Disabled Veterans License Plates

Registration Requirements At a Glance

Who Qualifies for Disabled Veteran (DV) License Plates?

A veteran who, as a result of an injury or disease that occurred while on active service with the U.S. Armed Forces, qualifies if any of the following apply:

  • Has a disability rated at 100 percent by the U.S. Veterans Affairs or the military service that discharged the veteran, due to a diagnosed disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility.
  • Is so severely disabled as to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive device.
  • Has lost, or lost the use of, one or more limbs.
  • Is permanently blind, as defined in §19153 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.

How to Apply for DV License plates

You must:

  • Complete and sign the Certification for Disabled Veterans License Plates (REG 256V).
  • Provide a Medical Statement for Service-Connected. Disabled Veterans located on the REG 256A.
  • Provide your current registration card or the documentation required to register the vehicle in your name.
  • Surrender the license plates currently on the vehicle.

You may make an appointment online or by telephone to take the completed application to a DMV office near you.

The vehicle cannot be parked in a disabled parking space until the vehicle displays DV plates or a Disabled Person (DP) Parking Placard. Applicants who do not have a parking placard may obtain one in conjunction with the plates.

Proof of Eligibility Requirements

You must submit a Medical Statement for Service-Connected Disable Veterans form certifying that you meet the service connected qualifications of a DV according to the provision of the California Vehicle Code §295.7

DV Parking Privileges

Once you have valid DV plates, you may park:

  • In parking spaces with the International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol).
  • Next to a blue curb authorized for persons with disabilities parking.
  • Next to a green curb (green curbs indicate limited time parking) for as long as you wish. There is no time limit with DV license plates.
  • In an on-street metered parking space at no charge.
  • In an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit.

In addition to parking privileges, service stations must refuel a disabled person’s vehicle at self-service rates unless the service facility has only one employee on duty.

DV Parking Limitations

You may not park:

  • In spaces marked with a crosshatched pattern next to a parking space with the International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol). These spaces are for wheelchair and wheelchair lift access.
  • Next to red curbs, which indicate no stopping, standing, or parking.
  • Next to yellow curbs, which are for commercial vehicles to load and unload passengers or freight.
  • Next to white curbs, which are for loading and unloading passengers or depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox.


You are the only person who can use the plates for parking or service station privileges.

It is illegal to do the following (and you may be subject to citation and fines):

  • Forge a licensed medical professional’s signature.
  • Possess or display counterfeit DV plates.
  • Provide false information to obtain DV plates.

DV license plate abuse can result in the cancellation and revocation of the plate and loss of the privileges it provides, and is punishable by an applicable penalty. CVC §§4461, 4463, 5007, 21458, 22511.3, 22511.5, 22511.56, 22511.57 and California Business and Professions Code §13660.

Replacing your DV License Plates if They are Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated

You may obtain duplicate plates if your original plates are lost, stolen, or mutilated. You will need:

You may make an appointment online or by telephone to take the completed application to a DMV office near you.

DVs with Special Interest License Plates

If you choose to have special interest license plates on your vehicle rather than DV plates, you must have a DP parking placard. Please see Disabled Person Parking Placard and Plates Fast Facts (FFVR 07).

DV who are also Purple Heart Recipients

You may request the DV fee exemption on issuance of Purple Heart license plates in lieu of the DV license plates. In addition to the requirements for a DV license plate, proof of eligibility documentation is required for Purple Heart license plates. If you choose to have Purple Heart license plates in lieu of the DV license plates, you must have a DP parking placard in order to receive DP parking privileges. Please see Disabled Person Parking Placard and Plates Fast Facts (FFVR 07).

Disabled Veteran License Plates Fee Exemption

  • A qualified DV is exempt from the payment of all fees except fees for duplicates, for one passenger motor vehicle, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle with an unladen weight of 8,000 pounds or less not used for transportation for hire, compensation, or profit, which is owned by the disabled veteran and displays DV license plates.

The fee exemption can be used for one vehicle only. An individual who qualifies for two types of exempt plates, such as DV and Ex-POW, cannot obtain both plates.

Surrender of License Plates

The license plates must be surrendered to DMV within 60 days of the death of the DV.