO NOT need your doctor to re-certify the permit.
If your address has changed, you must notify the California DMV by:
- Completing a Notice of Change of Address (Form DMV 14).
- Submitting it by mail to the address on the form, or in person at your local CA DMV office.
Temporary Placard Renewal
You must reapply for a disabled parking placard if your temporary placard expires and you still need it.
To reapply, follow the steps in “ Apply for a Disabled Parking Placard” above. Your doctor WILL need to re-certify your disability.
You can apply for a temporary placard up to 6 times in a row.
Disabled License Plate Renewal
If you have a disabled person (DP) or disabled veteran (DV) license plate, you must renew your vehicle registration in order to keep your license plate up to date.
If your disabled placard is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can replace it by submitting:
- A completed Application for Replacements Plates, Stickers, Documents (Form REG 156).
- The placard, if it is damaged.
- Payment for the replacement fee (see "Fees for Disability Placards" below).
Submit the materials by mail to:
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269
You should receive the replacement placard within 4 weeks.
For more information about replacing license plates and other registration materials, see our page on Replacing a Lost Registration in California.
Fees for new placards and plates:
- Permanent placard: Free.
- Temporary placard: $6.
- Disabled person (DP) license plate: Free, but you must pay your vehicle registration fees.
- Travel placard: Free.
Fees for replacement placards and plates:
- Permanent placard: Free.
- Temporary placard: $6.
- Disabled person (DP) license plate: $19.