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Advances in vehicle technology have helped many disabled drivers get behind the wheel. As a disabled driver, you have certain needs that other drivers might not have; for example, special license plates that allow you to park closer to building entrances―cutting down how far you have to walk.
When it comes to disabilities, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is ready to work with you. Disabled drivers, like all drivers, need to get to school, work, or social outings, and the DMV has adapted its programs through the years to address the changing population and meet the licensing and registration needs of all drivers.
When operating a vehicle, you may have certain restrictions based on necessary mechanical modifications. When you apply for a driver's license, the DMV will note any modifications, like special mirrors or foot pedals, on your driver's license.
Your vehicle may be specially equipped for safe operation. If this is the case, the DMV will give you a special licensing road skills exam. The licensing officer will want to witness any mechanical aids you use during the road test.
Examples of license restrictions include daytime driving only or the use of corrective lenses. Some disabled drivers may be restricted to certain mechanical devices that help operate the vehicle safely. Such drivers must use these devices consistently.
Law enforcement and the DMV can impose serious penalties if you decide to violate the restrictions on your driver's license. If you are required to have special mirrors on your vehicle for example, and you drive another car without special mirrors, you could be arrested and your license suspended.
It is wise to obey your license restrictions because your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road depends on you following the rules.
You may qualify for a special license plate or placard if you have a disability that makes it compulsory for you to park close to buildings. Just print out the Special License Plate Application, which is available online using the free Adobe Reader, and take or mail it to your doctor.
If you are younger than 85, your doctor must complete and sign the form. The Special License Plate Application includes a list of all qualifying disabilities or conditions. Briefly, a few of those are:
- Lung disease
- Class III or Class IV heart condition as classified by the American Heart Association
- Walking disability
If you are 85 or older, you only need to prove your age to get a special license plate. If you are no longer driving, you can still apply for the placard so you can take it with you when riding in someone else's car.
A disabled license plate is free and valid for the length of the vehicle's registration. Permanent placards are valid for three years and also free.
Temporary placards are also available if your doctor completes the same Application for Special Plates. You might want to apply for the placard if you are recovering from a bad accident, illness, or surgery.
For more information about disabled license plates, visit our special License Plates and Placards section.
Disabled placards, permits, and license plates from other states are valid in Delaware, so travelers can rest easy using those from their own state. Disabled Delaware residents can also use their own placards, permits, and plates while traveling―they are valid in all 50 states.Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks