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

To park in a handicapped parking spot in New York, you must have a disabled parking placard, license plate, or New York City parking permit.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Edited by Jessica Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
To park in a disabled parking space in
New York
, you must have disabled license plates or a placard displaying the International Symbol of Access (ISA). To park curbside on New York City streets, you must have a city parking permit.
  • New York drivers with permanent disabilities may qualify to get vehicle plates for reserved handicap parking from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Handicap parking permits are administered by local government agencies in New York.
  • You must complete an Application for a Parking Permit or License Plates for Persons with Severe Disabilities (form MV-664.1) with your healthcare provider to receive a parking permit or handicap license plates.
  • Some localities issue temporary permits, which last for up to 6 months.

How to get a disabled parking placard or plate in New York

To park in a disabled space in New York State, you’ll need one of the following: 
  • A blue plastic permanent disability hangtag: These tags are eligible for renewal every five years. 
  • A red plastic temporary disability hangtag: These tags expire after six months.
  • Disabled license plates: These are only valid for drivers with permanent disabilities. 
Both placards, as well as the plates, will display the International Symbol of Access (ISA). You may recognize this symbol as a blue square with a stick figure using a wheelchair, though “access” applies to many types of disabilities, not just wheelchair users. 
To get a disabled parking placard, you must do the following at a local DMV office:
Keep in mind: Permit holders will only receive a handicap vehicle plate if the vehicle is registered in their name.

Who’s eligible for a disabled parking placard in New York?

According to the
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 404A
, you are eligible for a disabled parking placard if you:
  • Have limited or no use in one or both legs
  • Are unable to walk 200 feet without resting
  • Have a neuromuscular dysfunction, arthritis, or a neurological or orthopedic condition that limits your mobility
  • Are legally blind
  • Use a portable oxygen machine
  • Have a mobility restriction due to lung disease
  • Have a Class III or IV cardiac condition, according to the American Heart Association 
Disabled parking placards are available to those with
short-term disabilities
as well as lifelong conditions. 
You may also apply for disabled license plates; however, keep in mind that these plates will only apply to your vehicle. If you apply for a parking placard, you’ll be able to move it from car to car.

How to apply for a handicap placard in New York

To apply for a disabled parking placard or license plate, you’ll need to be examined by a state-licensed medical professional. You may schedule an appointment with any of the following: 
  • Medical doctor
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Doctor of osteopathy
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
At the appointment, you and your medical professional will need to:
  1. Fill out an Application for a Disabled Parking Permit or License Plates, for Persons with Severe Disabilities 
  1. They must provide a medical statement on official letterhead. The statement must describe the disability and its severity, and verify that it qualifies for a permit or license plate, according to New York law. 
If you want to apply for a disability permit, you’ll bring your permit application form or statement to your local issuing agency (usually the city, county, or town clerk) for approval. There is no fee for the placard.
To apply for an NYC parking permit, you’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other proof of identity, as well as copies of all the vehicle registrations to be registered on the permit. You’ll mail your completed application and documents to:
NYC DOT Parking Permits and Customer Service
30-30 Thomson Avenue 2nd floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
If you want to apply for disability license plates, you’ll bring your completed application or statement to the
New York DMV
. You will also need to show proof of identity, pay the $28.75 fee, and surrender your old license plates if you have them.
If you live in or plan to visit New York City, you may apply for a
New York City Parking Permit for People with Disabilities
that will allow you to park at most curbsides on NYC streets. Keep in mind that these permits are only issued to those with severe permanent disabilities that require the use of a private car. 
Key Takeaway There is typically no fee for applying for a disability placard in New York or New York City, but disabled license plates typically cost $28.75.

Renewing a disabled parking placard

  • Renew a temporary disability placard after six months: Schedule another medical examination and reapply. 
  • Renew a permanent disability placard after five years: Contact the agency that issued your permit for specific instructions. The process for renewal varies across the state.
  • Renew your NYC parking permit: You should receive a renewal notice in the mail approximately six weeks before your permanent placard expires. Your permit should be renewed unless your condition necessitates another medical examination. If you do not receive a renewal notice in the mail, contact the
    New York City Department of Transportation
    (NYC DOT) at (718) 433-3100.

Guidelines for veterans with disabilities

If you’re a disabled veteran, you can apply for custom license plates. You’ll need:
  • Current license plates with the ISA symbol on them
  • A copy of DD-214 or Certification of Military Service (NA FORM 13038)
Mail the above documents, as well as a $28.75 payment, to:
Custom Plates Unit
P.O. Box 2775
Albany, NY  12220
You cannot order custom license plates online, over the phone, or in person.


Handicap placards are generally free in New York, while custom handicap license plates cost $28.75.
The process for renewing your handicap placards in New York varies across the state. If you want to renew a temporary tag, you’ll likely need to schedule another medical examination with your healthcare provider and reapply. You may have to do so in person.
If you want to renew a permanent tag after five years, contact your local issuing agency. Your placard should be renewed unless your condition requires another medical examination. The same goes for an NYC parking permit, and you should contact the
New York Department of Transportation
with questions.
In New York, a handicap parking permit and disabled placard are tied to the person and not a vehicle, so you can use your disabled parking permit or handicap placard in other cars as long as you are present in the car when it is being used.
The expiration date for a permanent handicap placard in New York is five years.
Yes, you can use a handicap placard from out of state in New York for marked handicap parking spaces, but you cannot use it for street parking.
When your vehicle is parked, the best place to hang your handicap placard/permit is from the inside rearview mirror. When your vehicle is not parked, you should remove it from your rearview mirror and keep it stowed for future use.
If your New York handicap placard/permit is lost or stolen, you should file a police report to ensure that no one else is illegally using your placard. Next, you can begin the application process to replace your placard or permit online or by mail.
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