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  • Drivers with Disabilities in New Mexico

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    New Mexico offers specialty license plates and placards for those who need easy-access parking spots due to a disability.

    Placards

    The minimum disability for a placard is having limited mobility. This can entail not being able to walk 100 feet without a good rest along the way. It can also mean the applicant needs to tug around portable oxygen. From these impediments to mobility, the list progressively moves to more serious ailments and conditions.

    Placards are free of charge. Most expire at the same time as your driver's license or ID card. If you are applying for a permanent placard, you will only have to establish the disability on the initial application. Only the disabled person can obtain and use the placards (two maximum), although they can be used in any car that is transporting that individual.

    How to Apply

    • Complete the eligibility form. This will require having a qualified physician look you over and sign off on your disability.
    • Once the form is filled out, you must visit a local Motor Vehicle Division office. There are no other options on this one; the eligible applicant must appear in person.
    • Be sure to bring along proper identification. This can include a driver's license or ID card and Social Security number.

    Temporary Placards

    Those with impermanent impairments have the opportunity to apply for temporary placards. With a doctor's note and a completed application, you can have the convenience of handicap parking until the injury mends. This placard is also free of charge.

    Out-of-State Placards

    Disabled placards and plates from another state are valid in New Mexico. Until you either become an official resident or transfer your registration and title to New Mexico, you can hold onto them. There is no fee to switch the placards.

    License Plates

    If you meet the requirements imposed by the New Mexico statutes, you may be entitled to apply for handicapped license plates. However, having a set of these plates mounted to your vehicle does not permit you to park in those super-close handicapped spaces. That requires a placard.

    Like any other specialty plate, this plate is intended to distinguish you from the masses of other individuals plodding along the roads. It features the internationally recognized "figure-in-a-wheelchair" symbol. If you do qualify, you might also be able to waive any excise taxes associated with titling a vehicle.

    Disabled Person Plates

    • To obtain this plate, you must essentially prove to the Motor Vehicle Division that you suffer from paralysis (or a loss) of the arms or legs.
    • If you are unable to or simply prefer to avoid a visit to a MVD office, you can send the paperwork via mail.
    • MVD Vehicle Services Bureau
      • P.O. Box 1028
      • 1100 South St. Francis Drive
      • Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028

    Disabled Veteran License Plates

    If you were incapacitated while serving in a war or on active military duty, you may apply for this type of plate. The plates are available in two types―one with and one without the handicap symbol.

    • Both require the completion of the Military Service Special Plate form.
    • The application will also entail New Mexico Veterans Service Commission certification.
    • There is no fee for the plate.
    • You can apply at either an MVD office or by mail:
    • MVD Vehicle Services Bureau
      • P.O. Box 1028
      • 1100 South St. Francis Drive
      • Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028

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    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

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