Iowa's Persons with Disabilities Parking law
Types of permits
- Plates are issued to an owner of a vehicle who is a person with a permanent disability; also issued to parent or guardian of a child with a disability if the child lives with parent or guardian.
- Removable windshield placards are issued to a person with a disability on a temporary (six months) or permanent (five year) basis. Removable windshield placards may also be issued to an organization that transports persons with disabilities and/or elderly customers.
- Stickers are issued to an owner of a motor vehicle who is a person with a disability who does not want a persons with disabilities license plate. The sticker is placed on the license plate in the lower-right corner of the rear plate. The sticker can be placed on any type of regular, special or personalized license plate in the lower-right corner of the rear plate.
Any Iowa resident with a disability that limits or impairs the person's ability to walk. A person shall be considered a person with a disability and can obtain a removable windshield placard, sticker or plate under the following circumstances.
- The person cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.
- The person cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assisting device.
- The person is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person's forced expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial-oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
- The person uses portable oxygen.
- The person has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association.
- The person is severely limited in the person's ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
Applying for a permit, sticker, or regular persons with disabilities plate
- Complete an Application for Persons with Disabilities Parking Permit for Iowa Residents. Application forms are also available at any county treasurer's office, any Iowa DOT's full-service driver's license issuance site, or the Iowa DOT's Office of Vehicle & Motor Carrier Services listed below.
- For personalized plates, you must complete Persons with Disabilities License Plate Application.
- Provide a medical statement from a physician, chiropractor, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner on their letterhead stationery, stating the applicant is a person with a disability and that the disability is either temporary or permanent.
Attention! Legislation passed in 2016 allows a veteran to submit a disability determination made by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs in lieu of a physician's statement documenting disability, but requires the Iowa DOT to establish rules that determine what is an acceptable disability determination for that purpose. The legislation did not change Iowa’s legal definition of disability for purposes of persons with disability parking, which remains tied to impairment of mobility. Because VA disability determinations are vocational and do not necessarily correlate with mobility impairments or disabilities, Administrative Rules must be developed to establish guidelines for determining when a VA disability determination will meet the legal definition of disability for the purpose of issuing persons with disabilities parking permits. The Iowa DOT is in the process of developing those rules and expects to complete the rule-making and implement this new process in early 2017.
- Return the application and medical statement for removable windshield placards to any Iowa DOT full-service driver's license issuance site or the Iowa DOT's Office of Vehicle & Motor Carrier Services listed below.
- Stickers are only available at the Office of Vehicle & Motor Carrier Services.
- Persons with disability license plates are available at your county treasurer's office.
Persons licensed to practice medicine in Iowa or in a contiguous state, including podiatrists, chiropractors, physician assistants or advanced nurse practitioners. The contiguous states are: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.
There is no cost for the removable windshield placard, sticker or plate. However, motorists displaying a persons with disabilities plate will continue to pay their regular annual vehicle registration fee. There is a $25 fee for personalized plates.
How long are permits valid
- Plates: Persons with disabilities plates must be validated each year with a self-certification by the owner stating the disability still exists for the owner or for the child.
- Removable windshield placards: Temporary permits will expire six months from the date of issue, unless the physician indicates a date prior to six months; those which are permanent expire five years from the date of issue.
- Stickers: Valid as long as the motor vehicle registration is current.
- Persons with disabilities plates may be issued to all vehicles titled in the person's name with a disability.
- Two removable windshield placards may be issued for each person with a disability.
- Persons with disabilities parking stickers may be issued to all vehicles titled in the person's name with a disability.
The law requires the permit holder's signature to be on the removable windshield placard for it to be valid and used when parking in a designated parking space.
- Providing false information to obtain the removable windshield placard, sticker or plate may result in a $300 civil fine; the removable windshield placard, sticker or plate may also be revoked.
- Parking in a designated space when there is not a person with a disability driving or riding in the vehicle may result in a $200 fine.
- Failing to return the removable windshield placard, sticker or plate when the use is no longer needed, and then misusing it may result in a fine of up to $200
Parking space requirements
Requirements for the numbers and dimensions of accessible parking spaces are established by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. For further information, contact the regulatory assistance coordinator at 515-725-6145 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reduced registration fees for specially equipped vehicles for persons with disabilities
Iowa Code 321.109
Administrative Rules 761 IAC 400.35
The annual registration fee shall be $60 for a vehicle that is an automobile, multipurpose vehicle, or motor truck with an unladen weight of 10,000 pounds or less with permanently installed equipment manufactured for and necessary to assist a disabled person with a disability who is either the owner or lessee of the vehicle or a member of the owner’s or lessee’s household in entry and exit of the vehicle or if the owner or lessee of the vehicle or a member of the owner’s or lessee’s household uses a wheelchair as the only means of mobility.
The owner shall complete an annual self-certification when the vehicle is registered.
The disabled person must be either the owner of the vehicle or a member of the owner's household and must qualify as permanently disabled pursuant to Iowa Code 321L to obtain a reduced registration fee.
For purposes of this paragraph, “uses a wheelchair” does not include use of a wheelchair due to a temporary injury or medical condition.