That's the case in Illinois. My wife renewed hers last year. Her neurologist has to sign off on the forms.
My mom has had the temporary cards (that hang up from the rearview mirror) for several years but has had a HD (Handicapped Disabled?) plates on both vehicles since last summer.
Just renewed the one for the Toyota last month, this month is for the van. She still hangs her card in the rearview mirror (she's using it until it runs out.) But here in NC, not only does the doctor have to sign off on it, but the application has to sent back to the DMV (you pick them up at the local license plate office.)
Even if she forgets the card, it really doesn't matter: she's got the plate and all security has to do is check the back of the vehicle if they have any question.
And no, Wallyworld does NOT hand out those cards. Whoever said that was feeding you a load of BS.