Defining a Disability Plate, Placard or Disability Veteran Plate
Disability Plates are issued to qualified Massachusetts residents who are primary owners of a registered passenger vehicle or a motorcycle. A holder of a passenger vehicle Disability Plate may be entitled to a Temporary Disabled Placard. A person must demonstrate "good cause" or need for the placard in writing to the Medical Affairs. "Good cause" is interpreted as a valid reason why the plate cannot be used and duration of the need.
Disability Placards are issued to qualified Massachusetts residents on a temporary or permanent basis. A person may be issued only one valid placard at a time.
Disability Veteran Plates are issued only to qualified Massachusetts resident veterans who meet the same qualifications as those applying for a disability plate. This claim must be supported by a statement of disability from the Veteran's Administration. The DV Plate letter must list impairments which otherwise qualify for disabled parking that total a combined service-connected disability rating of at least 60%. These plates are issued only to persons who have a passenger vehicle registered in their name.
The fee for a Disability Passenger Plate is the standard registration fee of $60.00 for a two (2) year registration.
The fee for a Disability Motorcycle Plate is the standard motorcycle registration fee of $20.00 for a one (1) year registration.
All fees must be paid through the Registration Department. No fees are collected at the Medical Affairs Branch. There is no fee for a Placard or Disability Veteran Plate.
Please allow at least 30 days for review and processing of your application.
There is one application for Disability Passenger or Motorcycle Plates, Placards and Disability Veteran Plates - These applications are also available by calling the Contact Center and at all Service Centers
Both the applicant and a Massachusetts registered and licensed physician, chiropractor or nurse practitioner must complete and sign the application.
If applying for Disability Veteran Plates, the application must be accompanied by a DV plate letter from the Veteran's Administration.
Take the completed form and supporting documents to the nearest Service Center or mail to:
Attn: Medical Affairs Branch
Registry of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889
Note: On 8/24/15, the Medical Affairs Branch will move from 25 Newport Ave., Quincy to its new location at Haymarket Center, 136 Blackstone St., Boston. The mailing address will remain the same.
To obtain Disability Plates, a Placard or a Disability Veteran Plate you must be a Massachusetts resident. In addition, a Massachusetts registered and licensed physician, chiropractor or nurse practitioner must certify that you meet one of the following conditions:
- Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
- Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid or other assistive device.
- Are restricted by lung disease to such a degree that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one (1) liter.
- Use portable oxygen.
- Have a Class III cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
- Have a Class IV cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association. A customer in this condition must surrender his or her license.
- Have Class III or Class IV functional arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
- Have Stage III or Stage IV anatomic arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
- Have been declared legally blind (please attach copy of certification). A customer in this classification must surrender his or her license.
- Have lost one or more limbs or permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.
To be eligible for a Temporary Placard, the medical professional must certify that the disability is predicted to last at least two (2) months.
Converting Disability Plates to a Placard
You may convert or transfer your existing Disability Passenger Plate to a Placard. To complete this:
- Submit a written request for a transfer to the address above. State your current Disability Passenger Plate number and enclose a photocopy of the vehicle registration.
When the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) processes your written request, instructions for completing the transaction will be sent to you. Please make sure we have your correct mailing address on file or enclose the correct address with your request.
Applying for a Duplicate Placard
If your current Placard has been lost or mutilated, you may apply for a duplicate or replacement.
- Submit a written request to the address above stating why the Duplicate/Replacement Placard is needed.
- Include your name, address, social security number, date of birth and the Placard number or date the Placard was first issued. Your request must be signed and dated. All Placard holders must be photo-imaged on our computer system.
Misuse of a Disability Placard or Plate
The use of a Disability Placard, or the special privileges associated with a Disability Plate, is restricted to the person to whom the Placard or Plate is issued.
Misuse of a Disability Placard or Plate may result in suspension or revocation of the Placard or Plate. In addition, the Registrar shall suspend for 30 days the license or right to operate of a person who misuses a Disability Placard or Plate. Anyone who wrongfully displays a Disability Placard is subject to a fine of $500 to $1000.
Policy Statement for Issuance of Disabled Plates and Placards
The Registry shall only issue disabled plates and placards to residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Rationale: Non-residents can obtain disabled plates and placards from their own state (s) and Massachusetts cities and towns will honor these out-of-state disabled plates and placards. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40 Section 22
This means that, by default, applicants for disabled plates and placards must have a Massachusetts operator's license (if licensed to drive a motor vehicle).
Renewing a Placard
Placards issued for a period of (5) five years are considered to have a permanent status for disabled parking. Placard holders with a permanent status will receive a renewed placard, at the mailing address on record, approximately one month prior to the expiration of their current placard. Please be aware that you should begin using the new placard IMMEDIATELY. The former placard will be invalidated and its continued use is cause for citation.
Placards issued for a period of (2) two to (24) twenty-four months are considered to be temporary and will require certification from your medical professional that the parking benefit needs to be extended or made permanent. A person may use our Application for Disabled Parking or may send a doctor's request (recently dated and written on the doctor's professional letterhead). The Doctor must include:
- Clinical diagnosis;
- Duration disabled parking is needed; and
- A statement whether the person:
- is medically qualified to operate a motor vehicle safely;
- should be evaluated by the Registry via a Road Competency Exam; or
- is not medically qualified to operate a motor vehicle safely.