Maryland Motorists with Disabilities
Everything You Need to Know:
Maryland citizens with disabilities are eligible for parking accommodations:
Drivers with disabilities who qualify for special parking placards and registration plates have several accommodations available to them:
You’re exempt from paying parking meter fees in Maryland if the parking meters do not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and can park for up to twice the maximum allowable time shown on the meter (not to exceed four hours). Please note: Areas outside of Maryland, including the District of Columbia, have different parking meter exemption laws. Please check with their local government to obtain parking meter exemption information.
Maryland’s registration plates and placards for individuals with disabilities display the wheelchair symbol and are recognized nationwide.
Note: The American's with Disabilities Act does not prevent payment of parking meter fees by an individual with a disability. Therefore, you should verify requirements of feeding parking meters and the time limit allowed in the jurisdiction you are visiting.
Some disability spaces are marked "van accessible." These spaces are designed with extra wide access aisles (eight feet wide) to accommodate vans with lifts and minivans with ramps, which require more space. Drivers with a disability placard or plate who do not have these special vehicles, should park in regular disability spaces first and only park in van accessible spaces if all other disability spaces are filled.
Yes, all States must recognize removable disability placards, temporary disability placards and special license plates which have been issued by authorities of other states for the purpose of identifying vehicle(s) permitted to utilize parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities. Although States must recognize disability placards, temporary disability placards and special license plates to utilize parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities, you may not be entitled to free-metered parking.
Accommodations for motorists with disabilities do not apply to zones where stopping, standing, or parking is prohibited to all vehicles, and spaces which are reserved for special types of vehicles.
Accommodations are not available where there is a local ordinance prohibiting any parking during heavy traffic periods such as morning, afternoon or evening rush hours, or where parking is clearly a traffic hazard or; in Baltimore City, where there is a local ordinance that restricts parking for vehicles that do not display a specified residential parking permit.
Always check specific posted signs before you park, since you cannot disregard zones prohibiting all vehicles.
An individual with a disability may apply for:
- One placard
- One regular disability plate
- One placard and one regular disability plate
- Two placards.
In addition, up to two motorcycle disability plates can be requested with any combination listed above.
Placards are designed to easily move from one vehicle to another, whether it's a vehicle you own personally or a vehicle you're riding in that is owned by another.
- Has lung disease to such an extent that forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or arterial oxygen tension (pO2) is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
- Has cardiovascular disease limitations classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
- Is unable to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
- Is unable to walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, or other assistance device.
- Requires a wheelchair for mobility.
- Has lost an arm, hand, foot, or leg. See Note (D) “Certification Under Maryland Law.”
- Has lost the use of an arm, hand, foot, or leg.
- Has a permanent disability that adversely impacts the ambulatory ability of the applicant and which is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to a risk or injury if the privileges accorded a person from whom a vehicle is specially registered were denied.
- Has a permanent impairment of both eyes so that: 1) The central vision acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or 2) There is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye. See Note (C) “Certification Under Maryland Law”.
- Temporary Placard (red)
Disability is not permanent but would substantially impair the person’s mobility or limit or impair the person’s ability to walk for at least three weeks, and is so severe that the person would endure a hardship or be subject to risk of injury if the Temporary Placard were denied.
Maryland Law specifies that only licensed physicians, physician assistant, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, or physical therapists can certify to the particular conditions listed. You, your dependent, or any person who depends on you for transportation may be certified as having a disability under the ten conditions listed.
- A licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner may certify all qualifying conditions listed.
- A licensed chiropractor, licensed podiatrist or licensed physical therapist may certify disability codes (3 through 8 and 10).
- A licensed optometrist may certify only qualifying conditions regarding vision.
- The person with the disability may self-certify the conditions listed under disability code 6, by appearing in person with proper identification. In this situation, only the disabled person’s name and this disability code must be recorded. If, however, a doctor certified the loss of a limb, the doctor must complete all of Section C.
If you have a temporary disability that’s expected to last at least three weeks, you may apply for a temporary parking placard. It must be certified by a licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist. This placard may be valid for up to six months.
There is not a fee for the placard(s). A request for a disability plate requires the assessment of a substitute/replacement tag fee. Please submit your completed application along with the appropriate $20.00 fee. If requesting a disability plate and its time to renew your vehicle registration, the registration renewal fee is also required.
- Request an application for “Maryland Parking Placards/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability” – form number VR-210 – by calling the MVA at any of the numbers listed below, visiting your local MVA full-service and express office (for placards only) location, or downloading it from the MVA web site.
- Call MVA’s Fax on Demand System at 410-424-3050 and request Catalogue #15
- Call MVA’s Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000
- Call MVA's Customer Service Center from out-of-state at 1-301-729-4550
- TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-800-492-4575
- Visit any MVA branch office (excluding Oakland)
- Complete all applicable sections of the form. Be sure to identify whether you are applying for a placard by checking the appropriate box at the top. The individual with the disability must sign and date the application. If requesting a plate, complete Section D of the application. A disability plate may only be issued to vehicle(s) titled in the name of the individual with a disability or to a vehicle that has been leased to an individual with a disability.
- Have your doctor complete the Disability Certification Information section of the application. This section does not have to be completed if you are self-certifying. A physician may fax the completed document directly to the Maryland MVA for a disability placard to be mailed or handed to a customer.
- Mail the completed form along with the appropriate fees (do not mail cash) to the MVA, Disability Unit, Room 202, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 21062 or visit your local MVA office (except Oakland) to receive your placard in person. If you are requesting the placard to be mailed, your doctor’s office may fax your certified application to 410 787-7840. Please note that an MVA office will accept a fax of the certified doctor’s application if it is faxed directly to a Motor Vehicle Administration office but may not accept a photocopy or faxed copy of a certified application if faxed to the individual and not the MVA.
- Only full service MVA office locations issue disability plates.
- Report the lost/stolen placard or plate to the local law enforcement agency.
- Obtain the police report number from the local law enforcement agency.
- Fill out the application for “Maryland Parking Placards/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability” – form number VR-210. Include the police report number and the reporting jurisdiction. Visit your local MVA full-service to receive your substitute placard or plate, at any express office (except Oakland) for replacement placards, in person or mail the completed form along with the appropriate fees to the MVA, Disability Unit, Room 202, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 21062. Do not mail cash. Note: The Oakland office does not issue placards.
Permanent disability placards do not contain an expiration date. The placards displays “PERMANENT” and are valid until the death of the disabled individual for whom the placard was issued. The temporary placard may be valid for anywhere from three weeks up to six months. Registration stickers must be applied to plates every two years.
Placards must be hung on the inside rearview mirror. If the vehicle does not have an inside mirror, or the inside mirror is not visible from the rear, you may display the placard on top of the dashboard on the driver’s side. Please make sure the placard side displayed shows the expiration date of the disability placard.
Note: You must remove all hanging placards from the rearview mirror while your vehicle is in motion.
You must always have your copy of the medical certification in your possession whenever you use the placard or plates. This certification must be presented to law enforcement upon request.
To discourage theft, please conceal your placard when it is not in use.
- Passenger vehicle
- Multi-purpose vehicle
- Trucks up to one ton
- School Buses
- Passenger buses
If you no longer require the disability placard or plate issued to you, you must return them to the MVA immediately.
The MVA will accept a letter from the Veterans Administration stating that you have a total (100%) disability to issue a disability license plate. You can choose a regular disability plate or a disabled veteran plate with the universal symbol.
The MVA issues personalized license plates with the universal wheelchair symbol for people with disabilities. Please contact the MVA’s Customer Service Center for more information.
You may use your disability placard whenever you rent a car in order to park in a disability parking space. The individual with the disability must be in the vehicle when it is parked in the accessible parking space and they must have their disability certification card to present to any law enforcement officer upon request.
Anyone committing fraud or misrepresenting themselves when applying for or using a parking placard for people with disabilities is subject to a fine of up to $500. If disability conditions are not met, the plate/placards may be revoked.