Questions about handicap license plates, placards answered


From: Sgt. Troy Christianson
Minnesota State Patrol

Question: Both my daughter and I have a disability. I have the handicap license plates on my car and she only has a placard. When she drives my car, does she have to use her placard to park?

Answer: The registered license plates are designed for you to be able to park that vehicle in a disabled/handicap parking location. If your daughter has her own permit, she would need to display her permit in the vehicle when she is parked in a designated disabled/handicap parking location, as the permit is designed for her.

Any Minnesota resident who meets one or more of the definitions of a “physically disabled person” can apply to obtain a disability certificate or plates.

Disability certificate (placard)

• Issued to the disabled person, not the vehicle.
o A person may qualify for two certificates if they do not have disability license plates.
• May be displayed on the rearview mirror or on the dashboard in any vehicle when parked.
o The placard should be taken down from the rearview mirror while driving.
• Can be used to park in designated disability parking spaces when the person named on the certificate is driving or a passenger in the vehicle.

Disability license plates

• Issued to a vehicle that is primarily owned by a person with a disability, the parent of a child with a disability or the owner of a commercial rental motor vehicle that has been modified for and is used exclusively by permanently physically disabled people.

A vehicle that is displaying the parking certificate may be parked by or solely for the benefit of a physically disabled person: in a designated disability parking space, in a non-restricted metered parking space without obligation to pay the meter fee and without regard to time limitation unless otherwise posted, or in a non-metered time limited passenger vehicle space unless otherwise posted.

For additional information, go to and go to “Divisions, Driver and Vehicle Services.”

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minn., 55901-5848; or reach him at


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