Disabled Parking Permits in Rhode Island

How to obtain plates and placards

To qualify for a disability parking plates or placards (sometimes referred to as a “handicapped sticker”) in Rhode Island, 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:

  • Cannot walk without the use of a brace, cane, crutch, wheelchair, prosthetic device or another person.
  • Suffers from 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 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
  • Needs portable oxygen.
  • Has a cardiac condition to the extent that your functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association.
  • Legally blind, visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye with corrective lenses.

The Application

You can seek either plates or a placard by sending in Rhode Island’s application for disability parking identification. You may also apply at your local DMV.

Types of Disability Access Parking Plates and Placards

Rhode issues placards and license plates based upon on the length of the disability including:

  • Temporary Condition -- Minimum two (2) months; maximum twelve (12) months.
  • Long Term Condition -- one to three years duration.
  • Permanent Condition -- in excess of three years.

Abusing Disabled Parking Privileges

A person, other than a person issued a special placard or motorcycle sticker pursuant to this section, who parks a vehicle in a parking space designated for persons with disabilities, shall be fined: (1) one hundred dollars ($100) for a first violation, (2) one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) for a second violation, and (3) three hundred twenty-five dollars ($325) for a third or subsequent violation. The vehicle may be subject to towing at the owner's expense. Provided further, that it shall not be unlawful for a person to park a vehicle in a space designated for person with disabilities if that person is transporting a person who has been issued a special placard and is properly displaying the placard on the vehicle. (RIS § 31-28-7).

Out of state

Rhode Island recognizes out-of-state disability permits.

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