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Posted 08/29/2023 in Placard vs. License Plates

Handicap Placard vs. Handicap License Plates: Which is Right for You in Arkansas?

Handicap Placard vs. Handicap License Plates: Which is Right for You in Arkansas?

Handicap Placard vs. Handicap License Plates: Which is Right for You in Arkansas?


Individuals with disabilities have the option to obtain either a handicap placard or handicap license plates in Arkansas to assist them in parking and accessing various facilities. The choice between a placard and license plates depends on individual needs and preferences. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison between the two options to help individuals make an informed decision. Whether you're seeking convenience, flexibility, or preferential parking privileges, read on to discover which option is right for you in Arkansas.

Handicap Placard: Mobility and Convenience

Handicap placards are portable permits that are hung from the rearview mirror of a vehicle. They are designed to provide individuals with disabilities the convenience of parking in designated accessible spaces. Here are some key points to consider when deciding if a handicap permit is the right choice for you:

Easy Application Process

Obtaining a disability placard in AR is a relatively straightforward process. To qualify, you must provide documentation of your disability from a licensed healthcare professional. The application can be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, and upon approval, you will receive your placard.

Handicap Placard vs. Handicap License Plates: Which is Right for You in Arkansas?

Temporary or Permanent Placard Options

AR offers both temporary and permanent permits. Temporary placards are issued for a specified period, typically six months, and are ideal for individuals with short-term mobility challenges. Permanent placards are valid for up to four years and are suitable for individuals with long-term disabilities.

Portability and Flexibility

One of the main advantages of a disability permit is its portability. You can easily transfer the placard from one vehicle to another, allowing you to utilize accessible parking spaces regardless of the vehicle you are driving. This flexibility is particularly beneficial if you frequently use different vehicles or rely on rental cars.

Preferred Parking Access

With a handicap placard, you gain access to designated accessible parking spaces located close to entrances, ensuring ease of access and minimizing the distance you need to travel. These parking spaces are wider, making it easier to enter and exit the vehicle, especially for individuals with mobility aids or assistive devices.

Handicap License Plates: Personalized and Permanent

License plates, on the other hand, are an alternative option for individuals with disabilities in AR. Unlike placards, license plates are permanently affixed to the vehicle and offer a range of benefits. Here's what you need to know about license plates:

Application Process and Vehicle Registration

To obtain disability license plates in AR, you must follow a similar application process as the disability permit. You need to provide the required documentation from a licensed healthcare professional to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Once approved, you can replace your standard license plates with the license plates during the vehicle registration process.

Personalization and Long-Term Use

Disabled parking plates provide a permanent solution for individuals with disabilities. They offer the opportunity to personalize your vehicle with a specific combination of letters and numbers on the license plate, making it easily identifiable. Additionally, since the license plates are permanently affixed to your vehicle, there's no need to worry about transferring a placard between different vehicles.

Exclusive Parking Privileges

One significant advantage of license plates is the exclusive parking privileges they provide. In addition to accessible parking spaces, vehicles with these license plates can park in reserved spaces close to building entrances, including those labeled "Handicap Only." This perk can be particularly valuable in high-traffic areas where accessible parking may be limited.

Enhanced Accessibility Compliance

License plates also serve as a visible indicator to law enforcement and parking attendants that the vehicle belongs to an individual with a disability. This helps ensure that you receive the necessary accommodations and accessibility support when parking in public areas. The license plates act as a form of identification and demonstrate your eligibility for preferential parking privileges.

Handicap Placard vs. Handicap License Plates: FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about placards and license plates, along with their corresponding answers:

  1. Q: Can I have both a disability sign and license plates in AR? 

  2. A: No, AR law only allows individuals to have either a sign or license plates, not both simultaneously.

  3. Q: Can I use a disability sign or license plates in any state? 

  4. A: Disability signs and license plates are recognized across all states in the United States, allowing individuals to utilize accessible parking privileges nationwide.

  5. Q: Are there any fees associated with obtaining a disability sign or license plates? 

  6. A: AR does not charge a fee for the initial issuance of either a placard or license plates. However, there may be a fee for replacement or renewal.

  7. Q: Can I lend my disability sign or license plates to someone else? 

  8. A: No, it is against the law to lend your disability sign or license plates to someone else. These permits are issued specifically to the individual with the disability.

  9. Q: How do I renew my disability sign or license plates in AR? 

  10. A: Handicap placards in Arkansas can be renewed by submitting a new application and medical certification to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. License plates are automatically renewed during the vehicle registration process.

  11. Q: Can I use my disability sign or license plates in a rental car? 

  12. A: Yes, your disability sign is portable and can be used in a rental car. However, license plates are specific to the registered vehicle and cannot be transferred to a rental car.


Choosing between a handicap placard and handicap license plates in Arkansas depends on your specific needs and preferences. Placards offer mobility, convenience, and portability, making them a suitable choice for individuals who frequently use different vehicles. On the other hand, license plates provide long-term solutions, personalized options, and exclusive parking privileges. Consider your lifestyle, mobility requirements, and preferences to make an informed decision that best suits your needs. Remember, both options are designed to enhance accessibility and provide individuals with disabilities the necessary parking accommodations.