How to Qualify for a California Disability License

by Nancy Chen ; Updated July 27, 2017
A disability license plate or placard will allow you to park in specially marked spaces.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers California drivers with disabilities the option to get a disability license plate and disability placard. These allow eligible California residents to park in areas marked with a wheelchair symbol, next to a blue or green curb, in a metered parking spot for free and in spaces usually reserved for those that possess resident or merchant permits. You must meet certain medical requirements in order to qualify for a California disability license plate or placard. If you want to find out your eligibility for a disabled person's (DP) license plate or placard, you should submit an application to the California DMV for consideration. The applicant must be a resident of California. Make sure that the vehicle is currently registered under the disabled person's name. If not, the applicant must register the vehicle in his name before continuing with the application process.

Step 1

Download and print out the Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates from California's DMV website (see References). Fill out and sign the first page of the application on your own.

Step 2

Bring the application form to your licensed health care provider and have her complete and sign the second page of the application.

Step 3

Prepare the appropriate fees, if applicable. It costs $6 for a temporary parking placard; make a check or money order payable to "DMV." Permanent disability parking placards and license plates are issued at no charge.

Step 4

Submit the completed application form, a copy of your vehicle registration and applicable fees to the DMV to find out if you qualify for a disability license plate or placard. The mailing address is DMV Placard, P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA, 94232-3450.

Tips

  • According to California Vehicle Code Section 295.5, the California DMV considers a disabled person as one who has lost one or more lower extremities; has lost both hands; has a medical condition that obstructs mobility; or is unable to be mobile without the assistance of medical devices or aids. Those who suffer from cardiovascular disease, lung disease or blindness and meet additional criteria for those conditions also are considered disabled. Your physician will determine whether you meet the disabled person's criteria set forth in California Vehicle Code Section 295.5 when she fills out the application form for the placard or plate.

    There is a $34 registration fee for applicants who need to register the vehicle under their own name.

    Temporary parking placards are valid for six months. They can be renewed for up to six times consecutively.

    You must send back your old license plates to the DMV once you have received your DP license plates.

About the Author

Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

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