Disabled and Handicap Access in Washington, DC

Accessiblity Information and Resources for the Nation's Capital


Tim Kitchen

Washington, DC is one of the most disabled accessible cities in the world. This guide provides information about transportation, parking, access to popular attractions, scooter and wheelchair rentals, and more.

Handicap Parking in Washington, DC

Two ADA accessible parking meters are located on every block that has government operated parking meters. The DC Department of Motor Vehicles honors handicap parking permits from other states. Cars bearing disabled parking tags may park in designated spaces and park for double the posted time in metered or time-restricted spaces.

Accessible Passenger Loading Zones on the National Mall:

Parking Garages Close to the National Mall With Accessible Parking Spaces:

  • Colonial Parking in Capital Gallery (6th and Maryland Avenue, SW)
  • Colonial Parking in the Holiday Inn (6th and C Streets, SW)
  • and the Ronald Reagan Building (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)

See more information about parking near the National Mall.

Washington Metro Disabled Access

Metro is one of the most accessible public transportation systems in the world. Each Metro station is equipped with an elevator to the train platforms and extra-wide fare gates for wheelchair users. Nearly all of the Metrobuses have wheelchair lifts and kneel at the curb.
Disabled travelers can obtain a Metro Disability ID card that entitles them to discounted fares. (Call 202-962-1558, TTY 02-962-2033 at least 3 weeks in advance). The Metro Disability ID card is valid on Metrobus, Metrorail, MARC train, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Fairfax Connector, CUE bus, D.C. Circulator, The GEORGE bus, Arlington Transit (ART) and Amtrak. Montgomery County Ride On and Prince George’s County The Bus allows people with disabilities to ride free with a valid ID card. Read more about public transportation in Washington, DC
For people who cannot use public transportation due to a disability, MetroAccess provides a shared-ride, door-to-door, paratransit service from 5:30 a.m. to midnight. Some late night service is available until 3 a.m. on weekends. The MetroAccess customer service number is (301) 562-5360.
The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority publishes accessibility information on its website www.wmata.com. You can also call (202) 962-1245 with questions about Metro services for travelers with disabilities.

Disabled Access to Washington, DC’s Major Attractions

All Smithsonian museums are wheelchair accessible. Special tours can be pre-arranged for those with disabilities. Visit www.si.edu for details, including downloadable maps that identify accessible entrances, curb cuts, designated parking and more. For questions about disability programs, call (202) 633-2921 or TTY (202) 633-4353.
All of the memorials in Washington, DC are equipped to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Handicap parking spaces are limited in some areas. For more information, call (202) 426-6841.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is wheelchair accessible. To reserve a wheelchair, call (202) 416-8340. A wireless, infrared listening-enhancement system is available in all theaters. Headphones for hearing-impaired patrons are provided at no charge. Some performances offer sign language and audio description. For questions regarding patrons with disabilities, call the Office for Accessibility at (202) 416-8727 or TTY (202) 416-8728.
The National Theatre is wheelchair accessible and features special performances for the visually and hearing-impaired. For details, call (202) 628-6161.

Scooters and Wheelchair Rentals

  • Scootaround - (888) 441-7575. Scooter and wheelchair rentals available daily, weekly or longer periods of time. Take a tour of DC and the National Mall on a mobility scooter.
  • DC Tours - (888) 878-9870. Rent a mobility scooter or a manual wheelchair. Daily rates.
  • Bike and Roll - (202) 842-BIKE. Electric scooters and manual wheel chairs available. Two-hour, half-day, daily, and multi-day rentals.
  • Lenox Medical -  (202) 387-1960. Provides short-term scooter, wheelchair and knee walker rentals to
    tourists and local residents.

Wheelchair Accessible Van Rentals and Sales