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Posted 08/31/2021

California Regulations for Obtaining a Handicap Parking Permit

California Regulations for Obtaining a Handicap Parking Permit

Explore the California Regulations for Obtaining a Handicap Parking Permit 

When you are disabled does not mean you do not get to go on living. You may be eligible to obtain a California DP or disabled person’s license plate or temporary disabled placard according to the rules & regulations.

When you do get them, you will be allowed to park in those parking spots reserved for handicapped people or in other locations regular drivers cannot park in. To get your California DP you just have to follow the state's DMVs rules and go through their process.

Medical content reviewed by Dr Eric Jackson-Scott MD, Chief Medical Officer

California Regulations for Obtaining a Handicap Parking Permit

Am I Eligible

That remains to be seen as not everyone with an illness may qualify. First, you need to be medically diagnosed with a disease or condition that limits your mobility. The next criterion is if you have unfortunately lost an arm or a leg, etc., or the full use of either limb.

A third requirement you have to meet is if you cannot get around and do your daily life activities without a device to help you. That device can be a cane, crutch, wheelchair, or having someone support you.

Finally, if you are experiencing vision trouble, you may qualify for a handicap parking placard. But your vision issues must qualify and be diagnosed by the accepted optometrist

In order to get the right disability permit, you need to be diagnosed either with a permanent disability or a temporary one, for example, a broken leg. If the latter is the case, then you will need to apply for a temporary DP parking permit.

The temporary permits are valid for up to 6 months or the date set by your doctor, whichever is shorter. The good news is that if you take longer to heal, you can renew this permit up to 6 times consecutively.

A permanent disability is a health issue that will last longer than 12 months. In that situation get the permanent disabled parking permit. The key to getting approval is to meet all eligibility requirements for the state of California.

The main requirement is that your illness or injury affects your mobility. This could be through circulatory, lung, heart diseases, and vision issues. For injury eligibility, you need to lose a limb or two or have them injured in such a way you need a device to get around.

If you are not sure if your ailment qualifies you check with a HandicapMD doctor. He or she will help you see if you are eligible or not.

Once You've Reviewed Rules & Regulations for California, Here's How to get a California handicap parking permit

The first step in this process is to get and fill out the application form called REG 195. It is a two-stage application where you and your doctor will have separate sections to complete and sign.

The medical professional who fills in the medical section can also be from one of the following groups-- surgeons, physician assistant, licensed physicians, certified nurses, midwives, and nurse practitioners.

If you have lost both hands or one or both legs, you will need to go to your nearest DMV office in person. This visit will exempt you from getting the doctor’s certification.

Fees associated with permits and placards

There are two fees involved in this process. if you are applying for a temporary permit, you will have to pay $6. If you are applying for a permanent handicap license, then there is no fee.

Although you do not need to pay a fee for the license plates, you do have to turn in your old plates. Just keep the old plates on your vehicle until the new ones arrive. Registration fees are not waived in this situation.

The REG 195 application form can be mailed in with your fee or brought in person to your nearest DMV office. if you are mailing the form in, send it to:

DMV Placard, P.O. Box 93245, Sacramento, CA, 94232-3450 or make an appointment at your local DMV office if you want to apply in person.

How long are permits valid

In California, the permanent license plates are valid for 2 years and they expire on the 30th of June in every odd-numbered year. The temporary permits are valid for 6 months or the date set by your doctor, whichever is shorter

If you like to travel and live in the state, you can get a travel parking placard which is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. A disabled person having either a DP license plate or placard is eligible to receive this permit.

If you are a non-resident of the state a travel placard is available and it is good for 90 days or the date set by your doctor, whichever is shorter.

Benefits of having a disability placard or plate

There are quite a few parking benefits when you decide to get your California DP permit. Your parking options expand greatly while giving you greater access to homes, businesses, and other locations. Here are some of those benefits:

  1. you can park in all blue handicapped parking spots or those spots marked with the blue wheelchair sign
  2. you can park next to the blue colored curb
  3. for a limited time, you can park at a green-colored curb
  4. parking on those streets with meter parking is free and unlimited in time
  5. those neighborhoods with signs restricting parking to residents only are available to you as well. Even if you are only visiting


In fact you can get a handicapped parking space in front of your house.  Unfortunately, the benefits are not unlimited and there are a few spaces where you cannot park. The crosshatched space next to the blue handicap spot is not a spot you can park in. Click here to explore how disabled persons can stay on the right side of the law easy.

Nor can you park at yellow, red, or white-colored curbs. These are loading and unloading zones and emergency use only. So watch the color of the curb to make sure you do not get your car towed away while you are out of the vehicle.

Renewing your California placard or permit

In California, you do not have to do anything if you have a permanent disability. The state DMV office will mail you a new placard. It will be sent to the address that they have on your DMV records.

If by chance you do move during this time, make sure to visit your local DMV office and fill out a DMV 14 application. That way you will get your new placard in the mail.

If by chance you lose your placard or it gets stolen you will need to fill out the REG 156 application form and mail it to: DMV Placard, P.O. Box 942869, Sacramento, CA, 94269-0001