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Can I learn to drive if I have a disability?

Driving lesson

Having a disability doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t drive – there are various modifications that can be designed to help make your driving as comfortable as possible, depending on your needs.

Get a provisional licence

First off, you should apply for your provisional driving licence. The earliest you can submit an application is three months prior to your sixteenth birthday. You can get the form needed to do this — called a D1 — from any large Post Office, or you can download it online from the government’s website.

Once you have sent this off, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will often send back to you a ‘medical-in-confidence’ form which will ask for further information about your disability. It is also likely that the DVLA will ask for your permission to contact your doctor, but this is totally normal!  After this, they will review your application and will usually issue your provisional license. In some circumstances, the DVLA might ask you to see its own specialist or another doctor close to you to make sure your licence is suitable.

Find a driving instructor

You may find it useful to find specialist driving instructor

If you’re learning to drive with a disability, you may find it beneficial to seek out the extra knowledge that a specialist driving instructor. Driving Mobility (previously known as Forum of Mobility Centres) is a good place to start as Driving Assessors, at most Centres, will be able to assess your needs and recommend solutions for you. This involves them assessing your needs first, and then teaching you to drive, sometimes in specially adapted vehicles. They can also help you with the theory and hazard perception tests.

Take a theory test

Anybody learning to drive needs to take a theory test abput the theoretical rules of driving.  If you suffer from deafness or hearing problems, you can get a DVD about learning the Highway Code with sign language. T

Practial  test

In 2017, the government implemented changes to the way that driving tests are carried out in the UK. Nowadays, actual driving time is around 20 minutes, and some traditional manoeuvres – for instance, reversing around a corner – will be replaced by more ‘real-world’ trials, such as reversing into a parking bay.

Help with the cost of driving lessons

If you are an existing Motability Scheme customer, some grant funding may be available from Motability, the charity, to help those learning to drive with a disability. You can find out more about Motability grants here.

Article Taken from Motability on January 2020 on