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Disabled parking marked spotPlates and placards are issued by the Medical Affairs Branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, to persons meeting the standards contained in 540 CMR 17.00 who, by reason of disability, need a plate or placard to minimize the distance to be traveled between the person’s parked vehicle and ultimate destination, or to accommodate movement between the vehicle and a wheelchair or other assistive device.

To obtain a Massachusetts Disability Plate you must be a qualified Massachusetts resident who is a primary owner of a registered passenger vehicle or motorcycle.  A holder of a passenger vehicle Disability Plate may be entitled to a Temporary Disabled Placard.

To be eligible for Disability Plates, a Placard or a Disability Veteran Plate a person must demonstrate “good cause” or need for the placard in writing to the Medical Affairs Branch.  The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles interprets “good cause” as a valid reason why the plate cannot be used and duration of the need.

Applicants must meet one or more of the following conditions:

• Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
• Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid or other assistive device.
• Are restricted by lung disease to such a degree that your forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one (1) liter.
• Use portable oxygen.
• Have a Class III cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
• Have a Class IV cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association. A customer in this condition must surrender his or her license.
• Have Class III or Class IV functional arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
• Have Stage III or Stage IV anatomic arthritis according to the standards set by the American College of Rheumatology.
• Have been declared legally blind (please attach copy of certification). A customer in this classification must surrender his or her license.
• Have lost one or more limbs or permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.

Placards issued for a period of (5) five years are considered to have a permanent status for disabled parking. Placard holders with a permanent status will receive a renewed placard, at the mailing address on record, approximately one month prior to the expiration of their current placard.

Placards issued for a period of (2) two to (24) twenty-four months are considered to be temporary and will require certification from your medical professional that the parking benefit needs to be extended or made permanent.

There is one application for Disability Passenger or Motorcycle Plates, Placards and Disability Veteran Plates.  Applications can be acquired by contacting or visiting a full service Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Branch or by downloading an application from the Forms and Files section at MassRMV.com.  Completed applications can be brought to the Medical Affairs/RMV Office or submitted by mail.

The Issuance of Disability Plates and Placards is regulated by 540 CMR 17.00 and is adopted by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles pursuant to M.G.L. c. 90, §§ 2 and 31 to establish uniform standards and procedures for the issuance and use of disability plates and placards, which carry certain parking privileges under the laws of the Commonwealth, including M.G.L. c. 40, §§ 21 and 22A.

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