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

Minnesota drivers must display their disability parking certificate placard from the rearview mirror when parked in an accessible spot.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Drivers must display their disability parking certificate from their rearview mirror to comply with Minnesota disability parking regulations. The certificate may only be used in vehicles in which the designated individual is present.
For individuals who need to drive, any disability—temporary or permanent—can present numerous obstacles. Fortunately, each state has its own legislation to help those with disabilities overcome some challenges, including the use of accessible parking spaces.
To utilize these spaces, you must have a disability parking certificate or license plate. About 10.9% of Minnesotans have a disability, although not everyone included in that percentage will qualify for a Minnesota handicap placard. Each state has different legislation surrounding the usage of accessible parking spaces, so familiarizing yourself with your home state's rules is critical if you don't want to be penalized.
Find out what qualifies you for a disability handicap certificate and how to apply for one with this guide.
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How to get a disabled parking placard or plate in Minnesota

In Minnesota, you can lawfully park in a disability parking space if you display one of the certificates listed below:
  • Temporary certificate—1 to 6 months validity
  • Short-term certificate—7 to 12 months validity
  • Long-term certificate—13 to 71 months validity
  • Permanent certificate—6-year validity
  • Disability license plate
All of the permits described above will bear the International Symbol of Access, which is universally recognized as a blue-and-white stick figure in a wheelchair. However, if you match one or more of the conditions listed below, not using a wheelchair will not impact your eligibility.

Who’s eligible for a disabled parking placard?

A licensed medical professional must assess and verify your mobility and condition before you can apply for a placard. You will typically be eligible if you have one or more of the following conditions:
  • A cardiac condition with severity rated Class III or Class IV
  • A portable oxygen tank requirement
  • Arterial oxygen tension of less than 60 mm/Hg on room air at rest
  • A respiratory disease where the forced expiratory volume is less than one liter per second
  • A lost arm or leg and do not have/cannot use an artificial limb
  • Cannot walk without the aid of another person, a walker, cane, crutches, etc.
  • Cannot walk 200 feet without aggravating a disability or stopping to rest
  • Cannot walk without a significant fall-risk
If you dislocated your knee while skating and must wait for it to recover before you can walk again, you have a temporary disability. You will be eligible for a temporary or short-term parking certificate.
On the other hand, a permanent disability is, for example, an asthmatic ailment that prevents you from walking more than 200 feet without rest. You can apply for a permanent certificate, which is valid for six years.
In addition to a placard, you could obtain a disabled parking license plate for your vehicle. It is, however, less adaptable since it can only be used on one vehicle. A disability parking certificate might be more useful if you were to drive or ride in multiple cars.

How to apply

It is quite straightforward to apply for a Minnesota handicap placard or license plate, but you must first obtain the
Application for Disability Parking Certificate
. Paying special attention to the details will help you avoid having your application rejected.
First, fill out the disabled individual section with identifying information. This includes your full name, mailing address, date of birth,
Minnesota driver’s license
number, date, and signature. You will also need to identify what you are applying for:
  • Two parking certificates
  • A second parking certificate
  • A replacement certificate
The healthcare professional must then fill in the medical statement section and sign it off. They will need to indicate:
  • The certificate type required
  • The disability that the applicant is experiencing
  • Whether the applicant is qualified to drive safely
To submit your completed application form, you can visit any Motor Vehicle Registrar’s office in person or send it by mail to the address below:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Driver and Vehicle Services Division
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 164
St. Paul
, MN 55101
You may be issued a temporary 90-day permit before your disability parking certificate is mailed to you. Applications for a permanent or long-term certificate are free of charge, whereas a temporary or short-term certificate will have a $5 fee

Renewing a disabled parking plate

Only permanent certificates are renewable without the signature of a healthcare professional. 
To renew your temporary, short-term, or long-term certificate, you will need to have your disability re-certified before a new placard will be issued. The healthcare provider will need to sign the medical statement and clearly state that it is an extension for a previously certified disability—if this is the case, there will be no additional fees.
Key Takeaway You need a healthcare provider to certify your disability before you can successfully apply for a disability parking certificate.

Guidelines for veterans with disabilities

For disabled veteran plates, Minnesota disabled veterans can fill out an
Application for Disability Plates
(PS2904-5), get certified by a healthcare provider, and submit it at the Deputy Registrar Office or mail the form and applicable fees and documents to:
Driver and Vehicle Services
445 Minnesota Street Suite 187
St. Paul, MN 55101
Key Takeaway The Minnesota Disabled Veteran license plate can be issued to Minnesota resident veterans after they submit an application for disability plates.
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No—to renew your disability parking certificate, you must go to the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Registrar's office in person or mail your application in.
There is no cost for a permanent or long-term certificate, but there is a $5 fee for the rest of the certificate types.
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