From a member of our community:
We are family of 3 with my son 15 years using wheelchair due to his disability.
We are from India and travelling to California for a vacation. We are there in May and are renting a Minivan for travelling.
How can I get a temporary Disability parking tag for the above?
The answer to your questions in general on how to obtain a temporary hang tag is at Disabled Person Parking Placards & Plates - California DMV .
With that said, if you have a hang tag from India that you use on your car, I believe the easiest way is to bring it with you. I do not live in California but do use my non-california hang tag whenever I am in California.
We travel with an 18 year old son in a wheelchair often and where it is generally a very good place to travel with disabilities there are several suggestions I would give you:
- When you book a hotel room specifically book or request a room designed for people in wheelchairs. Sometimes you will be asked if you need a roll in shower or tub with seat but rarely. If you have a preference, you should contact the hotel directly, I do it by email, with your request. If you son needs a pool lift to enjoy your stay, be aware that even though it is the law for them to have one, they are often not working. I contact the hotels directly telling that I will need to use the pool lift and will be expecting it to be working. This usually gets them to charge the batteries and repair the lift before my arrival, but not always.
- If you are going to an amusement park you should know that there have ways of accessing many of the rides for a person in a wheelchair. Look at their website. before you go. At Disneyland, for example, you need to stop by city hall (their customer service center just inside the park entrance) and get a special pass. In general, most ride lines are not accessible so you will access them through the exits. Some ride such as Its a Small World have actual wheel chair accessible vehicles but most don’t. In most cases you will be required to place your child onto the ride without any help from the park employee. Every park is different but at least in California they have a prescribed method to create access for your son.
I hope this helps.
Bring your handicap parking placard with you on your trip to California.
You can then go to any AAA (triple A office), and they will issue you a California Disabled Travel Placard, or go to a California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to obtain the Travel Placard.
If you don’t have a handicapped parking placard, I would still go with your son to either of these places, they will probably issue you one.
Enjoy your trip!
I would suggest contacting the California Highway Department - Motor Vehicle Division. Explain your question. Also, from whom are you renting the minivan? They should be able to assist you. Good Luck
If you have an Indiana disability placard that would work. If not I honestly don’t know where you would start about getting a temporary placard because even that would require an order from the doctor to process through California department of motor vehicles. I hope this information has been helpful.
Hi Ofzerna. Thank you for posting this, I love a good challenge.
To our visiting Family,
Hi, I’m Russell; one of the Moderators on the Forum at AccessibleGo and I saw your question posted about traveling to California and needing some parking tags help. First off, you are going to love California! You picked a beautiful state to visit; they have everything there and is one of the most progressive states in America when it comes to being “handicap/disabled/Handicapable-friendly” in its planning for inclusion for all. Especially when it comes to driving and parking access.
Just for a little background so you know how Handicap Parking tags are issued in the United States. Each state issues its own tags and has their own qualification system for being issued Handicap tags or plates. This has to do with “who” does the checking on the requestees qualifications through paperwork that is issued by each state for a medical practitioner to verify that patients need the tags. Each of our states have their own laws about what those patient qualifications are; so, they aren’t able to have a centralized processing center. It’s the same people who also handle our drivers’ licenses.
So back to California. Well I may have some good news for you. California seems to have something called a disabled persons (DB) “[Travel Parking Placard], which is specifically for, “…nonresidents who plan to travel to California and have a permanent disability and/or DV (Disabled Vehicle) Licenses Plates” issued from another U.S. state (per the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website). In fact, it’s valid for “up to 90 days”; so you should be fine your whole trip.
However, there is some bad news. When I went to see if you could apply online instead of mailing the application or taking to a DMV office in-person, I immediately noticed this as a requirement for filing:
“…Have a copy of one of the following acceptable proofs of true full name and date of birth:
A state-issued driver’s license (DL) or identification (ID) card
United States (U.S.) birth certificate
Valid and unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card”
Which I know is a bump in the plan; but I would not rule it out just yet until you can at least talk to someone at the DMV office. It can’t hurt to check if you feel you would qualify at home for the tags. (DMV Phone is 01 800 777 0133; or 1-800-777-0133 if you are able to dial a direct toll free number here) As I said, California is very progressive; so it can’t hurt to try. But definitely work on this As Soon As Possible if you are planning to come in May; especially if they insist on mailing you the tags since you do not have a US mailing address (see if they will accept one of the addresses of the hotel you’re staying in?).
I’m so sorry I wasn’t bearing better news about the situation. If you will be visiting anyone here in California while here, perhaps you can work with them to apply for the tag with you? At least that would give them the local address they are looking for. Promise I will keep looking for a loophole for you; but please go ahead and get started so that you don’t lose any time while I hunt.
If there is anything else I can help you with for the trip , please let me know; it would be my pleasure to be of more help on something for your visit. I feel terrible because I dealt with the same issues when I traveled to some other countries and I know how frustrating this must be for you when planning a trip.
I am here for you and we will see if we can make your trip any easier.
Have a great trip.
Keep on traveling everyone; It’s our world too!
P.S. Also, if you are renting a wheelchair van and you can pick between a rear loading van or side loading; go with the rear loading in case you aren’t able to get tags. We have a lot more parking lots here vs. parallel parking and you will be safer in case you have to park in a regular space.
PPS: Copy of application so you can read it