In Rhode Island, there are laws in place that allow special privileges to handicapped drivers. If you are handicapped, then you will be entitled to special placards or license plates that identify you as such, and you will be able to park in designated spaces that will be convenient for you.

Summary of Rhode Island disabled driver laws

In Rhode Island, a disability parking permit will let you use special parking spaces. You can apply for these placards and permits if you are temporarily or permanently disabled. Temporary placards are good for up to a year. Long-term placards are good for up to three years. Permanent disability placards are available to people who expect to be disabled for more than three years, and veterans’ disability placards are for veterans whose military service has resulted in, or is likely to result in, permanent disability.


If you are not a resident of Rhode Island, but you are disabled, you do not need to get a Rhode Island disability permit. The State of Rhode Island will recognize your out-of-state permit or plate in the same way as it would if it had been issued in the State of Rhode Island, and you will be entitled to the same rights and privileges as any resident of the state.


To obtain a disability placard in Rhode Island, you must fill out the New/Renewal Disability Parking Placard Application.

You must complete this application in your own name, and have it notarized by the proper authority in the State of Rhode Island. You must also have it certified by your doctor, who must be licensed in the State of Rhode Island. Then, you should send your application to:

Division of Motor Vehicles
Disability Parking Placards Office
600 New London Ave
Cranston, RI 02920

Your application should be processed in four weeks’ time.

Disabled veteran placards

In order to obtain a disabled veteran’s permit, fill out the Disability Parking Placard for Disabled Rhode Island Veterans application and include a letter from the VA stating that you are disabled. Mail it to the above address.


When your permit is due for renewal, you will receive notification from the Rhode Island DMV. All you need to do is fill out the form and send it back, and then the Rhode Island DMV will send you a sticker that you can put on your license plate, showing that your permit has been renewed.

Lost or stolen permits and placards

If you lose your placard, or it is stolen, you can request a replacement. You will need to complete an affidavit stating that you permit has been lost or stolen. You will also have to present your driver’s license or other photo identification in order to have your placard replaced.

If the placard is simply damaged, just bring it to:

Disability Parking Placards Office
600 New London Ave
Cranston, RI 02920

They will give you a new placard.

This article originally appeared on as Disabled Driver Laws and Permits in Rhode Island and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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