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Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs

DVA > Resources > Veteran Benefits > Indiana Benefits > Motor Vehicle License Plates, Licenses and Waivers > Eligibility for Veteran License Plates Eligibility for Veteran License Plates

Eligibility for the Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate is determined by the severity of a service-connected disability and the impact of that disability on mobility. As the Disabled Veteran license plate authorizes handicapped parking privileges, the veteran must have a service-connected disability that limits walking. According to the law: "disabled veteran" means a veteran who has a service-connected disability resulting in:

  1. loss of sight in both eyes or permanent impairment of vision in both eyes; or
  2. loss of one (1) or both feet or the permanent loss of use of one (1) or both feet; or
  3. loss of one (1) or both hands or the permanent loss of use of one (1) or both hands; or
  4. a physical condition that precludes the applicant from being able to walk without pain or difficulty. This must be clearly stated in the VA rating decision. If not, the applicant will be required to furnish a statement from their doctor stating the need for this handicapped license plate OR
  5. been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as being at lease 50% disabled and is receiving service related compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. At least 60% of the disability rating must be for a mobility disability . 

For same-day processing, applications must be accompanied by a copy of the VA rating decision and a copy of the military discharge (in most cases, DD Form 214). If we do not receive this supporting documentation, eligibility must be determined electronically through the VA, a process which can take from 7 to 10 days.

No person, other than the owner of the motor vehicle displaying the Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate, is entitled to use handicapped parking privileges. Any person who uses a vehicle which displays an Indiana Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate and parks in a handicapped space when the registered disabled veteran is not in the vehicle when the vehicle was parked, commits a Class C infraction. Such violations also may cause the revocation of the disabled veteran's license plate. No more than two (2) Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plates may be issued to each eligible applicant.

Older plates which say "Disabled American Veteran" and which do not have the universal handicap symbol (wheelchair) are only valid in the State of Indiana for parking purposes. Plates which do not have the universal handicap symbol may be exchanged free of charge at the local BMV. 

Applications for the Purple Heart license plate must be accompanied with evidence showing that the Purple Heart was awarded. This may be done by submitting a copy of orders, certificate, statement of service, or DD214. Applications for the Purple Heart license plate will be returned without action if supporting documents are not submitted with the application. Do not send original documents. An eligible applicant may receive one (1) or more Purple Heart license plates.

To be eligible for the Ex-Prisoner of War license plate, the veteran, while serving on active duty with the U.S. armed forces, was in the power of a hostile government and was imprisoned by the military or naval forces of a foreign nation during the United States' military involvement in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, and who is either presently a member of the U.S. armed forces or has received an honorable discharge. An eligible applicant may receive one (1) or more Ex-POW license plates. The surviving spouse of a former prisoner of war is entitled to one (1) or more Ex-POW license plates. Remarriage revokes the spouse's eligibility.

The Hoosier Veteran license plate does not require an application form. Present a copy of your DD214, NGB 22, or Discharge Certificate reflecting character of service as either Honorable or under Honorable Conditions to the local license branch. Any Indiana resident who served in the U.S. armed forces and received the appropriate discharge (as stated above) is eligible for the Hoosier Veteran license plate. National Guard and reservists who served on active duty for training also are eligible. Service in the merchant marines does not qualify. The applicant may receive one (1) or more Hoosier Veteran license plates.

Vehicles registered with veterans license plates are not exempt from the payment of registration fees or property taxes due on the vehicles. There is an additional charge for the Hoosier Veteran license plate.