Disability Plates and Placards in Iowa

SUMMARY: Iowa Disability License Plates & Placards

Disability parking placards and license plates are available to Iowa residents with qualifying disabilities and are issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). Information about the placards and license plates issued for disability parking—such as how to apply for handicapped permits, how to renew your plates or placards, and how to replace a permit if it's lost, stolen, or damaged—is listed below.

If you have a qualifying disability, you will be able to obtain a handicap permit that allows you to park in handicapped parking spaces.

Types of Iowa Disability Permits

The IA DOT will issue you a disabled placard or license plate if you have a qualifying disability certified by a medical professional.

Iowa offers several different types of handicapped parking permits:

  • Windshield placards, available to:
    • Drivers with a short-term disability.
    • Drivers with a permanent disability.
    • Organizations that transport people with disabilities.
  • License plates and stickers, available if you're a:
    • Vehicle owner with a permanent disability.
    • Parent or guardian of a child with disabilities.

Iowa Visitors with Disabilities

If you are visiting Iowa from another state, you do not need an IA handicap placard or plate, as the state recognizes the disability parking permits from all other U.S. states.

Apply for a Disability Permit in IA

You may apply for a disability parking placard or license plate either by mail or in person.

To apply, you will need:

  • A completed Application for Persons With Disabilities Parking Permit for Iowa Residents (Form 411055).
  • A medical statement which MUST:
    • State that you have a qualifying disability.
    • State if your disability is permanent or temporary.
    • Be completed on the medical professional's letterhead.
    • Be completed by one of the following:
      • Physician.
      • Podiatrist.
      • Chiropractor.
      • Physician's assistant.
      • Nurse practitioner.

Disability placards and license plates are free. However, you will still need to pay fees for:

  • Vehicle registration.
  • Personalized license plates.

Submit your application either:

  • By mail to:
    Office of Vehicle Services
    P.O. Box 10473
    Des Moines, IA 50306
  • In person at a vehicle services office.
    • Stickers are available ONLY from the Office of Vehicle Services.
    • License plates are available ONLY from county treasurer's offices.

Renew a Disability Permit in Iowa

Some Iowa disabled parking placards and license plates expire and must be renewed:

  • A temporary parking placard is valid for up to 6 months. If you need it longer, you must apply for a new placard.
    • See “Apply for a Disability Permit in IA."
  • A permanent placard does not expire and does not need to be renewed.
  • A disability license plate or sticker is renewed annually by renewing your vehicle registration.

Replace Disability Placards & Plates

If your handicap placard has been lost, damaged, or stolen, you must complete a new Application for Persons With Disabilities Parking Permit for Iowa Residents (Form 411055). Be sure to:

  • Complete the appropriate section for lost, stolen, destroyed, or damaged placards.
  • Include your permit number.
  • Return the damaged permit, if possible.

Submit the application by mail to the address on the form or in person at an Iowa DOT vehicle office.

For information about replacing license plates that have been lost, stolen, or damaged, see our Iowa lost registration page.

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