Q. I am disabled and would like to obtain a disabled placard and/or license plates with the international symbol of access. How do I apply?
- A disability statement form is available from the Harris County Tax office. The applicant's physician must complete the form VTR-214. The physician's signature must be notarized unless a separate written original prescription is submitted. There is no fee for permanent placards and a $5.00 fee for temporary placards. Placards must be renewed every four years.
- Texas law allows disabled residents to obtain either a) one set of plates with the international symbol of access plus one placard, or b) two placards. A placard may be displayed in any vehicle being used to transport the disabled person. If the vehicle does not have disabled-person license plates, the law requires that the placard be displayed on the rear-view mirror whenever the vehicle is parked in a disabled-person parking space.
- There is an exchange fee of $1.30 ($1.00 processing fee if done through the mail) for a set of disabled-person license plates, if the registration is current. Additional sets of disabled person plates may be obtained for vehicles specially equipped for operation by a person who has lost the use of one or both legs.
- For more information on disabled person placards and license plates, please see the Frequently Asked Questions About Disabled Person Placards/License Plates provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Q. What’s the difference between a red placard and a blue placard?
- Blue placards are for people who have a permanent disability.
- Red placards are for people with a temporary disability.
Q. A disabled relative recently passed away. What should I do with their disabled placard?
- When the holder of a disabled placard (blue or red) dies, the disabled placard should be returned by family members or friends to the Harris County Tax Office. It is illegal to continue using an invalid disabled placard or to improperly renew a disabled placard. A violation is punishable by fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 and between 10 and 50 hours of community service.
Q. How long are disabled placards valid?
- Permanent disabled parking placards are valid for four years. Temporary disabled parking placards are valid for six months from month of issue. License plates with the international symbol of access are valid as long as the vehicle belongs to the disabled individual. License plates should be removed from vehicles when sold. Please note that new license plates are required after seven years. The vehicle owner’s registration renewal notice will indicate “new plates required” when the plate age reaches seven years.
Q. What should I do about disabled parking if I do not own a vehicle?
- An individual with a disability may apply for a disabled parking placard instead of disabled license plates. The placard may be displayed in any vehicle used for transportation of the disabled person. It is a violation of state law to use the placard or plates for a disabled parking spot without the person with the disability in the vehicle. If you are a caregiver you CANNOT park in a disabled parking space if the person with the disability is not in the vehicle with you – even if it is to run into a pharmacy for a prescription. If you violate this law, the placard is confiscated, the plates revoked, you will face criminal penalties and a $500 fine.
Q. Can I send someone in to renew my placard or obtain a placard because mine was lost or stolen?
- Someone other than the disabled applicant can renew or obtain another placard with
the following information:, if the person is on file in Harris County:
- expired placard(s)
- written authorization allowing someone else to renew disabled placard
- If placards have been destroyed or lost, disabled applicants must submit a statement stating so.
- Someone other than the disabled applicant can renew or obtain another placard with the following information:, if the person is on file in Harris County:
Q. On the disabled application what does it mean by "Making application on behalf of a disabled person"?
- A person may apply for disabled parking on behalf of a disabled individual who does not possess a Driver's License or Identification Card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Q. How do I get a disabled placard for my child, who does not have a driver's license?
- The disabled application would be completed by the physician based on the disabled child. The legal guardian would check "Making application on behalf of a disabled person" and include the guardian’s name, signature and driver's license number.
Q. How do I renew my disabled placard?
- Temporary Placard (Red) - A new application (VTR-214) must be completed by the disabled applicant and licensed physician. Fee - $5
- Permanent (Blue) - A new application (VTR-214) must be completed by the disabled applicant; section for licensed physician is not required to be completed. Please return expired placard with renewal. No Fee
You may renew at any of our Harris County Tax Office locations or by mail:Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
Attn: Auto Disabled Dept
PO Box 4089
Houston, Texas 77210-4089