There are special disability parking placards and disabled license plates offered by PennDOT to those that have qualified and mobility impairing disabilities, and for those who are qualified disabled veterans.
These items are offered to ensure that the parking spots designated for handicapped drivers and passengers are able to be utilized by these drivers and passengers, who need more help when it comes to reaching the public buildings they are accessing. In order to use these plates and placards for disabled drivers, the disabled party must be present within the vehicle whether behind the wheel or in the passenger seat. Those who use these privileges unlawfully will receive a ticket and a fine.
Disabled Placard/Plate Eligibility Requirements
There are requirements in place to make sure that only those with disabilities that warrant such accommodations are accessing these special privileges. Not all disabilities will qualify, and you are only able to obtain these items if one or more of the following applies to you:
- Legal blindness as certified by licensed eye doctor.
- Incomplete use of legs and arms.
- Inability to walk over 200 feet without the need to stop or rest, or needing aide.
- Inability to walk without assistance from a walking aide device (crutch, cane, brace, wheelchair, prosthetic limb, or help of another person).
- Limitations due to lung disease.
- Need for portable oxygen at all times.
- Class III or IV cardiac condition defined by AHA.
- Hindered walking due to severe arthritic, orthopedic, and/or neurological conditions.
- Direct care of another person who also has one of the listed disabilities.
If you are seeking a disabled veteran plate or placard, you will be required to have an injury that is related to active service, which must also be verified by U.S. Veteran’s Administration or armed forces unit where you served.
Disability Tags or Placard?
There is a difference between the disabled plates and placards, as the plates are permanent while the placard is only temporary. The placard is removable and must be affixed to the window, allowing you to change from vehicle to vehicle. However with the disability plates, you are only able to use with the vehicle registered and plated.
Apply for Disability Plates or Placards in PA
When you have verified that your condition qualifies for the special disability privileges offered by PennDOT, you will be able to apply – which is not much of a hassle at all.
- Complete and submit form MV-145A, Persons with Disabilities Parking Placard Application which is available online for your placard, or MV-145, which is also available online at Application for person with a disability Or hearing Impaired Registration Plate or a Person with a Disability Motorcycle Plate.
- Attach check or money order for fee of $7.50.
- Send by mail to:
Department of Transportation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68268
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8268
Remember to read your application very carefully, as your signature is required and your case may require that you also receive a notarized statement confirming your disability.
Once the application is processed, you will receive a plastic disability placard, or a metal disability license plate, which is mailed to your address on file with PennDOT so be sure it is correct.
Disabled Parking Placard Replacement
If you ever happen to misplace your parking placard, you can simply recomplete the form MV-145A for your replacement request. If you find the placard while waiting on your application to be processed, you must surrender it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
If you hold a temporary disability parking placard, you are not able to renew it. Instead you will have to obtain a new one starting the process all over again. However, if your placard is permanent, you will renew only in March and September, with notification of the expiration of the placard mailed to you 60 days prior to expiration.
Complete the form MV-145A, following directions provided in order to retrieve a renewal if you don’t receive your notice.
If you are a disabled driver in Pennsylvania, your placard is valid for use in all states of the U.S. That gives you a break when it comes to preparing for your trip as you don’t have to go about getting a traveler’s placard. This same rule goes for out-of-state disabled travelers in PA as well.