Disabled Person Parking Placards & Plates

A qualified permanently disabled person may obtain a Disabled Person (DP) placard or DP License Plates for all of their vehicles, for no additional fee. Find out if you are eligible and learn how to apply.

You may qualify for a DP placard or DP License Plates if you have impaired mobility for any of these reasons:

  • You have lost the use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands.
  • You have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility.
  • You are unable to move without the aid of an assistive device. 
  • You have specific, documented visual problems, including lower-vision or partial-sightedness.

Placards vs. License Plates

DP placards and DP License Plates grant you the same parking privileges. The difference  is that license plates must stay permanently affixed to the vehicle for which they are issued, making them ideal for a disabled driver’s personal use. Placards, on the other hand, can be moved from one vehicle to another, making them a good option for a caregiver who transports a disabled person. 

Types of DP placards:

  • Permanent parking placard for permanent disabilities. Valid for two years. Expires on June 30 of every odd-numbered year. You are only allowed to have one permanent placard at any given time.
  • Temporary parking placard for temporary disabilities. Valid for up to 180 days (six months) or until the date noted by your qualifying licensed medical professional on the application (whichever time frame is shorter). Can not be renewed more than six times in a row.
  • Travel parking placard for California residents who currently have a permanent DP parking placard, DP License Plates, or Disabled Veteran (DV) License Plates. Valid for 30 days from the date the placard is issued by DMV.
  • Travel parking placard for nonresidents who plan to travel in California and have a permanent disability and/or DV License Plates. Valid for up to 90 days or until the date noted by your licensed medical professional on the application (whichever time frame is shorter).

Disabled Veterans (DV) License Plates

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

Learn more about DV License Plates

Applying for a DP Placard or DP License Plates

To apply for a DP placard:

  • Complete and sign an Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG 195).
  • Have a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife that has knowledge of the disease and/or disability complete and sign the Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability section of your application REG 195.
  • Submit applicable fees when requesting a temporary placard.
  • Mail the original completed and signed application to the address on the form.

To apply for DP License Plates:

  • Complete and sign an Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG 195).
  • Have a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife that has knowledge of the disease and/ or disability complete and sign the Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability section of your application REG 195.
  • Provide the current registration card in your name (or provide the required documents to register the vehicle in your name).
  • Pay the normal registration fees due on the vehicle.
  • Surrender the license plates currently on the vehicle.

Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability

  • A licensed physician, surgeon, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse mid-wife that has knowledge of the disease and/or disability must complete and sign the Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability section of your application REG 195.
  • A licensed chiropractor may certify the disability of a person who has lost the use of one or both lower extremities, or who has significant limitation in the use of their lower extremities.
  • A licensed optometrist, physician, or surgeon who specializes in eye diseases may also complete and sign the Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability section.

You do not need a Medical Provider’s Certification of Disability under the following conditions:

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have a valid DP placard or DP 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 is important to remember that you are the only person who can use your DP placard or DP License Plates.

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

  • Lend your placard to anyone else.
  • Use someone else’s placard.
  • Forge a licensed medical professional’s signature.
  • Possess or display a counterfeit placard or license plates.
  • Provide false information to obtain a placard or license plates.
  • Alter a placard or placard identification card.

Abusing your placard or license plates can result in the cancellation and revocation of the placard/plates and loss of the privileges they provide. It is also punishable by an applicable penalty. California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§1825, 4461, 4463, 21458, 22511.5, 22511.6, 22511.7, 22511.55, 22511.59, and Business and Professions Code §13660.

You do not need to renew your permanent placard. DMV will automatically mail your new placard and identification card to the address shown in our records. If your address has changed, you must file a change of address with DMV to ensure the placard will be mailed to your most recent address.

To change the address you have on file, you can do one of the following:

Once issued, a permanent DP placard does not require re-certification by your licensed medical professional.

You may obtain a substitute placard if your original (permanent or temporary) placard is lost, stolen, or damaged.

To get a substitute placard:

Mail completed application and fee (if applicable) to:

DMV Placard
PO Box 942869 
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

You will receive your parking placard approximately four weeks after you submit the application.

We offer free window decals for vehicles that have a wheelchair lift or carrier that obstructs the view of the rear license plate. The decal has a white background with black numbers and/or letters matching the vehicle license plate. Place the decal on the rear window of the vehicle.

To be eligible for a decal, one of the following must apply to you:

  • You have a DP placard.
  • You transport person(s) with a disabled person placard.
  • You have a vehicle with DP or DV License Plates.

To apply for a decal, complete a Statement of Facts (REG 256) and mail it to:

Mail to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Special Processing Unit
PO Box 932345 Mail Station D238
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

Do not submit your application to a DMV office. The decal will be mailed to you within six-eight weeks.

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