Even if you are not a disabled driver, it is important to familiarize yourself with the disabled driver laws in your state. Missouri, as is true of all states, has very specific guidelines for what disabled drivers.
How do I know if I am eligible for a disabled driver license plate or placard in Missouri?
If you suffer from one or more of the following conditions, you might be eligible for special parking privileges:
The inability to walk 50 feet without resting or requiring assistance
If you suffer from a lung disease that limits your ability to breathe
If you suffer from a neurological, arthritic, or orthopedic condition that restricts your mobility
If you require portable oxygen
If you have a cardiac condition classified as a Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
If you require a wheelchair, prosthetic, crutch, cane, or other assistive device
If you have one or more of these conditions, then you probably qualify for a temporary or permanent parking placard.
What is the difference between a permanent and temporary placard?
If you have a disability that is expected to last no longer than 180 days, then you will be eligible for a temporary placard. Permanent placards are for those with a disability that will last longer than 180 days or for the rest of your life. Temporary placards cost two dollars, while permanent placards are free.
How do I apply for a placard in the state of Missouri?
The first step is to fill out an Application for Disabled Person Placard (Form 2769). The second part of the application, the Physician’s Statement for Disabled Person’s Placard (Form 1776), requires that you visit a physician and have him or her verify that you suffer from a disability that limits your mobility. In order to complete this second form, you must visit a physician, physician’s assistant, optometrist, ophthalmologist, osteopath, chiropractor, or advanced nurse practitioner. After you have filled out these two forms, submit them along with the appropriate fee (two dollars if you are applying for temporary placard) and either mail them to:
Motor Vehicle Bureau
P.O. Box 598
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0598
Or deliver them in person to any Missouri license office.
How do I renew my placard and/or license plate?
To renew a permanent placard in the state of Missouri, you may present your receipt from your original application. If you do not have your receipt, you will have to fill out the original form again, along with the physician’s certification that you have a disability that impairs your mobility. To renew a temporary placard, you must reapply, meaning you must complete both the first form and the second form requiring a physician’s verification.
Please note that your permanent placard is free to renew, but that it expires on September 30th of the fourth year from which it was issued. In addition, in the state of Missouri, if you are over the age of 75 and you possess a permanent placard, you will not need a physician’s verification in order to obtain a renewal placard.
Is there a specific way that I must display my placard in my vehicle?
Yes. As is true in all states, you must display your placard on your rearview mirror. If your vehicle does not have a rearview mirror, you may place your placard on the dashboard with the expiration date facing the windshield. You need to make sure that a law enforcement officer can read the placard if he or she needs to. Also, please understand that you should never drive with the placard hanging from the rearview mirror. This is dangerous and could obstruct your vision while driving. You need only to display your placard while you are parked in a handicap parking area.
Where am I allowed and not allowed to park with my placard?
Both temporary and permanent placards allow you to park anywhere you see the International Symbol of Access. You may not park in areas marked “no parking anytime” and in loading or bus zones.
Can I lend my placard to a friend or family member, if that person has an obvious disability?
No. Your placard must remain in your possession. It is considered abuse of your parking privileges if you lend your placard to anyone. Also, please note that you do not have to be the driver of the vehicle to use the placard, but you must be in the vehicle, as a passenger, in order to gain disabled driver parking privileges.
I work for an agency that transports people with disabilities. Am I qualified to receive a placard?
Yes. In this case you will complete the same two forms that you would if you were applying for an individual placard. However, you must also provide a statement on business letterhead (signed by an officer of the agency) stating that your agency transports disabled persons.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Disability Driver Laws and Permits in Missouri and was authored by Valerie Johnston.