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Returning to Driving After Disability

  • STEPS for Recovery 7980 Chapel Hill Road; Suite 115 Cary, NC, 27513 United States (map)

Join us for a member-lead discussion about returning to driving after disability.  You will hear from some of our group members about their experiences, challenges and words of wisdom as they learned to drive, obtained adapted driving equipment and navigated the DMV system.  We welcome anyone who has gone thru this process in any form or fashion to join us and share your experiences and offer advice to those thinking about or beginning the process of returning to driving.  Here is a sample of questions we hope to answer...

Do you need to have a doctor's permission, prescription, clearance, etc to begin this process?  If yes, does it matter from what doctor (neurologist, primary care, rehab doc, etc.)?

Walk through DMV process.

  - Who did you contact to start the process?

  - What paperwork was needed?

  - In what order did things have to happen?

  - Did you have to go into the DMV or are there things you can do online or over the phone?

  - In what circumstances do you have to get special endorsement/restrictions on your license?

If you have a valid drivers license and you are physically able to drive your car, do you have to report your injury/illness or go thru any special channels to return to driving?

Which comes first...the DMV process or obtaining any needed equipment and getting trained?

  - Would it make a difference if you still have a valid driver's license vs. one that is expired?

Who did you contact to get the equipment (hand controls)?

  - What sorts of equipment is available?

  - How did you know what you need?

  - Did insurance cover the equipment?

  - How long did it take to get the equipment and have it installed?

  - Can adapted equipment be installed in any car or do you have buy a new car too?

  - Did you get to try various types of hand controls or did the vendor only offer 1 option?

Have you had a formal driving evaluation?

  - Was that thru the DMV or an independent person or both?

  - How did you know who to contact?

  - Did that person require any special documentation or permission (i.e. doctor's prescription)?

Do you have to let your car insurance company know about your disability or about your special equipment?

  - Did it affect your insurance rates?

  - What if you don't tell them?  What is your liability if you get into an accident?

Driving with spasticity or pain - any suggestions for managing these symptoms? 

What happens when you are driving by yourself and there is no handicap spot available?

  - Or you have a van with a lift and when you get back to your car someone has parked next to you and you can't get the lift out?  Or you can't open your door far enough to get your w/c in?

  - Talk about other challenges/situations you have faced when driving.  How did you overcome the issue?

Tell us a little bit about your personal story...why did you want to return to driving?  How has it affected your life/independence?  Was all the work worth it?

Rental Cars: 

  - Can you get them with hand controls from large rental companies and instructions on how to use – universal controls?

  - How to lock out accommodations that don’t need.

If you have other questions for the group, please post them to the thread on our Facebook page or email questions to or use the "Contact Us" link on the website.

Earlier Event: September 21
Postponed - Birthdays, etc.
Later Event: November 16
Accessible Travel