Disability Plates & Placards

Our Clinical Social Worker, Hailey Leonard LICSW, discusses disability parking in a video with additional information and resources included below.

Disability parking is designed to make travel easier for individuals with disabilities. Often, individuals with multiple sclerosis experience mobility challenges and/or fatigue that make parking far away from store entrances challenging. If you think you could benefit from disability parking please reach out! A placard is an excellent tool for patients.

Plates vs Placards:

Disability plates and placards both allow individuals with disabilities to park vehicles in designated handicap parking spaces. Both also allow parking at meters without paying fees or penalties.

At The Elliot Lewis Center, we highly recommend placards for patients with multiple sclerosis. Placards can travel with you regardless of what vehicle you are using. Plates stay with one vehicle. Unfortunately, you cannot have both a plate and a placard in your name. Placards allow for wider use and flexibility.

Who’s eligible?

There are several ways a person can qualify for disability parking. In order to obtain a disability plate or placard in Massachusetts, you must be a resident of the state. If you are a resident of a different state, please reach out to us for state-specific instructions.

MA residents must have their doctor attest to a qualifying medical reason for the placard/plate. Our patients most commonly qualify under:

  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest (Are you impacted by MS Fatigue? For reference 200 feet is the length of a NHL hockey rink)
  • Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid, or other assistive device
  • Have permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.

How to apply in Massachusetts:

The application for disabled parking placard/plate (application can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/application-for-disabled-parking/download)

  1. Complete the first page.
  2. The second page needs to be completed by your provider. For ELC patients, please send to Hailey Leonard, LICSW. Easiest ways to get your application to Hailey are email (haileyleonard@elliotlewisms.org) or mailing it to our office.
    *In order to complete the application, we will need to know if you are currently driving, as the form asks us if you are safe to drive.
  3. Mail completed application to:
    Registry of Motor Vehicles
    Attn: Medical Affairs
    PO Box 55889 
    Boston, MA 02205-5889
    *If you are completing an application for a placard, we will mail the completed form on your behalf. If the application is for a plate, you will need to mail the form with the application fee.
  4. Pay Fees ($0 for placards, $60 for passenger vehicle plate, $20 for motorcycle plate)

HELP! I lost my placard!

  • Complete the replacement form by mail or go in person to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
  • There is no fee for a replacement
  • Once you apply for a replacement, the old placard becomes inactive

Additional Information:

Having a parking placard automatically qualifies you for a Transportation Access Pass for the MBTA. This will reduce you fare on the train, bus, commuter rail, and ferry. The application can be found here: https://www.mbta.com/fares/reduced/transportation-access-pass

For more information or if you have questions please contact: Hailey Leonard, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker at The Elliot Lewis Center at 781-591-8307 or by email haileyleonard@elliotlewisms.org

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