Drivers with Disabilities in Texas
If you need more accessible parking privileges due to a disability, Texas offers special license plates or placards for your car that allow you to park in reserved handicap spaces. These spots are close to public building entrances, making it easier for those who have difficulty walking to get where they need to go.
Texas considers you to have a qualifying disability if:
- You can't walk without an assistance device. This includes a brace, cane, crutch, another person, or a prosthetic device.
- You can't get around without a wheelchair or similar device.
If you qualify, you may receive the special license plates at no extra charge over and above your normal vehicle registration fees. Placards, which hang from a rear-view mirror can be used in any vehicle the disabled person is driving or riding in.
Your special license plates or placards are valid in all states, and special plates or placards issued in other states are valid in Texas. But if you are traveling out of state, you might check with your destination state's DMV to find out the steps you need to take to obtain an authorized temporary placard just in case. Read our Drivers with Disabilities article for the state you're visiting for more information and contact details.
Whether you wish to obtain disabled license plates or placards, your doctor will need to attest to your disability and indicate whether it is temporary or permanent. Only those with permanent disabilities may obtain handicapped license plates, but the placards are available for those whose disabilities are either permanent or temporary.
Texas drivers wishing to request a handicapped license plate or parking placard will need to fill out the Application for Disabled Person Identification Placard or Disabled Person License Plate (Form VTR-214) provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Part of this form needs to be filled out by your physician. The form should be submitted to your county tax assessor-collector.
For detailed information about the Texas program for disabled license plates and placards, visit the state's Disabled Plates & Placards page.
Walking from your car isn't the only thing that's difficult when you have a disability. In many cases, driving itself becomes a unique challenge, and some are unable to drive altogether. You don't even need to be disabled for this to be true; vision changes and medical conditions may alter your ability behind the wheel.
However, Texas recognizes that many physical issues may be overcome. The state may still issue you a driver's license if you can demonstrate that your condition doesn't affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Because everyone's situation is different, we recommend that you call your local driver license office for information about how your particular disability or medical condition may affect your driving privileges.
Obviously, if you have a physical condition that makes it dangerous for you to drive, you shouldn't. Texas allows people to report dangerous drivers; a medical advisory board may determine that you're medically incapable of driving, and your driving privileges may be suspended.
Texas' driver license offices are handicap-accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, the state goes even further by offering special services for those who need them. If you require special attention or aid to complete your driver licensing transactions, you are encouraged to contact your local licensing office in advance of your visits so that arrangements may be made to accommodate you.