Disabled Parking Rules and Regulations In New Mexico

In the United States, rules and regulations on disabled parking and disabled parking permits can vary. With an already complex set of laws, it just adds to the confusion. If you or someone you love owns a disabled parking permit, it is imperative that you’re familiar and understands the laws. Let’s dive into the most important information.

How Do I Qualify For Disabled Parking Permits?

It’s a common question because there can be so much variance, especially if you’re in a new state. Rules and regulations can even vary from city to city, so it’s important to keep up to date with them. The state of New Mexico has a predefined criterium for those who can own a disabled parking permit. You must meet at least one or more of them. Here are the prerequisites:

  • You must be so severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurologic, or orthopedic condition that you cannot ascend or descend more than 10 stair steps.
  • You must have a severe cardiac condition.
  • You must use portable oxygen.
  • You cannot walk 100 feet without stopping to rest.
  • You cannot walk without the use of a brace, cane, crutch, wheelchair, prosthetic device, other people, or other assistive devices.
  • You are restricted by lung disease to such an extent that your forced respiratory volume when exhaling for one second when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters on room air at rest.

Understandably, some of these criteriums may be confusing. If you’re unsure if you qualify, it’s always best to consult with your doctor about if you do. If your disability is severely limiting, it’ll likely qualify.

What Is The Process For Acceptance For Disabled Parking Permits?

It is a lengthy one. Individuals who are interested in receiving a disabled parking permit but fill out and complete a Certificate of Eligibility. It’s also known more formally as MVD-10383. You’ll have to complete this form and submit it to a New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division office. You’ll also need the original copy as photocopies aren’t accepted.

Next, you’ll need to visit a medical professional. This could be as simple as your normal physician. They’ll need to fill out a portion of the form that certifies that you meet at least one of the criterium listed above.

After you have your medical certification, you’ll need to complete the rest of the application with your personal information. You’ll also state if you’re applying for a disabled parking license plate or a disabled parking placard.

After all the paperwork is completed, it’s time to send it off. You’re allowed to drop it off in-person to any New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division field office. You can also mail it to the address listed below:

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division

1100 South St. Francis Drive

Sante Fe, NM 87505

Laws Regarding Disabled Parking And Disabled Parking Permits

While some laws vary from city to city, the state laws are always in effect no matter where you go in New Mexico. So, you must understand them well and abide by them at all times. Here are the most important regulations:

  • A law enforcement officer may request a photo ID to confirm that the individual using the placard is the person who owns the permit. It may sound a little harsh, but it’s important to make sure that nobody is using a disabled parking permit illegally. The designated spots are necessary for those that use them.
  • Ensure that you take your placard off your rearview mirror any time the vehicle in motion. It’s illegal to drive with it on your rearview mirror as it can be counted as an obstruction to your vision while driving. Failure to do so may lead to a citation.
  • You cannot use a disabled parking designated space if the person who owns the permit is not present. Even if you’re using a vehicle with a legally own disabled parking permit, you are not allowed to use its benefits if the owner isn’t with you.
  • The placard should be displayed on the rearview mirror only when the vehicle is parked in a designated space. The identification number and expiration date must be visible at all times when space is being used. If there is no rearview mirror available, a good idea is to place it on the dashboard with the information still visible.
  • Meter parking is free in several cities! This includes the cities of Albuquerque and Sante Fe. If you own a disabled parking permit and are parking there, don’t sweat about parking meters. You’re allowed to park free of charge and for however long as you’d like.

How And When To Renew Your Permit

As life goes on, you may need to either renew or replace your permit. The process varies depending on the circumstances. So let’s dive into what you need to know.

Depending on the type of disabled parking permit you own, you will need to apply for a renewal at different times.

Temporary permits are only valid for one year. If you find that you still require a permit for longer than a year, you’ll have to reapply entirely. This means another trip to a medical professional and another application

Permanent placards are valid for four years from the date of their issuance. You’ll need to resubmit an application in advance of the expiration date. However, you won’t need to resubmit any medical information.

If you own a disabled parking license plate, the process is simple. The permit automatically renews each year when you register your vehicle.


After you’ve read all this information, you should now be a well-informed citizen! All these regulations are important to understand. Not only for those who they pertain to, but to anyone.