Drivers with Disabilities in Minnesota
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Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) stresses that the rights and rules for drivers with disabilities are not special privileges, but are necessary to give those with limited mobility the same access to public and private facilities as other drivers.
Minnesota's disability parking, for example, is particularly important to provide a way around hazardous or difficult conditions that might be compounded in winter. Minnesota's disability parking spaces are aimed at providing enough space for those in wheelchairs to get into and out of vehicles safely and conveniently.
Minnesota's rules regarding drivers and riders with disabilities basically consist of two areas: disability license plates, and disability certificates. The qualifications for both fall under Minnesota's definition of a disabled individual:
- A person who has a cardiac condition with functional limitations classified as Class III or Class IV according to American Heart Association standards.
- A person who relies on portable oxygen.
- A person with an arterial oxygen tension (PAO2) of less than 60 mm/Hg on regular, room-temperature air, while at rest.
- A person restricted by a respiratory disease to the extent that forced expiratory volume is less than one liter per second, when measured by spirometry.
- A person who has lost an arm or leg and does not have or cannot use an artificial limb.
- A person who cannot walk without the aid of another person, a walker, cane, crutches, braces, prosthetic device, or a wheelchair because of the disability.
For the following eligibility conditions/circumstances, a physician should specify what the disability is:
- A person who has a condition that could be significantly aggravated by a 200-foot walk.
- A person who cannot walk 200 feet without stopping for rest.
- A person who cannot walk without a significant risk of falling down.
- A person who has a specific medical condition that may impact mobility.
To qualify for Minnesota disability plates, a Minnesota motorist or rider must be a disabled person with a physical disability as described above, or a custodial guardian or parent of a minor with a permanent disability.
Each of Minnesota's disabled plate holders may only obtain one set of disability plates. The fee is $15.50, including a $7 plate fee and an $8.50 service fee.
Applying for Disability License Plates
Upon submitting an application through a Minnesota motor vehicle office, you will receive a temporary permit for display until you get the plates.
As for disability parking certificates in Minnesota, these are issued to drivers and non-drivers, as well as to organizations that transport people with disabilities. Certificates may be transferred to any vehicle transporting a person with a disability―they belong to the person, not the vehicle. In addition, one disabled individual may qualify for two disability certificates if that person does not already have a disability license plate.
Applying for Disability Parking Certificates
Types of Certificates, Fees, and Renewals
Fees are as follows:
- Temporary and short-term disabilities: $5
- Organizations: $5
- Long-term or permanent disability: No fee
Each type of certificate is valid for a different period of time; when your certificate expires you may apply for a new one if you are still eligible.
Disability parking applications in Minnesota must be signed by one of the following:
- A licensed physician
- A physician's assistant
- An advanced practice registered nurse
- A chiropractor
Applications typically take about four weeks to process.
Minnesota honors nonexpired disability placards and license plates from other states. Likewise, current Minnesota placards and plates should be acceptable in other states.
However, if you are traveling to another state and are concerned whether your Minnesota disability plate or placard will be accepted there, it might be wise to check with that state's motor vehicle department, or simply look at our Drivers with Disabilities section for the state in question.
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
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