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  • Drivers with Disabilities in North Carolina

    Summary: Disability Plates & Placards in North Carolina

    If you have a qualifying disability, you can apply for temporary or permanent placards or disability license plates for handicapped parking from the North Carolina DMV. Applications require medical certification and a fee. Placards and plates must be renewed, and you can request a replacement if yours is lost, stolen, or damaged.

    North Carolina makes it easy for drivers with disabilities to obtain parking placards and license plates to make their lives easier. Keep reading for more details.

    Types of NC Disability Placards & Plates

    If you have a disability, you may be eligible to receive a parking placard or license plate from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for access to handicapped parking.

    With a disability placard or license plate, you can:

    • Park in any disability parking spot for unlimited time.
    • Park for longer than posted in any parking space in many jurisdictions.

    Disability placards and plates can be used ONLY when the person they are issued to is the driver or passenger of the parked vehicle.

    The NC DMV offers:

    • Temporary disability placards.
    • Permanent disability placards.
    • Permanent disability license plates.

    The DMV also has handicap placards for organizations that transport people with disabilities on a regular basis.

    NOTE: All states recognize each other’s disability parking permits. If you visit NC, you can use the placard or plate from your home state.

    Apply for a North Carolina Disability Permit

    You can apply for a disability parking placard or license plate:

    • By mail.
      OR
    • In person.

    All disability permits require medical certification and a fee.

    Disability Placard

    To apply for a parking placard, you need:

    • The Application for Disability Parking Placard (Form MVR-37A), including medical certification by:
      • A licensed physician.
        OR
      • An eye doctor or a Division of Services for the Blind representative, for disabilities related to vision.
    • Payment for the $5 fee (for each). You can order up to 2 placards.
    • Identification, if you’re applying in person, such as your:
      • Driver’s license or state ID.
      • Birth certificate.
      • Social Security card.

    You can submit your application in person to a North Carolina DMV license plate office or mail to the address on the form.

    You will receive BOTH a placard/s and a placard registration card that you must keep with your placard.

    Disability License Plate

    To apply for a disability license plate in NC, you need:

    • The Application for Handicap Driver Registration Plate (Form MVR-37), including medical certification by:
      • A licensed physician.
        OR
      • An optometrist, ophthalmologist, or a representative of the Division of Services for the Blind, if your disability is related to your eyesight.
    • Payment for the $28 license plate fee.
    • A form of ID, if you are applying in person, such as your:
      • Driver’s license or ID card.
      • Social Security card.
      • Birth certificate.

    Submit your application either:

    If you are new to North Carolina, you'll need to register your car in the state first.

    Renew NC Handicap Placards & Plates

    All disability placards and license plates expire and must be renewed or reissued.

    To renew your disability placard or license plate, you must have:

    • Re-certification of your disability by a physician.
    • Payment for fees.

    Handicap Placard

    A temporary parking placard is valid for up to 6 months and cannot be renewed. You can apply for a new disability placard by following the instructions in "Apply for a NC Disability Permit" above.

    A permanent disability placard is valid for 5 years. Before your placard expires, you’ll receive a renewal form by mail. You must:

    • Get new medical certification on the renewal form.
    • Pay the fee of $5 per placard.
    • Submit the renewal by mail or in person to the address on the form no more than 90 days before your placard expires.

    Disability License Plate

    If you have a disability license plate, you must renew your vehicle registration each year.

    Replace Disability Placards & Plates

    If your handicap parking placard is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need the following to get a replacement:

    • The Application for Disability Parking Placard (Form MVR-37A), with new medical certification.
    • Payment for the replacement fee:
      • Lost or stolen placard: $5 plus $15 to replace the accompanying disability registration card.
      • Damaged placard: Free.

    If your license plate is lost, stolen, or damaged, see our NC license plate page for replacement information.

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