Certificate of Blindness

A consumer may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). The certificate verifies that the person is registered with MCB. A copy of this certificate is needed when applying for tax exemptions and for other identification purposes. Registered individuals may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness be sent to them by the MCB Registration unit.

Specialized Telephone Equipment Program

Individuals who are legally blind and deaf-blind may be eligible for specialized telephones at a reduced cost or for free, depending on income through the Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program (MassEDP). For further information regarding the program and the eligibility requirements, contact MCB Registration Unit or you may contact MassEDP directly at http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/massedp/qualify-and-apply.html or 1-800-300-5658 Voice/TTY.

Income Tax Exemptions and Deductions

Individuals who are legally blind may be entitled to federal and state income tax exemptions and deductions. When filing tax returns, a current Certificate of Legal Blindness or other medical evidence may be required for verification purposes if an exemption or deduction is claimed. Registered individuals may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness be sent to them by the MCB Registration unit.

Real Estate Tax Exemption

Individuals who are legally blind may be eligible for a property tax exemption on a home in which he/she resides and owns. As the amount of the exemption varies, contact the local assessor's office for further details. A current Certificate of Legal Blindness must be submitted. Registered individuals may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness be sent to them by the MCB Registration unit.

Automobile Excise Tax Exemption

Individuals who are legally blind may be eligible for an excise tax exemption on a vehicle registered in his/her name. Application for this exemption should be made through the local tax department. A current Certificate of Legal Blindness is required for this exemption. Registered individuals may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness be sent to them by the MCB Registration unit.

Disabled Plates or Placard

An individual who is legally blind may apply to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for either a Disabled Plate or Disabled Placard. The plate or placard allows parking in designated Handicap Parking areas. In order to obtain disabled plates, the vehicle must be registered in the individual who is blind's name. The placard can be used in any vehicle transporting the blind person. MCB has the applications and will, upon request, issue the Certificate of Blindness, that may be used for verification of disability. Registered individuals may request a Certificate of Legal Blindness be sent to them by the MCB Registration unit. Should you have a valid driver's license, you are required to surrender your driver's license at the time of your application. For further information, contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles Medical Affairs office or visit its website: www.massrmv.com.

MCB Identification Card

MCB issues an Identification Card verifying registration as an individual who is legally blind. Under Massachusetts law, any person who accepts a driver's license for the purpose of identification in granting credit or cashing checks, must accept the Identification Card issued by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in the same way.

Certain bus and train companies grant free or reduced fares to individuals who are legally blind and traveling within the state. As these concessions are not required by law, individual companies may determine their own regulations.

To obtain the Identification Card or for further information, contact the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Registration unit at RegUnit@state.ma.us. This Identification Card does not meet all the requirements of the REAL ID Act of 2005 Pub. L. 109-13.

MBTA Blind Access CharlieCard Customers (Customers Who Are Blind/Visually Impaired)

Customers who are blind/visually impaired ride all MBTA services for free with a Blind Access CharlieCard from the CharlieCard Store. To receive a Blind Access CharlieCard, you must have an ID from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

If accompanied by a guide, free travel does extend to the guide.

Many Blind Access CharlieCard holders looking to renew a lost, damaged, or expired Blind Access CharlieCard can do so by calling the CharlieCard Store to request a new card be mailed. Note: When receiving a card by mail, it may be necessary for the CharlieCard Store to deactivate your existing Blind Access CharlieCard.

Learn more: www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/reduced_fare_programs/#blind

T Customer Support

Telephone Customer Support
617-222-3200
TTY 617-222-5146
Monday - Friday: 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Online Customer Support: www.mbta.com/customer_support

What is THE RIDE?

THE RIDE paratransit service provides door-to door, shared-ride transportation to eligible people who cannot use fixed-route transit (bus, subway, trolley) all or some of the time because of a physical, cognitive or mental disability.

Contact the T

General inquiries, or for fare or RIDE account questions: Contact the MBTA Office for Transportation Access.

800-533-6282 (in-state toll-free)
617-222-5123 (voice)
617-222-5415 (TTY)
email: theride@mbta.com
Eligibility: Call THE RIDE Eligibility Center at 617-337-2727 (voice, Relay).
www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/accessible_services/default.asp?id=7108