The California disabled parking program is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. Disabled parking in California exists to help CA residents and visitors to the Golden State to access public and private buildings, areas, businesses, amenities, and residences more easily.

California disability parking improves the lives of millions of people who struggle with mobility issues. Today, we’re here to discuss how you can get an online disabled parking permit in California. As well as outlining how to get a California disabled parking permit online, we’ll also answer all of the most important questions about disabled parking in California, including…

Why should I get an online disabled parking permit in California? What types of California disabled parking permits are available? How do you apply for a California disabled parking permit online? What is the California disabled parking permit renewal process? What are the California disabled parking permit qualifying conditions?

What Is A California Disabled Parking Permit?

A California disabled parking permit is a legal document that entitles its holder to use disabled parking infrastructure in California, as well as in certain other jurisdictions outside of CA. California disabled parking permits come in the form of placards, stickers, and license plates.

Who Can Legally Issue A California Disabled Parking Permit?

The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the organization that issues disabled parking permits in California.

The California disabled parking program is run by the California DMV. California has its own disabled parking laws that deviate in some ways from those in other states. However, like all other states, California adheres to federal disability law, as stipulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Why Get An Online Disabled Parking Permit In California?

Having a California disabled parking permit has many advantages, including:

  • Accessing free parking in any designated disabled parking space in California, as well as various other jurisdictions in the US and abroad.
  • Accessing free parking in metered, time-restricted spaces in California.
  • Being entitled to apply for residents’ disabled parking bays to be installed near your home.

Getting your permit online is the easiest way to go, because:

  • Applying for your permit online is the most time-efficient method.
  • Medical certification can be arranged faster using an online telemedicine clinic than going to a doctor’s office in person.

How You Can Get An Online Disabled Parking Permit In California

Most of the process of getting a California disabled parking permit can be completed online. You can get an online disabled parking permit in California by:

  1. Having a consultation with a state-licensed medical professional using an online telemedicine clinic.
  2. Downloading an application form from the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles website.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available In California?

The following types of disabled parking permits are available from the California DMV:

  • Permanent Disabled Parking Placard
  • Permanent Disabled Parking License Plates
  • Temporary Disabled Parking Placard
  • Organization Disabled Parking Permit (available to organizations and institutions that transport disabled people)
  • Disabled Veterans license plates (available to people whose disabilities are mostly military service-related)
  • Travel Parking Placard for California Residents (available to California residents who hold a permanent disabled parking placard or plates, or Disabled Veteran plates and wish to travel)
  • Travel Parking Placard for Nonresidents (available to nonresidents who have a permanent disability and/or Disabled Veteran license plates and wish to travel)
cars parked in california
Image by Enric Cruz López on Pexels: How do you get a California disabled parking permit?

Who Qualifies For Disabled Parking In California?

Any resident of California who has a qualifying disability is entitled to get a disabled parking permit in California. You do not need to own a vehicle to get a California disabled parking permit. Non-vehicle owners can get a permit to use in any vehicle they happen to be traveling in. There are also short-term disabled parking permits available for visitors to California who are disabled.

How To Get A California Disabled Parking Permit

So, how do you apply for a California disabled parking permit online? You can apply for your CA disabled parking permit online in three simple steps.

  1. Have a consultation with a California-licensed medical professional. This can be done using an online telemedicine clinic. Once the state-licensed medical professional has verified your disability and suitability to use disabled parking in CA, they will fill in the Doctor’s Certification section of a disabled parking application form and email it to you.
  2. Complete the form with your details.
  3. Submit the form and any necessary fee to the California DMV. This can be done either in person at a DMV office or by mailing it to:
    DMV Placard
    PO Box 932345
    Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

California Disabled Parking Permit Qualifying Conditions

You will qualify for a California disabled parking permit if you are disabled in one or more of the following ways:

  • Visual impairment (where central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200, in the better eye, with corrective lenses, as measured by the Snennel test, or visual acuity that is greater than 20/200, but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle not greater than 20 degrees)
  • Cardiovascular disease (measured as Class III or IV in severity according to American Heart Association standards)
  • Lung disease (to such an extent that forced [respiratory] expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg of room air at rest )
  • Any diagnosed disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility
  • A disability that means you cannot walk without the aid of an assistive device such as a cane, crutch, wheelchair, or another person
  • Any condition that significantly limits the use of the lower extremities
  • The loss, or the loss of use of, one or more of the lower extremities
  • The loss, or the loss of the use of, both hands

Who Can Certify An Application For A Disabled Parking Permit In California?

All applications for California disabled parking permits must be certified by a state-licensed medical professional. The best way to have a consultation with a medical professional is remotely using an online telemedicine clinic.

The following types of medical professionals are qualified to certify an online disabled parking permit application in California:

  • Physician
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Surgeon
  • Chiropractor
  • Optometrist
  • Certified nurse-midwife

How Much Is A Disabled Parking Placard In California?

  • California permanent disabled parking permits are free.
  • California temporary disabled parking permits cost $6.

How Do I Get A Disabled License Plate In California?

You can get a disabled parking license plate in California if you are permanently disabled and you own your own vehicle. License plates are free. You apply for a license plate by stipulating this preference on the application form you submit.

How Do You Use A California Disabled Parking Permit?

  • California disabled parking placards must be hung from the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked and safely stowed away while the vehicle is in motion.
  • You must never loan your disabled parking permit to another person, even if that person is also disabled.
  • You must present your ID and your disabled parking placard ID card (this is issued to the permit holder and they must be in possession of it when using their permit) when asked by law enforcement.

When Do California Disabled Parking Permits Expire?

All types of California disabled parking permits expire after a period of time.

  • Permanent California disabled parking placards are valid for up to two years. Permanent placards expire on June 30 of every odd-numbered year.
  • Temporary California disabled parking placards expire after 180 days or on a date recommended by the certifying medical professional, whichever time is shorter.
  • California disabled parking license plates expire on the date that the vehicle’s registration is up for renewal.
  • Travel Parking Placards for California Residents expire after 30 days.
  • Travel Parking Placards for Nonresidents expire after 90 days or on a date recommended by the certifying medical professional, whichever time is shorter.

Do All Types Of California Disabled Parking Permits Need To Be Renewed When They Expire?

Not all types of California disabled parking permits need to be renewed by the holder once they expire.

  • Permanent disabled parking placards do not need to be renewed by their holder. The California DMV will automatically mail a new placard and identification card to the address shown in their records before renewal time comes on June 30 of every odd-numbered year. (From 2023, every third renewal [every six years] will need to be applied for by the permit holder.)
  • Temporary disabled parking permits do need to be renewed.
  • Disabled parking license plates do need to be renewed.
person in wheelchair on beach
Image by adamtepl on Pixabay: What are the California disabled parking permit qualifying conditions?

What Is The California Disabled Parking Permit Renewal Process?

From 2023, every third renewal of a California permanent disabled parking permit (every six years) will need to be applied for. Temporary disabled parking placards must be renewed after six months if the holder still requires disabled parking (temporary permits can be renewed up to six times). Each time a temporary placard is renewed, new medical certification must be obtained.

To renew any type of California disabled parking permit online:

  1. Arrange a telemedicine consultation with a qualified medical professional through an online telemedicine clinic.
  2. Submit a completed application form to the California DMV either in person at a DMV office or by mailing it to:
    DMV Placard
    PO Box 932345
    Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

How Do I Replace A Lost, Stolen, Or Damaged California Disabled Parking Permit?

If your CA disabled parking permit has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a replacement by submitting an Application For Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents to the California DMV address above.

Where Are California Disabled Parking Permits Valid?

California disabled parking permits are valid in all of the following jurisdictions:

  • All US states
  • All US overseas territories
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • EU
  • The UK
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan

Are Out-Of-State Disabled Parking Permits Valid In California?

Disabled parking permits from all other US states are recognized in California. So are permits from several foreign countries, including Mexico, Canada, the UK, the EU, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Another option for visitors to California is to get a Travel Parking Placard for Nonresidents. These permits are valid for up to 90 days and available to nonresidents who have a permanent disability and/or Disabled Veteran license plates and wish to travel in California.

California Disabled Parking Rules And Regulations

It’s important that you follow the rules when using California’s disabled parking infrastructure. These rules exist to make the program run smoothly and to be as user-friendly as possible. So, what are the rules and regulations you need to know about when using your California disabled parking permit?

California disabled parking permit-holders may park:

  • In any parking space marked with the International Symbol of Access
  • Next to a blue curb (these spaces are authorized for disabled parking)
  • Next to a green curb for unlimited time (green curbs indicate limited time parking)
  • In an on-street metered parking space for free
  • In a space that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit

California disabled parking permit-holders may not park:

  • In spaces marked with a crosshatched pattern next to a disabled parking space
  • Next to red curbs (red curbs indicate no stopping, standing, or parking)
  • Next to yellow curbs (yellow curbs mark spaces reserved for commercial vehicles to load and unload)
  • Next to white curbs (white curbs mark spaces reserved for loading and unloading passengers or depositing mail)

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