Disabled Veteran License Plates

If you’re a disabled veteran with a qualifying disability, you may be eligible for DV License Plates. DV License Plates exempt you from paying vehicle registration and license fees.

You may qualify for DV License Plates if you’re a veteran who was made permanently disabled as a result of an injury or disease that occurred while on active service with the U.S. Armed Forces. You qualify if any of the following apply:

  • You have a disability rated at 100% by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (or the military service that discharged you) due to a diagnosed disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility.
  • You are unable to move without the aid of an assistive device. 
  • You have lost the use of one or more limbs.
  • You are permanently blind as defined in the California Welfare and Institutions Code §19153.

Fee Exemption

A qualified disabled veteran is exempt from paying all fees (except fees for duplicate DV License Plates, certificates, or cards if they’re lost, stolen, or damaged) on one:

  • Passenger motor vehicle.
  • Motorcycle.
  • Commercial vehicle with an unladen weight of 8,000 pounds or less not used for transportation for hire, compensation, or profit.

The vehicle must be owned by the disabled veteran and display DV License Plates.

This fee exemption can only be used for one vehicle. Individuals who qualify for two types of exempt plates, such as DV and Ex-POW, cannot obtain both plates.

Applying for DV License Plates

To apply for DV License Plates, you’ll need:

  • A completed Disabled Veteran Certification on the Miscellaneous Certifications (REG 256A) form.
    • The Medical Certification section of the form must be signed by a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife who has knowledge of the disease and/or disability.
    • In lieu of the medical certificate, DMV is required to accept a certification from the USVA certifying the veteran meets the definition of a disabled veteran.
  • Your current registration card, or the documentation required to register the vehicle in your name.
  • The license plates currently on the vehicle (you must return them to DMV).

Complete the application process by bringing all of the above to a DMV office near you, or mail the completed application to the address on the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have valid DV License 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.
  • 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.

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.

It’s important to remember that you are the only person who can use your DV License Plates.

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

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

Abusing your DV License Plates can result in the cancellation and revocation of the plates and loss of the privileges they provide. It is also punishable by an applicable penalty. California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§4461, 4463, 5007, 21458, 22511.3, 22511.5, 22511.56, 22511.57 and California Business and Professions Code §13660.

You may obtain replacement plates if your original plates are lost, stolen, or damaged. To get replacement plates:

If you choose to have special interest license plates on your vehicle instead of DV License Plates, you must have a Disabled Persons (DP) placard to receive parking privileges.

You may request the disabled veteran fee exemption on Purple Heart License Plates in lieu of the DV License Plates. Purple Heart license plates require proof of eligibility in addition to the requirements for DV 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 to receive DP parking privileges.

Yes, DV License Plates must be surrendered to the DMV within 60 days of the death of the disabled veteran.

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