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

Drivers must display a disabled license plate or placard to use a disabled parking space in West Virginia.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
background
Per handicap placard regulations in West Virginia, using a disabled parking space requires a disabled placard or license plate.
Whether you’re dealing with a temporary injury or a permanent condition, driving presents unique challenges for anyone dealing with a disability. Every state has designated accessible parking spots—but before you can park in one legally in West Virginia, you’ll need to check whether you meet the requirements to apply for a disabled placard or license plate.
If you’re one of the 20.5% of West Virginia residents living with a disability, read on to find out how to get a West Virginia handicap placard.
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How to get a disabled parking placard or plates in West Virginia

In order to park in a disabled space in West Virginia, you’ll need one of the following: 
  • A temporary disabled parking placard (expires in 6 months or less)
  • A permanent disabled parking placard (must be renewed every 5 years)
  • Disabled license plates (special plates available for veterans with permanent disabilities)
You’re probably familiar with the little white stick figure in a wheelchair known as the International Symbol of Access. While this symbol is displayed on all disabled parking permits in West Virginia, you can get a disabled placard or license plate even if you don’t need a wheelchair. 
A number of temporary and long-term conditions qualify for disabled parking in the Mountain State. Several are listed below.

Who’s eligible for a disabled parking placard?

According to the state of West Virginia, you meet the legal definition of disabled if a physician, chiropractor, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant determines that you:
  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
  • Cannot walk without the use of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic, wheelchair, or another assistive device
  • Cannot walk without assistance from another person
  • Have a medical condition that limits your ability to move or requires the use of portable oxygen
Let’s say you took a bad fall while skiing at Snowshoe Mountain, and now you’re trying to get around with a broken leg. Because a broken leg qualifies as a temporary disability, you should qualify for a six-month temporary disabled parking placard, that’ll give you access to handicap parking spots while you recover.
On the other hand, if you have a permanent disability like a life-long heart condition or severe arthritis that makes trekking across large parking lots a major struggle, you can apply for a permanent disabled parking placard instead. 
And former members of the U.S. Armed Forces have the option of applying for special disabled veteran license plates.

How to apply

No matter which type of disabled parking permit you apply for, the first thing you need to do is fill out West Virginia’s
Parking Application for a Mobility Impaired Person
. Completing the form is fairly straightforward, but there are a few important steps you’ll need to follow.
First, you’ll need to fill out the fields asking for identifying information, including your Social Security number, name, birth date, and address. You can then select whether you’re applying for a mobility impaired placard or a mobility impaired plate.
Next, you’ll need to provide some information about your car, such as its make and model, license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN). You’ll also need to include the name of your
car insurance
company and your policy number. 
Finally, the “Patient Condition and Physician’s Certification” section of the form must be completed by a medical professional who is licensed in the state of West Virginia. To make the application official, your doctor will provide their medical license number and certify that you meet West Virginia’s legal definition of disabled. 
You can return the completed form to the DMV in person or mail it to: 
Division of Motor Vehicles
Mobility Impaired Placard and Plates
PO Box 17010
Charleston, WV 25317 
All temporary and permanent disabled placards are free in West Virginia.

Renewing a disabled parking permit

After six months, if you still need your temporary disabled parking placard, you’ll need to re-apply for the placard by filling out the same application again, and your doctor will need to recertify your disability.
If you have a permanent disabled parking placard or license plates, the DMV will send you a renewal form in the mail every five years, about 30 days before your placard or plates expire. All you need to do is fill out the form and return it to the DMV in person or by mail. Your doctor does not need to recertify your disability.
Key Takeaway If you want to apply for a disabled parking placard in West Virginia, a licensed medical professional must certify that you have a qualifying mobility issue. 

How to get disabled veteran license plates in West Virginia

Military veterans with a service-related disability can apply for special disabled veteran license plates by filling out the Department of Transportation’s
Application for Disabled American Veterans License Plate
. You’ll need to have a medical professional from the Disabled American Veterans Department of West Virginia sign the form to certify your disability.
West Virginia offers several disabled veterans' license plates that cost between $40 and $65, depending on which one you choose. You will need to pay $51.50 per year to renew disabled veteran license plates in West Virginia.

How to find savings on car insurance in West Virginia

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FAQs

When it’s time to renew your disabled parking permit in West Virginia, the DMV will send you a renewal form in the mail—you’ll need to fill out the form and return it to the DMV in person or by mail.
Temporary and permanent disabled parking placards are free of charge in West Virginia.
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