FAQ
Disability Parking
Who qualifies for a disability license plate or parking placard?

Individuals who are blind or who have a disability that restricts their ability to walk may qualify for a disability license plate or parking placard. Restrictions on walking are defined as:

  • The inability to walk more than 200 feet without having to stop and rest.
  • Use of a wheelchair, walker, crutch, brace or other ambulatory aid.
  • A lung disease with deterioration in expiratory volume. (See application.)
  • A cardiovascular condition. (See application.)
  • An arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition that severely limits the ability to walk.
  • Reliance on oxygen sources other than ordinary air.

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How do I obtain a disability license plate or parking placard?

Applications for the disability license plate or parking placard are available at any Secretary of State office or by clicking on the Disability Parking Placard Application and Disability License Plate Application links below.

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How long is a disability parking placard valid?

Permanent disability parking placards are valid for four years, expiring on the applicant's birthday. You must have a disability in which there is a medical expectation that it will not improve to be issued a permanent disability placard. Permanent placards may be renewed up to 45 days before their expiration date or up to six months early if the applicant will be out of state during the renewal period or has other good reason for renewing early. There is no renewal fee. A physician's statement is not required.

Temporary disability placards are valid from one to six months and are issued when there is a medical expectation that the disability will improve. If the medical condition has not improved when the placard expires, a new application, including your medical professional's authorization, must be submitted to get a new temporary placard.

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How do I renew a disability license plate or parking placard?

Renewing a disability license plate

Renewing a disability license plate is similar to renewing other types of plates.  Disability plates can be renewed at Secretary of State offices by the plate owner or someone living at the owner’s address, by mail, or on-line through ExpressSOS.  A doctor’s statement is not required with renewals.

Regular renewal fees apply.  Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance is required unless your plate renewal notice shows a PIN indicating your insurance company has reported your vehicle as being insured.

If the person who qualified for the disability plate is no longer living, the disability plate must be replaced at time of renewal with a standard plate.

Additional information about disability plates can be found on this page.
 

Renewing a permanent disability parking placard

A permanent disability parking placard may be renewed up to 45 days before the expiration date. Renewals may be processed at any Secretary of State office with same-day service.

Other convenient options are offered for renewing a permanent disability parking placard with the new placard being issued by mail; renew by submitting a request by e-mail to the soswebmaster@michigan.gov, by telephone at 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424), or by mail to:

Michigan Department of State
PO Box 30764
Lansing MI 48909-8264

Please make sure to include your expiring permit number and your name, address and a daytime phone number with your renewal request.

Temporary disability parking placard

Temporary disability parking placards cannot be renewed. A new application is required if the medical condition has not improved.

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How do I replace a lost or stolen disability parking placard?

A lost or stolen disability placard can be replaced at any Secretary of State office for $10. You will be asked to show identification. Branch offices accept cash, checks, money orders, Discover, MasterCard and Visa debit or credit cards at the counter.

Or, you may submit your request and $10 fee by fax to 517-322-1063 or by letter to:

Michigan Department of State
The Special Services Branch
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918

Your request should include your daytime telephone number. 

If faxing your request, pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover - be sure to include your credit card number and expiration date.

If mailing your request, pay by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Make checks or money orders payable to State of Michigan. Be sure to include your credit card number and expiration date if paying by credit card.

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How do I obtain a free-parking sticker?

To obtain a free-parking sticker, you must have your physician, chiropractor, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant complete part 3 of the parking placard application form. You must have a disability placard with a yellow free-parking sticker on it to park free. A disability license plate does not authorize free parking. Privately owned parking lots and garages are not obligated to provide free parking.

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Who qualifies for a free-parking sticker?

To qualify for a free-parking sticker, you must have a valid Michigan driver's license and be unable to do one or more of the following:

  • Insert coins or tokens in a parking meter or accept a ticket from a parking lot machine due to a lack of fine motor control of both hands.
  • Reach above your head to a height of 42 inches from the ground, due to lack of finger, hand or upper extremity strength or mobility.
  • Approach a parking meter due to the use of a wheelchair or other ambulatory device.
  • Walk more than 20 feet due to an orthopedic, cardiovascular or lung condition in which the degree of debilitation is so severe that it almost completely impedes your ability to walk.

Please note that privately owned parking lots and garages are not required to provide free parking.
 
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Can I have more than one disability parking placard at the same time?

Michigan law allows only one parking placard to be issued to a person. However, you may use your placard in any vehicle that you are driving or that is transporting you.

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Can I have both a disability license plate and parking placard?

Yes, you can have a disability license plate and a parking placard at the same time. The placard may be used during those times when you are traveling in a vehicle without a disability license plate.

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Is my disability license plate or parking placard honored in other states?

All states and some foreign countries honor Michigan's disability license plates and placards for using a disability parking space. However, some jurisdictions may not allow free parking even with the Michigan free-parking sticker. Contact the law enforcement agency of the community you will be visiting to find out if there are any special disability parking ordinances.

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