How To Get Disability Plates And Placards In California

One thing that’s integral to being successful in driving is accessibility. Everyone deserves the right to convenient access, so those with disabilities should be aware of just how to make sure their transportation is as smooth and legally streamlined as possible in order to avoid any mixups or miscommunications.

Drivers with disabilities have options, but these aren’t always as clear when put in government terms or mixed with complicated jargon. For those who are disabled and living in California, there are options when it comes to parking and driving. Here’s how you can get California disability plates and placards for your vehicle.

Disabled Placard

A person with disabilities can apply for disability parking placard or a special license plate through the California DMV, also known as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Three Different Types Of Plates And Disabled Placards

When applying, know that there are three different types of plates and disabled placards, so be aware of which one will most comfortably fit your needs. The three types of placards are permanent placards, disabled person (DP) license plates, or disabled veteran (DV) license plates.

1. Permanent Placards

Permanent placards are for those seeking a license plate to fit their permanent disabilities. These are people with disabilities that will last, so they can not reapply and are not based on certain timestamps.

2. Disabled Person (DP) License Plates

The DP placard (disabled person placard) is for those with cars registered in their names. People with disabilities can apply for these if there car’s registration clearly identifies them, in order to prove that the motor vehicle is theirs. If this is proven, you will be able to obtain a disabled parking placard.

3. Disabled Veteran (DV) License Plates

The next type of parking placard is for disable veterans. This parking permit comes with DV plate requirements, There must be proof of federal service based on the veteran administration, with government accreditation. Those who qualify based on the VA’s standards are eligible for service-connected disability, meaning their disabilities are directly related to combat, giving them veteran preference and eschewing many of the typical fees.

Temporary Parking Placard

Now, there are also temporary parking placards, which are valid for up to six months. These types of handicap placards also require a doctor’s certification, which should also include the expected length of the injury or difference of ability.

Travel Placards

You can also apply for travel placards, which are temporary. These function nation-wide and are valid for 30-days if you’re a California resident traveling outside of the state, or 90 days if you’re visiting California from another state. This disability parking placard is for those with a permanent disability.

Fill out forms

Now that you know what you can apply for, you should know what you need for applying in completion.

What To Bring

You can apply in person for your placard or plate, or you can do it by mail. Either way you’re going to need a medical certification with proof of your disability. To be eligible for an issued handicapped permit, each of the forms must be filled out in the application with notoriety from a physician, surgeon, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, chiropractor (if disabled in lower extremities), or optometrist (if visually impaired). This may also require changes to your driver’s license, depending on the nature of the disability and how it affects your driving skills.

Once you have a physician statement, you can move forward with the application process. If you’re filing in person, it is highly recommended that you make an appointment prior to heading to the DMV. Be ready to pay the associated fees. For a new permanent placard, it’s free. A temporary placard is $6. Disabled person license plates free as long as vehicle registration fees are paid. A travel placard is also free.

When you receive your disability placard or plate, it will give you the opportunity to park in the most accessible parking space available, including on-street parking and off-street parking and those spots with a parking meet. That said, park in the spaces, not the adjoining spaces with the crosshatch patterns. Make sure to purchase an accompanying placard holder for your new handicapped placard, with the wheelchair symbol on it. Fasten the tag to the rearview mirror. Those with disabled veteran status will have a veteran license plate with another identifying symbol as well.

Handicapped Parking Park in the spaces, not the adjoining spaces with crosshatch patterns.

Everyone deserves accessibility in their driving so that they feel comfortable and able to focus on their safety. Make the process as simple as possible so that you can continue your journey on the road.

Krista Doyle
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