To qualify for a disability parking plates or placards
(sometimes referred to as a “handicapped sticker”) in California, you must meet
one of the conditions described below and must obtain a licensed physician’s
certification prior to the initial issuance of disability access placards:
- A lung disease to the extent that forced
(respiratory) expiratory volume for one second when measured by spirometry is
less than one liter or arterial oxygen tension (pO2) is less than 60 mm/Hg on
room air while the person is at rest.
- A cardiovascular disease to the extent that the
person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as class III or
class IV based upon standards accepted by the American Heart Association.
- A severe disability in which he or she is unable
to move without the aid of an assistive device, which is due to (please print):
- A significant limitation in the use of lower
- The loss, or loss of the use of one or more
- The loss, or loss of the use of, both hands, or
- Central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in
the better eye, with corrective lenses, as measured by the Snellen 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.
You don’t need a doctor’s certification if you have lost a
lower extremity or both hands, and you appear in person at a local DMV office
and submit a Completed Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates (REG
195) or if you currently have a permanent California Disabled Person (DP)
Placard, or Disabled Person (DP) or Disabled Veteran (DV) license plates
assigned to your vehicle, and the license plate number is entered in part
"A" of the REG 195.
You can seek either plates or a placard by sending in California’s
disability parking identification. You may also apply at your local DMV.
Types of Disability Access Parking Plates and Placards
California issues four types of disability
access parking plates/placards:
parking placard for permanent disabilities. Valid for two years and expires
on June 30 of every odd-numbered year.
parking placard for temporary disabilities. Valid for up to 180 days (six
months) or the date noted by your qualifying licensed medical professional on
the application, whichever timeframe is less and cannot be renewed more than
six times consecutively.
parking placard for California residents who currently have a permanent DP
parking placard or DP or DV license plates. Valid for 30 days from the date
DMV issues it.
- Travel parking placard for nonresidents who
plan to travel in California and have a permanent disability and/or DV plates.
Valid for up to 90 days or the date noted by your licensed medical professional
on the application, whichever timeframe is less.
Abusing Disabled Parking Privileges
A 2010 state law allows cities to charge anywhere from $250
to $1,000 for violating disabled parking laws – for example by using fake
disability placards. Fines for parking in a disabled space without a disabled
parking pass or blocking access to a blue zone, rose to $330.
Out of state
California recognizes out-of-state disability permits.
However, not all states may recognize California disability permits.