How to get a handicap parking permit in Iowa (IA)

Iowa handicapped parking sign with details of the penalty for offenders

Iowa handicapped parking sign

How to obtain a permit
Validity / expiration of permits
Lost, stolen, or damaged placards
Where to hang the placard

Type of permit

In Iowa, a person with a disability or an organization that transports persons with disabilities and/or elderly customers can receive either a removable windshield placard or a sticker.

Stickers are issued to those who would rather not have a disabilities license 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. Stickers are only available at the Office of Vehicle Services.

Who’s eligible?

A person is eligible to receive a disabled parking placard if he/she

  • cannot walk 200 feet at length without stopping to rest;
  • cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assisting device;
  • is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that his or her 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;
  • uses portable oxygen;
  • 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; or
  • is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
How to obtain a permit

Applicants much complete an Application for Persons with Disabilities Parking Permit for Iowa Residents. The forms are also available at any county treasurer’s office, Iowa DOT’s full-service driver’s license site, or the Office of Vehicle Services site listed below.

Applicants must also provide a medical  statement from a physician, chiropractor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner on letterhead stationery that states that the applicant is a person with a disability and that the disability is either temporary or permanent.

Applications, which consist of the form and statement described above, for either the removable windshield placard or sticker must be returned to an Iowa DOT full-service office. They can also be mailed to the:

Office of Vehicle Services 
Office of Vehicle Services
P.O. Box 10473
Des Moines, IA 50306

There is no fee for placards.

Validity/expiration of placards/stickers

Temporary placards are valid for 6 months, unless the physician indicates a date prior to 6 months. Permanent placards do not expire. Stickers are valid for as long as the motor vehicle registration is current.

Renewing your placard

Temporary placards must be renewed before their expiration date. Permanent placards do not expire.

Lost placard/replacement

The department will invalidate a lost or stolen placard and issue a duplicate. Placards that are mangled or damaged must be returned to the department and exchanged for a new placard in accordance with the rules adopted by the department.

Where to hang the placard/permit

The placard must be hung from the rearview mirror. The placard should be displayed only when the vehicle is stationary and parked in the designated space. Do not display it when the vehicle is in motion.


A placard remains invalid unless the individual to whom the placard is issued signs it. Each placard should have a uniform design and constructed out of a durable material.


Source URL

Iowa’s Parking with Disabilities Parking law 


Things You’ll Need

Applicable Fee: No charge
Computer with Internet Access: Favorable but not mandatory
Physician Certificate: Physician to certify disability in the application form
Mail Original Documents: Original application to be submitted in person or mailed
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