You’re permanently or temporarily disabled and live in the state of California, you may qualify to get a DP or disabled person license plate or temporary DP placard. These items allow you to park in spaces that are designed for handicapped individuals. If you want to get a permit or license plate in California, you’ll have to follow specific steps to complete the process.

Am I Eligible?

You may qualify to get a placard or license plate in California if you have impaired mobility because you’ve lost one or more arms or legs or don’t have complete use of one or more legs or arms. If you’ve been medially diagnosed with a disease or condition that interferes with your mobility or if you can’t get around without the use of a device, you’re likely eligible for a disability permit. You may also qualify to get a permit if you have vision issues that have been documented by your doctor, including partial-sightedness or lower vision problems.

It’s important to know whether your disability is permanent or temporary. If you have a health issue that causes you to have limited mobility for a few months, such as a broken arm or leg, you’ll need to obtain a temporary placard. In California, temporary placards are valid for up to six months, and you can renew the placards up to six times. Your condition is considered permanent if it will last longer than a year. If you have a permanent disability, it’s best to apply for a permanent license.

Make sure you’re adhering to all eligibility requirements for the state of California. Conditions that will appear on the application form include circulatory disease, lung disease, heart issues, and vision problems. Eligibility requirements also include loss of or loss of use of lower limbs or hands or any disorder that limits the use of your extremities or having a disability that keeps you from moving without an assistive device.

If your disability doesn’t fit one of these descriptions, but you think you have a condition that warrants a handicap parking permit, your physician can still certify if you’re eligible for a disabled permit.

How to Get a California Permit

To get a handicap permit, you’ll need to fill out and sign a REG 195, which is the applications for disabled plates and placards. You have to receive certification from a doctor as well. Take your document to your medical professional or physician and ask him/her complete the section that says Doctor’s Certification of Disability. The physician needs to explain your condition in detail and explain why these factors qualify you for a permit. Medical staff members who can fill out your REG 195 include surgeons, physician’s assistants, licensed physicians, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners.

If you’ve lost both hands or one or both legs, you’ll have to visit your nearest California DMV in person. This will exempt you from getting a doctor’s certification for your disability placard.

Fees Associated With Placards and Permits

Remember to include the correct fee with your application so you won’t delay receiving your license plate or placard. If you need a temporary placard, the fee is $6. If you’re applying for a permanent handicapped license plate fee, there is no fee. However, you do have to submit your original license plates to the DMV. Don’t return your original plates until you receive the new license plates. You’ll still have to pay your registration fees according to the usual schedule. You can submit the application in person or in the mail.

Send your complete application to:  DMV Placard, P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA 94232-3450, or make an appointment at your local DMV to submit the application in person.


How Long Are Permits Valid?

A permanent placard is valid for two years. If you live in California, the placard will expire on June 30th of each odd-numbered year.

Temporary placards are valid for up to 180 days or the date that your doctor specified on the application, whichever time is shorter.

If you need a travel parking placard and live in California, this permit is valid from 30 days from the time the DMV issues the placard. The travel placard is valid for individuals who have a permanent DV license plate or DP parking placard. If you’re a non-resident, you can get a travel parking placard for 90 days or the date issued by a doctor, whichever is shorter.

Benefits of Having a Disability Placard or Plate

You should know what your license plate or placard allows you to do when you live in California. The plates and placards give you the benefit of parking is spaces that are designated for disabled individuals. Look for parking spaces with the wheelchair symbol or for signs that labeled handicapped parking spaces. Be sure to park at the blue curb that is set aside for individuals with disabilities. If you go to facility that has a green curb, you may park there for a limited time. You can use your placard or plate to park on the street if the street has a meter for an unlimited period of time. You’ll only be able to park in spaces that are marked “resident only” if you visit a townhouse or apartment complex.

You should also know what your placard or plate doesn’t allow you to do. Remember that you can’t park in areas with a crosshatch pattern near a handicapped parking space. The patterned spaces are designated for wheelchair lifts. Don’t park at yellow or red curbs, since these areas are for loading and emergency zones or at white curbs which are used to load and unload passengers.

Renewing Your California Placard or Permit

If you have a permanent disability, you don’t have to file a renewal application if you live in California. The DMV will mail you a new placard on the address included in your DMV records. If your address changes, fill out a DMV 14 application to ensure your placard is going to the right place.

If your permit or placard is lost or stolen, you can mail a REG 156 application to:

DMV Placard

PO Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001