Disabled Driver Placards


Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-4-111, 55-4-256, 55-21-101 to 55-21-10855-21-152, 55-4-203, 55-4-209, 55-21-103, 55-21-11155-21-112, Public Chapter 112 (2019)


A disabled person may apply for a Disabled Placard if a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine, a Christian Science Practitioner listed in the Christian Science Journal, nurse practitioner (APRN), or physician's assistant (PA) certifies they have a disability, including but not limited to the following:

  • Impairments that, regardless of cause or manifestation, confine such person to a wheelchair or cause such person to be so ambulatory disabled that he or she cannot walk two hundred feet (200 feet) without stopping to rest and includes, but is not limited to, those persons using braces or crutches, arthritics, spastics and those with pulmonary or cardiac ills who may be “semi-ambulatory”.
  • The owner of a motor vehicle with vision of not more than 20/200 with correcting glasses.
  • The owner of a motor vehicle who is so ambulatory disabled that he or she cannot walk two hundred feet (200 feet) without stopping to rest and who is seeking treatment and/or healing solely by prayer through spiritual means in the practice of religion in accordance with the creeds or tenets of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

There are two types of Disabled Placards, Permanent and Temporary.

Permanent Placards: Permanent placards may be issued to persons who are permanently disabled and whose permanent disability is noted on the physician’s statement.

  • All placards shall be issued directly by the local County Clerk’s office. 
  • If the applicant is eligible for a distinguishing license plate, the placard shall be furnished without charge. 
  • If the applicant has not applied for vehicle registration, then the cost of the placard shall be the same as the regular fee for passenger motor vehicle (T.C.A. 55-4-111).
  • A disabled driver may receive a second placard if there is a second car registered in the name of the disabled driver or a member of the driver’s immediate family who resides with the driver. The second placard shall be issued without additional charge.
  • Any person who is permanently confined to a wheelchair and who does not own and is not physically capable of operating a motor vehicle may apply to the local County Clerk’s office for issuance of one (1) distinguishing disabled placard for the exclusive use of that person. This placard shall be in lieu of any disabled registration plates, and shall be provided without charge to the qualified applicant, upon receipt of an application accompanied by a physician’s statement.
  • An agency that transports disabled clients, shall apply to the County Clerk for a placard to be used for the sole purpose of transporting disabled clients. The Application for Disabled Person License Plate and/or Placard must be completed in the agency name but does not require the physician signature. The number of placards issued to the agency may not exceed the number of vehicles owned and operated for the purpose of transporting the disabled clients.
  • Permanent placards expire two (2) years from the date issued. The renewal fee shall be three dollars ($3.00); provided that there shall be no renewal fee for a person permanently confined to a wheelchair, nor to a disabled veteran (T.C.A.55-4-237(a)(3) or (b).
  • No more than two (2) placards may be issued per individual applicant.

Permanent Placard Fees

Permanent Disability Placard (with no vehicle registration in applicant’s name) - $26.50

Permanent Disability Placard (with vehicle registration in applicant’s name) - FREE

Renewal of Permanent Disability Placard (with or without registration in applicant’s name) - $3.00

Replacement fee for Permanent Disability Placard   - $ 2.00

*Please note the Permanent Disability Placard expires 2 years after issuance. To renew, please submit renewal form (mailed to placard holder) with the appropriate renewal fees.

Temporary placards: Temporary Placards may be issued to persons who are temporarily disabled by a non-ambulatory or semi-ambulatory condition due to surgery, bone fracture or breakage, or similar condition, and whose temporary disabling condition and the estimated duration of the condition is noted on the physician’s statement.

Temporary placards shall be issued for the estimated duration of the condition, but not in excess of six (6) months.

Temporary placards may be renewed once and time must run concurrent with original issuance, and must be supported with a new Application for Disabled Person License Plate and/or Placard. If additional time is needed after the 2 six (6) month periods, the applicant should seek authorization (new application for disabled person license plate/placard) from their physician for a Permanent Disabled Placard.

Temporary placards shall be of a different design and color than permanent placards and shall prominently note the expiration date. 


Temporary Placard Fees

Temporary Disability Placard (valid for 6 months) -  $ 10.00

Temporary Disability Placard Renewal (Must submit new application. Renewal must run concurrent with original issuance for the same disability) -  $ 10.00



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