Whether you are a disabled driver or not, it is important to understand the disabled driver laws in your state. Each state has its own specific requirements and regulations for disabled drivers. Indiana is no exception.
What types of permits are available in Indiana for disabled drivers?
Indiana, like most states, offers placards and license plates. Placards are plastic and hang from your rearview mirror. License plates are more permanent and replace whatever license plate you had previous. You are eligible to receive a placard if you have either a permanent or a temporary disability. However, you can receive a disabled driver license plate only if you have a permanent disability.
How do I know if I qualify for a disabled driver placard in Indiana?
If you suffer from one or more of the following conditions, then you are probably eligible to receive a disabled driver placard and/or license plate:
If you require portable oxygen
If you cannot walk 200 feet without assistance or stopping to rest
If you suffer from a lung disease that severely inhibits your ability to breathe
If you suffer from a neurological or orthopedic condition that restricts your movement
If you require a wheelchair, crutches, a cane, or some other assistive device
If an optometrist or ophthalmologist determines that you are legally blind
If you have a cardiac condition classified as a Class III or IV by the American Heart Association
I suffer from one or more of these conditions. Now how do I receive a disability placard or license plate?
You may apply by in person or by sending your application in the mail to:
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Titles and Registrations Department
100 N. Senate Avenue N483
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The next step is to complete the Application for Disability Parking Placard or Disability Plate (Form 42070). On this form you will be asked to visit a physician and to have that physician certify, in writing, that you suffer from one or more of these conditions.
How much do placards cost?
Temporary placards are five dollars, permanent placards are free, and license plates cost the amount of a standard vehicle registration, including tax.
How long is my placard valid?
This depends on what type of placard you have. Temporary placards are valid for six months. To renew you simply reapply with the same form you used when first applying. Please note that you must revisit your physician, and have him or her certify that your health condition requires that you possess a disabled driver placard and/or license plate.
If you have a permanent placard you will never need to renew unless your physician verifies that you no longer have a disability that inhibits your ability to operate a vehicle. Many states issue permanent placards that are valid for four years. Indiana is a rare exception for not requiring their disabled drivers to reapply.
Disabled driver license plates are valid as long as your car registration is current.
Am I allowed to lend my placard to someone else, even if that person has a disability?
No, you may not. Your placard belongs to you and you only. Abusing your disabled driver privileges is a misdemeanor, and this type of abuse can result in up to 200 dollars in fines. Whenever your placard is being used, you must be in the car, either as the driver or as a passenger.
Is there a particular way to display my placard?
Yes. Your placard should hang from your rearview mirror whenever you are parked. You might not want to drive with your placard hanging from your mirror as this might obstruct your vision and thereby impair your ability to drive. Just make sure that your placard is visible to a law enforcement officer should he or she need to see it.
What if I lose my placard? Can I replace it?
Yes. Simply download the form you used to apply for the placard the first time (Form 42070) and revisit your physician so that she can certify that you are still suffering from a disability that impairs your mobility. If you are reapplying for a temporary placard, you will have to pay the fee of five dollars. A permanent placard will still be free.
I have my placard. Now where am I allowed to park?
You are allowed to park anywhere you see the International Symbol of Access. You may not park in areas marked “no parking anytime” or in bus or loading zones.
You can display your disability license plate on your passenger car, mini truck, regular truck (as long as it weighs less than 11,000 pounds), motorcycle, recreational vehicle (RV), or motor driven vehicle (MDC).
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Driving Laws and Permits in the State of Indiana and was authored by Valerie Johnston.