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Posted 09/06/2023 in Placard vs. License Plates

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

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

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


When it comes to accessibility for individuals with disabilities, two common options are Handicap Placards and Handicap License Plates in North Carolina. Choosing between the two can be a crucial decision for those in need of these accommodations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences, benefits, and considerations associated with Handicap Placards and Handicap License Plates in North Carolina. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of which option is right for you or your loved one.

Understanding the Basics

Handicap Placard

Placards are temporary permits that can be hung from the rearview mirror of a vehicle. They are designed to provide accessibility to individuals with disabilities, allowing them to park in designated accessible parking spaces.

Handicap License Plates

On the other hand, License Plates are permanent license plates that are affixed to a vehicle. These plates indicate that the vehicle is operated or primarily used by an individual with a disability.

Advantages of Placards

Handicap Permits offer several advantages:

  1. Flexibility: Permits are transferable between vehicles, allowing individuals to use them in different cars.
  2. Temporary Solution: Ideal for short-term disabilities or medical conditions.
  3. Cost-Efficiency: Permits typically have lower fees compared to license plates.

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

Advantages of License Plates

  1. Permanence: License plates are a long-term solution for individuals with permanent disabilities.
  2. Convenience: No need to hang and remove a placard every time you park.
  3. Registration Renewal: License plates align with your vehicle's registration, making it a hassle-free option.

Which Option Is Right for You in North Carolina?

Choosing between a Placard and License Plates depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:

Medical Condition Duration

If your disability or medical condition is temporary, a Placard might be the better choice. It offers the flexibility to use it only when needed.

Permanent Disabilities

For individuals with permanent disabilities, License Plates provide a convenient and lasting solution.

Vehicle Ownership

Consider whether you own or primarily use a vehicle. License Plates are tied to the vehicle, so they are more suitable for those who own a car.

Cost Considerations

Evaluate the fees associated with each option. Handicap Placards often have lower initial costs, making them budget-friendly.

Accessibility Needs

Assess your daily accessibility needs. If you frequently visit places with accessible parking, License Plates might be more convenient.

Doctor's Recommendation

Consult with your healthcare provider for guidance on which option aligns best with your medical condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply for a Disability Permit or License Plate in North Carolina?

A: To apply, visit your local North Carolina DMV office or their website for detailed instructions and required documentation.

Q: Can I use my Disabled parking Permit or License Plate in other states?

A: Many states recognize out-of-state permits and plates, but it's essential to check the specific rules of the state you plan to visit.

Q: Are there any discounts or benefits associated with Disability Permits or License Plates?

A: Yes, both options may offer benefits such as reduced parking fees and exemptions from certain tolls. Check with your state's DMV for details.

Q: Can someone else use my Disability Permit or License Plate?

A: No, these accommodations are strictly for the individual with the disability named on the permit or plate.

Q: How often do I need to renew my Disability Permit or License Plate?

A: Placards typically require periodic renewal, while license plates align with your vehicle's registration renewal schedule.

Q: Can I switch from a Disability Permit to License Plates or vice versa?

A: Yes, you can make the switch if your circumstances change. Visit the DMV for the necessary updates.


The choice between a Handicap Placard and Handicap License Plates in North Carolina comes down to your unique needs, the duration of your disability, and your vehicle ownership. Both options exist to enhance accessibility and convenience for individuals with disabilities, ensuring they can access the services and spaces they need. Make an informed decision, consult with your healthcare provider, and take advantage of the accommodations available to you.