Driving assessments for people with disability
Find out what driving assessments you need when you're a person with disability seeking to get, retain or renew a licence.
Getting the right advice
If you have a disability or injury, there are certain assessments and tests you may need to get, keep or retain your licence.
If you have a minor disability, your doctor may advise you to sit the standard driving test instead.
Whatever pathway you take towards getting your licence, you will need to be familiar with NSW road rules (PDF 5.74MB).
Occupational Therapist (OT) driving assessment
Before you sit your driving test, you may be advised to have an on-road and off-road Occupational Therapist driver assessment.
Find an occupational therapist through Occupational Therapy Australia.
Depending on your situation, the assessor may evaluate:
- the need for specialised equipment or vehicle modifications
- your use of existing vehicle modifications, hand controls or appliances to help you drive
- your ability to control the vehicle
- your physical skills, reaction time, insight level and ability to self-monitor
- your understanding of road rules (PDF 5.74MB).
After your assessment, the assessor may recommend:
- the need for vehicle modifications
- rehabilitation or retraining before you sit your driving or riding test
- licence conditions or restrictions
- alternatives to driving or riding.
They'll provide a driving assessment report with information such as:
- an assessment of your particular condition
- how a vehicle modification might assist your driving
- when you need to be reassessed.
This information will be provided to Transport for NSW.
To find out more about getting vehicle modifications, see Modified vehicles for people with disability.
Disability driving test
The disability driving test is the same as a standard driving test but with additions prescribed from the OT driving assessment.
If you need special vehicle fittings to be able to drive, you must pass the driving test in a vehicle that has these fittings.
When you're ready to book your disability driving test, make sure you:
- are 16 or over
- have completed a Licence Application (PDF 404.42KB)
- are ready to prove your identity
- have passed your OT driving assessment
- have passed an eyesight test
- have passed the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT)
- have the vehicle with the right modifications installed
- are ready to wear glasses or contacts if you need them to see well
- can pay the test fee.
You cannot book a disability driving test online.
Using hand controls
Consult with your Occupational Therapist about how you will be assessed on using hand controls in your vehicle. You may like to consider the following before your assessment:
- If you use hand controls to operate any of the major controls or pedals (accelerator and brake), you must be able to reach and operate all the controls without taking your hand off the steering wheel.
- Minor modifications such as an extended indicator switch or an electronic indicator can help you do this.
- If you're driving a manual vehicle, you need enough mobility in your hip, knee and ankle to operate the accelerator, brake, and the clutch pedals .
- If you're driving an automatic vehicle, you can operate the accelerator and brake with either your right or left leg.
- You'll also be assessed on your ability to operate the accelerator, brakes and the major controls like indicators and windscreen wipers.
- If you only use your left leg, you need to fit the accelerator to the left of the brake pedal. In some circumstances, we may approve the pedals in their normal position.