Information Persons with Disabilities
Due to a new law enacted by the Illinois General Assembly, significant changes have been made to the Persons with Disabilities Parking Program, which affect both new applicants and current disability placard and license plate holders and are outlined below. The recertification for current disability placard and license plate holders will begin in April 2013. Enforcement of the new provisions will begin January 1, 2014.
Secretary of State facilities are not authorized to issue Persons with Disabilities License Plates or permanent parking placards. Disability license plates and permanent placards may only be issued through the Springfield office. For more information, please contact:
Illinois Secretary of State
Persons with Disabilities License Plates/Placard Unit
501 S. Second St. Rm. 541
Springfield, IL 62756
Disabled Parking Placards
If you have a qualifying temporary or permanent disability you may be eligible for a disabled parking placard.
New regulations will no longer allow a person with a disability parking placard to automatically qualify for meter-exempt parking in cities and municipalities.
Disability parking placards are limited to one per person. Placards are only valid until the expiration date indicated on the placard. Failure to properly display a parking placard when utilizing a designated disabled parking space may result in a fine.
The Secretary of State's office issues four types of parking placards:
- Meter-Exempt Permanent Placards — Issued to persons with permanent disabilities who have significant impairments that cause difficulty in accessing a parking meter. This placard also allows the authorized holder to park in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities such as at a mall, grocery or retail store, etc., and exempts the authorized holder from parking meter fees and time limitations at parking meters that exceed a 30-minute time limit statewide. To be eligible for this placard, the person with the disability must have a valid Illinois driver's license, and their physician must certify that they meet the criteria as outlined on the certification form. This placard DOES exempt the authorized holder from parking meter fees.
- Non Meter-Exempt Permanent Placards — Issued to persons with permanent disabilities who still have the ability to access the parking meter and allows the authorized holder to park in spaces for persons with disabilities such as a mall, grocery or retail store, etc. This placard DOES NOT exempt the authorized holder from parking meter fees and time limitations at parking meters.
- Temporary Placards — Issued to persons with a temporary disability and are valid for the length of time indicated by the certifying physician, not to exceed six months if issued by the Secretary of State and 90 days if issued by a local municipality. This placard DOES NOT exempt the authorized holder from parking meter fees and time limitations at parking meters.
- Organization Placards – Issued to organizations that transport persons with disabilities free of charge and expire on April 30, 2018. Organizational placards allow the authorized holder to park in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities when transporting persons with disabilities. This placard DOES NOT exempt the authorized holder from parking meter fees and time limitations at parking meters.
Disability License Plates
The difference between disability plates and a permanent placard is that the plates must stay permanently affixed to the vehicle for which they are issued. Disability license plates are only issued to: (1) a person with a permanent disability who owns a vehicle (title to the vehicle must be in the disabled person's name), or (2) a vehicle owner who is parent or legal guardian of a minor with disabilities, or (3) an immediate family member who owns a vehicle, resides in the same house as the person with disabilities and is responsible for transporting the person with disabilities.
Disability license plates allow the authorized holder to park in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities such as at a mall, grocery or retail store, etc. These plates DO NOT exempt the authorized holder from parking meter fees and time limitations at parking meters.
Persons with Disability License Plates holders also will be issued either a meter-exempt or non-meter-exempt parking placard. When parking a vehicle displaying disability plates in a designated disability parking space, the placard also must be appropriately displayed in the vehicle when parking in a metered space.
Disabled Veteran License Plates are issued only to veterans who provide proof of a service-connected disability that is certified by a licensed physician. The same parking limitations and parking meter restrictions apply as regular disability license plates.
Corporations, school districts, limited liability companies, nursing homes, convalescent homes and special education cooperatives transporting eligible persons may obtain disability plates on qualifying vehicles as well.
Penalties for Misuse of Disabled License Plates or Parking Placards
The following violations are Class A misdemeanors for a first offense and may result in a fine of up to $2,500, a one year driver's license suspension and possible confiscation and revocation of the disability parking placard or license plates. Violators may be charged with a Class 4 felony for a second offense which may result in a fine up to $25,000 and possible jail time between one and three years.
- Using a deceased person's disability license plates or parking placard
- Altering a parking placard.
- Possessing a fake, fraudulent, lost or stolen placard.
- Duplicating or manufacturing a placard.
- Selling or otherwise distributing a fraudulent placard.
- Obtaining a placard or plate under false pretenses.