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    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 regulations and disabled parking placards, including how to apply for one.

    California Disabled Placards

    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.
      AND
    • 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.

    Travel Placards

    You can apply for a travel placard IF:

    • You have a permanent disability.
      AND
    • 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.
      OR
    • Up to 90 days, if you are visiting CA from another state.

    Apply for a Disabled Parking Placard or Plate

    You should plan ahead when applying for a CA handicap parking permit because:

    • You’ll need to have application completed by a medical professional.
      AND
    • 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.

    By Mail

    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:

    DMV Placard
    P.O. Box 932345
    Sacramento, CA 94232

    In Person

    To apply in person for your handicap parking permit, you need to first make an appointment with your local CA DMV office. You will need to submit to the DMV:

    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.

    Renew Your CA Disabled Placard

    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:

    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.

    Replacing a California Placard

    If your disabled placard is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can replace it by submitting:

    Submit the materials by mail to:

    DMV Placard
    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 CA Disability Placards

    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.

    Forms

    REG 195

    Application for a disability parking placard or license plate. Also used for temporary placard renewal or placard replacements.

    REG 156

    To request replacement license plates, registration stickers, disability placards & IDs, and registration documents.

    DMV 14

    Notifies the DMV of your new address. Can be used for driver's license and/or registration changes.

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