How to Obtain a Disabled Parking Permit in California

by Contributor

There are several ways to qualify for a disabled parking permit in California. You need a valid medical certification of limited mobility, lung disease, heart or circulatory disease, disease or disorder that limits the use of the lower extremities, loss of at least one leg or both hands or visual problems. Getting a disabled parking permit is a relatively simple process that can usually be done by mail--follow these steps to learn how.

Apply for a Permit

Meet one of California's qualifications for impaired mobility or other disease or condition.

Go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Web site, complete the Application for Disabled Person Parking Placard or Plates form and print it.

Take the form to a licensed physician or other valid medical provider who can certify your condition and sign the Doctor's Certification of Disability portion of the application.

Enclose a fee for a temporary permit, which is valid up to 6 months. There is no fee for a permanent placard.

Mail the original application to the DMV address shown on the form. The parking placard will arrive approximately 2 weeks after you submit the form.

Hang the placard from the rearview mirror when parking in a parking space reserved for the disabled.

Replace a Permit

Complete the "Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents" form if your permit is lost, stolen or mutilated.

Surrender to the DMV all remaining portions of a mutilated placard.

Enclose a fee for the substitute temporary permit. Permanent placards are replaced at no charge.

Mail to the proper DMV address shown on the form.

Receive the parking placard within approximately 2 weeks after you submit the form.


  • check Permanent permits are renewed automatically every June 30 on odd-numbered years.
  • check Notify the DMV of an address change by completing and mailing the change of address form.
  • check Make an appointment on the DMV Web site before submitting an application in person.
  • check You may use your placard even if you don't own or drive the vehicle.
  • check Loss of at least one leg or both hands qualifies you without medical certification if you apply in person.


  • close Do not lend the parking permit to anyone. Misuse of a parking permit is subject to a fine and may result in the placard being confiscated.
  • close Do not leave the placard hanging on your rearview mirror while driving.

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