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Ask a Trooper: Handicap license plates and placards

Q: 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?

A: 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.
  • A person may qualify for two certificates if they do not have disability license plates.
  • May be displayed on the rear view mirror or on the dashboard in any vehicle when parked.
  • The placard should be taken down from the rear view 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: dps.mn.gov and go to Divisions, Driver and Vehicle Services.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave, Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach him at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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