Disability Plates and Placards in California

California Drivers with Disabilities

If you are a driver with a disability, you can apply for a disabled parking placard or license plate from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The placard will allow you to use designated disabled parking places and has several other parking benefits.

Read below for more information about disabled parking regulations and disabled parking placards, including how to apply for one.

California Disabled Placards

The CA DMV offers several types of disabled license plates and handicap placards for drivers with disabilities:

  • Permanent placards and plates.
  • Temporary parking placards.
  • Travel placards.

A disabled placard or license plate allows you to park in certain places, but some parking is still off limits.

You CAN park:

  • In marked disabled spaces, such as those with:
    • A wheelchair.
    • Blue curbs.
  • In green curb spaces for unlimited time.
  • In spaces designated for merchants or residents.
  • For free at metered spaces.

You CANNOT park:

  • In striped areas next to handicap parking spaces.
  • At red, yellow, or white curbs.

Permanent Placards & Plates

Permanent handicap parking permits are available ONLY if you have a permanent disability that is certified by a medical professional.

The California DMV issues:

  • Permanent placards, if you are a permanently disabled driver.
  • Disabled person (DP) license plates, if you have a vehicle registered in your name.
  • Disabled veteran (DV) license plates, if you meet the DV plate requirements.*

*Veterans who are 100% disabled may be eligible for Disabled Veterans License Plates and be exempt from vehicle registration fees.

Temporary Parking Placards

If you are temporarily disabled, you can apply for a handicap placard that is valid for no more than 6 months.

A medical professional will need to:

  • Certify your disability.
  • Indicate how long the placard should be valid.

Once the placard expires, you can reapply up to 6 times in a row. You will need medical certification each time.

Travel Placards

You can apply for a travel placard IF:

  • You have a permanent disability.
  • You are traveling outside of your home state.

A travel placard is valid for:

  • 30 days, if you are a CA resident traveling outside of the state.
  • Up to 90 days, if you are visiting CA from another state.

How to Apply for a California Disabled Parking Placard

You should plan ahead when applying for a CA handicap parking permit because:

  • You'll need to have application completed by a medical professional.
  • If you plan to apply in person, the California DMV strongly encourages you to make an appointment in advance.

The application process will be the same regardless of the type of disability placard or license plate you choose to obtain. You can submit your placard application:

  • By mail.
  • In person.

By Mail

To apply for a disabled placard or license plate in California by mail, you will need:

  • A completed Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (Form REG 195).
  • Medical certification completed ON the application by one of the following:
    • Physician or surgeon.
    • Physician's assistant.
    • Chiropractor (ONLY for disabilities related to the use of lower extremities or hands).
    • Optometrist (ONLY for visual conditions).
  • Payment for the appropriate fee (see "Fees for Disability Placards" below).

NOTE: You DO NOT need medical certification if you already have a permanent placard or license plate.

Mail all of your application materials to:.

DMV Placard
P.O. Box 942869 M/S D238
Sacramento, CA 94269

In Person

To apply in person for your handicap parking permit, you need to first make an appointment with your local CA DMV office. You will need to submit to the DMV:

NOTE: You DO NOT need medical certification if you are appearing in person AND your disability includes a lost leg or both of your hands.

How to Renew Your Disabled Placard in California

Disabled parking placards still expire, even if they are permanent. Renewal processes differ depending on the type of placard you have.

Permanent Placard Renewal

Permanent disabled parking placards expire every 2 years, specifically on June 30 in odd-numbered years.

Permanent placards are automatically renewed 2 times and mailed to you. On the next renewal you will need to reapply by filling out a new Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG 195). You will not be required to have a new medical certificate. 

Beginning in 2023 applicants for the permanent disabled parking placards will be required to return a renewal notice by mail every 6 years and will not require a medical certification.

If your address has changed, you must notify the California DMV by:

Temporary Placard Renewal

You must reapply for a disabled parking placard if your temporary placard expires and you still need it.

To reapply, follow the steps in “ Apply for a Disabled Parking Placard" above. Your doctor WILL need to re-certify your disability.

You can apply for a temporary placard up to 6 times in a row; each issuance is good for up to 6 months. You will need a new medical certification each time you apply.

Disabled License Plate Renewal

If you have a disabled person (DP) or disabled veteran (DV) license plate, you must renew your vehicle registration in order to keep your license plate up to date.

How to Replace a California Disability Placard

If your disabled placard is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can replace it by submitting:

Submit the materials by mail to:

DMV Placard
P.O. Box 942869 M/S D238
Sacramento, CA 94269

You should receive the replacement placard within 4 weeks.

For more information about replacing license plates and other registration materials, see our page on Replacing a Lost Registration in California.

How much does a CA Disability Placard cost?

Fees for new placards and plates:

  • Permanent placard: Free.
  • Temporary placard: $6.
  • Disabled person (DP) license plate: Free, but you must pay your vehicle registration fees.
  • Travel placard: Free.

Fees for replacement placards and plates:

  • Permanent placard: Free.
  • Temporary placard: $6.
  • Disabled person (DP) license plate: $20.


REG 195
Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates
Application for a California disability parking placard OR license plate. You can also use this form for temporary disability placard renewal or replacement.
REG 156
Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents
Request replacement license plates, registration stickers, disability placards, disability IDs, and registration documents in California.
DMV 14
Notice of Change of Address
Notifies the California DMV of your new address AND can be used to update your driver's license, registration and tags, and disability parking placards.
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