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Driving After Stroke - Regaining Your Independence

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What happens to my driving privileges?

Driving is a luxury that is often taken for granted. It provides people with the sense of independence and freedom. After having a stroke, it can be an intimidating process to get behind the wheel of a car again.

  • Discuss with your healthcare provider if it is safe for you to continue driving or if you need to make modifications to your car so you can drive safely.
  • Most states have voluntary reporting guidelines, but there are a handful of states that require mandatory reporting by your physician to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see if you live in a mandatory reporting state.
  • After your physician and/or occupational therapist have given you the okay to resume driving, contact your local DMV to see what your state requires to resume driving privileges

What if I need to make modifications to my car?

Making the appropriate car modifications to your own car will help you gain back your confidence and independence on the road. 

  • Contact a rehabilitation specialist in your area to help assess your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, as well as evaluate if car modification will be necessary or helpful.
  • Your occupational therapist may be able to provide you with the name of a good specialist.
  • Contact your local mobility equipment dealer to assist with car modifications.
  • For a fee, enroll in an adaptive driving course to help you gain confidence in driving and using your new adaptive equipment.

Is there financial assistance for mobility equipment?

Financial assistance for mobility equipment is available for those who qualify. See specific programs for more information.          

  • State programs
  • Government programs
  • Workman’s Compensation
  • Automaker rebates
  • Veterans Assistance
  • Fundraisers/charitable organizations/churches

Other Transportation Options

If you are unable to resume your driving privileges at this time, you do have other transportation options. 

  • Friends and family
  • Taxi cabs
  • Public buses, trains, subway
  • Walking
  • Shuttle buses or vans
  • Car share program (Uber/Lyft)
  • Medicare/Medicaid transportation options


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