How we can help Driving Having a disability shouldn’t prevent you from driving Posted 19.08.2021. Updated 8.9.2021 Having a disability shouldn’t prevent you from driving. In a short series over the next few weeks we will provide some information and advice on helping you to get behind the wheel! 1. Applying for your driving licence You can apply for your licence at age 17, however if you are on the higher rate of PIP (mobility component) you can apply for your licence at 16 years old. Applying for your driving licence can take longer if you have a medical condition (up to 6 months). You are allowed to apply for your licence three months before your 16th birthday if you are on the higher rate of mobility component of PIP, or three months before your 17th birthday if you are not. You can get an application form from a Driver Vehicle Agency Testing Centre or from a main Post Office. Fill in the form enclosing your medical details and the Driver Vehicle Agency will send out a medical form for the GP to fill in. If you would like some information or advice about learning how to drive get in touch with Angela or Laura Telephone: 028 9029 7877 or Email: [email protected]. Read more information and advice from our Mobility team 2. Driving a car adapted to your needs If you’re disabled then an automatic car may be best for you. Cars can be adapted and modified so that you can drive with comfort and control. These could include push pull hand controls, left foot accelerators, hand controls and infra-red systems to operate switches. The Disability Action Mobility Centre has a fleet of automatic vehicles with various adaptations and/or modifications offering driving lessons throughout major towns in Northern Ireland. We work with market leading vehicle conversion companies locally and throughout the UK. If you would like some information or advice about car adaptations or modifications get in touch with Angela or Laura Telephone: 028 9029 7877 or Email: [email protected]. Read Connor's story on learning to drive 3. Eyesight Requirements for Driving Good vision is essential for safe driving, therefore, the law sets minimum eyesight standards that drivers must meet. For car drivers the law is reading a number plate (containing letters and figures 79mm high and 57mm wide) at a distance of 20.5 m or a distance of 20m (if the letters and figures are 50mm wide). The standards for lorry and bus drivers are higher than for car drivers and motorcyclists. Eyesight may deteriorate over time so it is recommended that a professional eye test is taken at least every two years, or straight away if a problem arises. If you need glasses or corrective lenses to meet the requirements, it’s a legal requirement that you wear them every time you drive. If you would like some information or advice about eye sight requirements for driving get in touch with Angela or Laura Telephone: 028 9029 7877 or Email: [email protected]. 4. Current Licence Holder Declaring a New Medical Condition As a driving licence holder you are required to disclose a new medical condition to the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA). You can do this in writing or by telephone to: Medical Section, DVA, County Hall, Coleraine BT51 3TB or Tel: 0300 200 7861. The DVA will then send out a medical form to you for your GP to fill in. This information will allow the DVA to make a decision on your ability to continue driving and may result in a driving assessment with our team. If you would like some information or advice about declaring a new medical condition get in touch with Angela or Laura Telephone: 028 9029 7877 Email: [email protected].