Medical Affairs

Who is eligible for Disabled Parking?

Anyone who is legally blind or whose medical professional provides a clinical diagnosis and certifies that the person cannot walk 200 feet without rest or use of an ambulatory aide.

How do I apply for Disabled Parking?

Complete the Application for Disabled Parking - This application is also available at all Service Center locations and at the Medical Affairs office, Haymarket Branch, 136 Blackstone Street, Boston, MA. All Disabled parking applications are processed at the Medical Affairs office in Boston. Walk-ins are welcome Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9am to 5pm and on Thursday from 10am to 5pm.

  • The application must be completed with the disabled person's personal information.
  • The medical information must be completed and certified by your medical professional.

Mailing Address:

Medical Affairs
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889

Is there anything else I may need to do to get my placard?

If your application is completed properly and you qualify for the placard then the placard will be mailed to you. If there is missing or unclear information, then you will receive a form entitled, "Request for Additional Information" which needs to be completed by your medical professional and re-submitted to Medical Affairs.

Massachusetts's law requires the person's picture be displayed on the placard. If your digital picture is not stored with the RMV, then you will receive an Approval Notice, which contains instructions for you to have your picture taken by the RMV. Bring this letter and four forms of positive ID to your local Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) branch office, where they will take your picture. The computer is flagged so that your placard will print in Boston the next business morning. It will then be laminated and mailed to you.

Who is considered a medical professional?

For purposes of certifying the Disabled Parking application, a medical professional is defined as a Medical Doctor, Optometrist, Chiropractor, Podiatrist, Registered Nurse or Physician Assistant who is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

How long does the application process take?

Please allow at least 30 days from date of receipt for your mailed-in application to be processed. Medical Affairs will process walk-in applications the same day.

How long is my disabled placard valid?

Massachusetts's law allows disabled placards to be issued for both temporary and permanent conditions. Temporary placards are issued for periods of 2 to 24 months, depending on the duration certified by your medical professional. Persons with temporary placards must have their medical professional request an extension or permanence via the Disabled Placard application. Placards issued for permanent conditions are valid for 5 years and will be automatically renewed after address verification.

Where can I use my Disabled Placard?

In Massachusetts: You may use your Disabled Placard in any parking space designated as HP parking. Other parking ordinances may be in effect, so obey all designated parking rules. For instance, if a sign says, "Residential Parking Only," then you must also have the proper residence parking authority. Massachusetts's law also allows vehicles with proper Disabled Parking authority to disregard most - but not all - public meter fees. Note, however, Massachusetts Port Authority does not exempt meters fees for Disabled Parking.

Do not park in a cross-hatch area (Zebra Stripe) adjacent to an HP space. This area is reserved for van ramp access.

In the U.S. and Canada: All U.S. States and Canada recognize the Massachusetts Disabled Placard as an authorized document for HP parking. However, New York City does not recognize Disabled Placards issued by any other authority other than the City of New York.

Who can use my Disabled Placard?

The placard is for the disabled person's benefit only and only for the times that person is a) in the vehicle or b) being dropped off or picked up. Do Not let anyone else use your disabled placard parking privileges. If you abuse your disabled placard, or if you allow someone else to do so, one or both of you may be fined $500 - $1,000, face a 30-day license suspension, AND lose the disabled parking privileges.

How can I get an HP sign in front of my house?

The RMV does not designate HP parking spaces. You must inquire with your local City or Town office. Many cities have Disability Commissions which can assist you with this.

Will applying for Disabled Parking affect my driver's license status?

It may! The RMV is committed to the safety of the public. There are a few conditions that automatically disqualify a person from holding a driver's license. They are: 1) Legal blindness; 2) Class IV heart disease as defined by the American Heart Association; and 3) Oxygen Saturation Rate of 88% or less at rest or with minimal exertion. For all other conditions, the RMV relies on the medical professional who completes your application to comment on your medical or physical ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The medical professional may advise the RMV that you should take a Competency Road Test; if so, Medical Affairs will contact you.

What is the white plastic covering seen on the placard?

A white Security Sleeve is issued with each placard. The Security Sleeve is designed to fit over your picture on the placard if you wish to conceal your photo and/or your name. You are not required to use the sleeve. It is your choice. The sleeve is removable and you must remove it if requested to do so by law enforcement. To use the sleeve:

  • Place Placard between thumb and index finger;
  • Gently squeeze Placard so that the bottom end slightly curls;
  • Slip sleeve over the end of the Placard and wiggle it up to cover picture and name.

Can I have an HP plate and a Disabled Placard?

Yes, the RMV is phasing out the HP plate because it is considerably less convenient than the Disabled Placard for most individuals. However, if you have an HP plate and need disabled parking while your vehicle is not available (e.g., when you are using a rental car), then a Temporary Placard can be issued. Temporary is defined as 2 - 24 months. You will need to request the Temporary Placard from Medical Affairs in writing with the reason for the request. You may send a letter which includes your Name, Date of Birth and Current Address. Social Security Number is preferred but not required for the request. Or you may download and complete the Application for Disabled Parking

Is there an HP motorcycle plate available in Massachusetts?

Yes, you must apply as you would for the Disabled Placard. Simply check that you are requesting the HP Motorcycle plate on the application. If you have already been approved for Permanent Disabled parking, then you may request the plate in writing without further medical information. Please note: HP plates are only issued to persons with a permanent disability as certified by your medical professional.

How do I get a Disabled Veteran Plate?

The Disabled Veteran Plate is available for disabled veterans whose service-connected disability otherwise qualifies them for disabled parking and is at least 60% service-connected as certified by the Veterans Administration. An applicant must complete the Application for Disabled Parking and submit the DV Plate letter issued by the Veterans Administration showing that the disability that qualifies the applicant for disabled parking is, at least, 60% service-connected. Applications should be submitted to the Medical Affairs Branch

Medical Affairs
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205

What benefits are associated with the Disabled Veteran (DV) Plate?

Individuals who apply and qualify for a DV Plate are eligible:

  • to obtain a Driver's License for no fee,
  • to register the DV plate for no fee,
  • to pay no Sales Tax on the vehicle registered to the DV Plate holder if the vehicle was purchased on or after November 1, 2006 for non-commercial purposes, and
  • for an Excise Tax exemption on the vehicle described above.

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