How to Get a Hawaii Handicap Placard (and Who’s Eligible)

Find out if you are someone you know are eligible for a handicap license plate or placard in Hawaii.
Written by John Pickhaver
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Going from place to place is difficult enough already. Throw in a disability, and it becomes even more challenging. Luckily, all states—including Hawaii—give handicap license plates placards to motorists who meet specific eligibility requirements. 
Operating a car with a disability comes with certain difficulties, even if it’s only a temporary condition. Due to this, states distribute placards and license plates that enable drivers with a disability to park in more accessible spaces. The laws related to these valuable placards differ state by state, so it’s imperative to know the regulations in the state that you reside. 
If you’re one of the 22% of Hawaiians with a disability, you may qualify for a disabled parking placard. To learn how to obtain one, review this helpful guide.
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How to get a disabled parking placard or plate in Hawaii

In order to park in a handicap spot in Hawaii, you must have one of three things: 
  • A disability access license plate (applies to drivers with long term disabilities)
  • A blue permanent disabled parking placard (can be renewed every 6 years)
  • A red temporary disabled parking placard (6 month expiration or less)
Each placard includes the International Symbol of Access (ISA), the blue-and-white stick figure in a wheelchair. Keep in mind, however, you don’t need to be wheelchair-bound to qualify for a disabled placard in Hawaii in the Aloha State.  

Who’s eligible for a disabled parking placard?

Should the below situations relate to you, then you satisfy the legal definition of disability in Hawaii:
  • You can’t walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
  • You have lung disease that severely restricts your breathing
  • You have limited mobility due to an arthritic, neurological, orthopedic, oncologic, renal, or vascular condition
Key Takeaway A licensed practicing physician must certify your impaired condition and eligibility requirements. Specifics in addition to the general eligibility guidelines include:
Let’s say you wipe out on your surfboard and collide hard with a gnarly reef. This could lead to a surgery where pins and screws are the only things keeping your ankle intact. Because this injury caused a temporary disability limiting your mobile function, you would be eligible for a red six-month disabled parking placard.
Regarding permanent disabilities, the situations may not be as clear-cut. Say your asthma makes it hard to get from one side of Safeway parking lot to the other. You may qualify for a permanent disabled parking placard
Moreover, you can consider applying for a license plate that allows disabled parking privileges. The main drawback there is that it’s only applicable to your car. Should you choose the placard, you can bring it with you in any vehicle. 
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How to apply

You must complete the
Person With A Disability Parking Permit Application
to get a disabled license plate or parking placard. 
If you are applying for a: 1) first-time application for a temporary (6 months or less) placard;
2) replacement of a lost, stolen, confiscated, or mutilated placard that is still valid, then complete side 1 only.
With your application you must submit: 
  • The completed PA-3 Form
  • A copy of your valid I.D.
  • A check for $12 payable to: City and County of Honolulu
If you are applying for a first-time long-term (6 years) placard, you must use Form PA-3.
Submit by mail or apply in person:
If submitting by mail for any of the above applications, send all documents to: 
Motor Vehicle Licensing & Permits
ATTN: Special Services Section
P.O. Box 30310
Honolulu, HI 96820
If submitting in person, bring all documents to the Satellite City Hall. 

Renewing a disabled parking placard

Long-Term Disability Access Plates and Placards can be renewed by self-completing the application with no fee.
Should this temporary disability exceed six months, you must complete a full application to obtain a new temporary pass. Should you need to renew a permanent placard, you simply need to fill out the first page of the form.

Guidelines for veterans with disabilities

In Hawaii, disabled veterans are eligible for Special Military Plates. To apply, you’ll need to provide discharge papers and verification from the Veterans Administration. The plates include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Combat Wounded
  • Purple Heart
  • Former Prisoner of War
  • Combat Veteran
However, you’ll still need to apply separately for a handicap parking permit.
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Unfortunately, the only ways to renew a disabled parking permit in Hawaii are by mail and in person at the Satellite City Hall.
Those with long-term disabilities can renew plates and placards at no cost, while temporary placards require a fee of $12, through the State of Hawaii Disability and Communication Access Board.
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