California Handicap Placards

Having a handicap placard in California has many benefits for people with disabilities. In addition to being able to park in the standard designated handicap parking spaces, you can also park:

  • For no cost at metered parking spaces
  • In green curb spaces with no time limit
  • In areas designated for residents or merchants

We’ll help you through the California handicap placard application process, so you can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible. Applying for a disabled parking pass in California requires people to plan ahead a little bit, since there are several different requirements to meet. Once you meet all of the qualifications, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will issue you the placard or license plate.



The California Department of Motor Vehicles issues several different types of license plates and placards to people with disabilities:

  • Permanent placards – Your permanent disability must be verified by a physician. It placard expires in two years
  • Temporary placards – Must be verified by a physician. It expires in six months, or the date specified by your physician.
  • Disabled person license plates – Only available for people with a vehicle registered in their name
  • Disabled veteran license plates – Only available for people who meet specific requirements related to their service
  • Travel placards – Available to disabled people who are leaving or entering the state for a certain period of time

A California handicap placard must be displayed on your rearview mirror when parked at a handicap sign and removed when the vehicle is in motion. Fines, civil penalties or imprisonment are all possibilities if you violate handicap parking laws or abuse handicap parking privileges.


Parking Pass Requirements

In order to apply for a handicap placard and be granted a handicap parking pass in California, you must meet several requirements, including:

  • Loss of use of one or both hands
  • Severe vision impairment
  • Restrictions by a specific lung disease
  • Lack of mobility due to a disorder or disease
  • Loss of use of one or both legs
  • The inability to move without assistance from a cane, walker or other mobility aid
  • And more…

Disabled Veteran License Plates are also available for disabled veterans who complete the Disabled Veteran Certification on the Miscellaneous Certifications (Form REG 256A). The three qualifications you need to meet are:

  • Permanent blindness
  • Loss of use of one or more limbs
  • Inability to move without an assistive device


How to Apply

You can either apply in person at a California Department of Motor Vehicles Office or by mail by filling out the Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (Form REG 195). You will also need:

  • Medical certification by your licensed physician detailing your disability
  • Payment, if applicable
    • Permanent placards are free
    • Temporary placards are $6
    • Disabled person license plates are free, but vehicle registration fees are required
    • Travel placards are free

Renewing your permanent handicap placard is done automatically, and you do not need further certification from your physician. However, if you have a temporary handicap placard, you will need to re-apply after it expires and you will need your physician to re-certify your disability.

When you follow these steps, and meet the necessary qualifications, you shouldn’t have a problem filing a California handicap placard application. Our physicians are in California and ready to evaluate your eligibility, so feel free to contact us at any time. Click here to start applying for certification for your disability with a licensed California doctor.

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