Disabled Drivers and Passengers

You have probably heard of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before, who works to save lives on the road and prevent injuries. The NHTSA also works one step further and regulates the modifications made the vehicles that are then used by people who have disabilities. This gives these people great opportunities, just like everybody else who can board and drive their car with no issues. Swivel seats and hand controls make the experience go a lot more smoothly and offer freedom to those who want it.

Licensing Requirements for Those With Disabilities
All states agree: You will need a permit or a driver’s license to drive; but at the same time cannot be denied the ability to apply for a permit or license based on disabilities. Driver rehabilitation specialists will find out what adaptive equipment is needed for a specific person. A complete evaluation given to a person may include vision screening and testing done on muscle strength and flexibility, coordination and reaction time, judgment, and ability to drive with special adaptive equipment. From there, you will be given a report that contains specific recommendations on driving requirements and restrictions, and you should go from there.

Some people may ask: How do I pay for an evaluation? There are several ways. For instance, vocational rehabilitation agencies and workers’ compensation may assist as well as your health insurance company possibly providing coverage for part or all of the evaluation. And also remember, if you’re a senior citizen, you can ask if your driver rehabilitation specialist offers a discount to seniors.


Cost can be a huge issue to those with disabilities who want to drive. A new vehicle modified with the correct adaptive equipment will cost anywhere from $20,000 to an outstanding $80,000. This is why it is important to consult with a driver rehabilitation specialist before you buy a car so that they are able to aid you in what adaptive equipment you will need now and also in the future so you can avoid paying for things you don’t need. They will also help you get in touch with the right financial assistance if possible. It also pays to remember (and ask) about opportunities with major vehicle manufacturers who may offer rebates on adaptive equipment, which will typically run up to $1,000. This is usually under the premise that you purchase a vehicle less than one year old.

When You’re Ready for Modifications…
While your vehicle is being modified to fit your needs, you will most likely need to be available for the fittings so you can prevent additional waiting time for adjustments once installed. New and experienced drivers need training on how to safely use newly installed adaptive equipment. However, the fact of the matter is that literature and off-road instruction given to you by a specialist is not enough information to give you the ability to drive safely with your new equipment. It can be very complex, which is why one should obtain on-the-road training and practice with a specialist. If they do not offer this type of training, then you can speak to them about referrals or go ahead and inquire this at a local driver licensing office.

The state of New Jersey cares greatly about your needs and keeping your life and the lives of others safe. This is why it is so important to become aware of what you must do to get properly licensed and a safe car for your needs if you are disabled. Find out what you can do today – and if you are in need of an experienced attorney, seek the help of MDL. They will work with you to make sure that you get what you need.