brs: Driver Training Program for Persons with Disabilities

Driver Training Program for Persons with Disabilities


Welcome to the Driver Training Program for Persons with Disabilities. Prior to 2011, this program was a part of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
 
Since its beginning in August 1945 training Connecticut World War II veterans, the program has expanded to include any qualified permanent Connecticut resident who requires special equipment in order to operate a motor vehicle. This is the only state-operated program of this type in the U.S. There is no charge for this training.
 
Requirements
You may be eligible for the driver training program, if you:
  • Are a permanent Connecticut resident;
  • Have a physical disability which requires special equipment to operate a motor vehicle;
  • Received a medical clearance from the DMV Driver Services Division; (http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=805&Q=244786&dmvPNavCtr=|#52634)
  • Have a valid license or, if you are a new driver, have obtained a Learner’s Permit from the DMV (http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=805&q=515038&dmvPNavCtr=|41809|#41811);
  • Complied with the DMV (http://www.ct.gov/dmv/site/default.asp) identification, residency, vision screening, knowledge testing and driver education requirements; and
  • Are able to independently transfer from your wheelchair (if you use one) to the driver’s seat of the DTP training vehicle.  Or, we will provide the training in your own specially-equipped vehicle that has already been modified to accommodate your wheelchair.  All vehicles used for training shall be properly registered, insured, and equipped with an instructor’s brake.

SPECIAL NOTE:  If you need accommodations OTHER THAN for a physical disability to obtain a driver’s license, contact the DMV for assistance: http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=803&q=244574.

 
Getting Started
If you are a new (first time) or a current Connecticut license holder who meets the above requirements and you wish to participate in the program, first contact the BRS Driver Training Program for Persons with Disabilities (DTP) at 1-800-537-2549 to have your name placed on our waiting list for training.
Then contact the DMV Driver Services Division at (860) 263-5723 to obtain the required medical clearance. State that you are applying for driver training through the BRS driver training program and would like to begin the medical review process.
You will be asked to provide information regarding your disability, which will enable DMV to determine what medical forms to send you for your treating doctor(s) to complete and return to DMV on your behalf. The DMV Driver Services Division will notify you by mail of its decision or if additional medical reports are required from your doctor(s). Staff in the BRS Driver Training Program will receive a copy of this decision as well.
 
Evaluation and Training
If your medical review application to the DMV Driver Services Division is determined favorable, your name goes on the list of eligible candidates for the BRS Driver Training Program. When the first available opening occurs, a DTP Instructor will contact you by telephone to arrange an appointment with you.
DTP Instructors are certified driving instructors. Initially, the DTP Instructor will evaluate and assess your driving abilities, and the Instructor will work with you to determine the type of special adaptive equipment is required to meet your needs. The DTP Instructor will then provide all aspects of skills training, including city, rural, secondary and limited-access highway driving.
 
Training Vehicles
The vehicles DTP Instructors use for training are passenger motor vehicles equipped with:
  • Push/Rock Hand Control for operation of Gas and Brake pedals;
  • Spinner Knob Steering Control;
  • Left Foot Accelerator;
  • Right Hand Turn Signal Lever;
  • Instructor’s Dual Brake;
  • Automatic Transmission; and
  • Power Steering, Brakes, Seats, Windows and Mirrors.
In some cases where it is determined by the DTP Instructor or referral from another driver assessment program that complex modifications are required, we will provide the training in your own specially-equipped vehicle. All vehicles used for training shall be properly registered, insured, and equipped with an instructor’s brake.
 
Licensing
The BRS DTP must certify all results of the driver assessment and training in the specially-equipped vehicle with the DMV Driver Services Division.
 
Favorable: Once you have successfully demonstrated to the DTP Instructor that you possess the abilities to safely operate a motor vehicle and have complied with all requirements, you will be eligible for the DMV to issue you a limited (restricted) license (see categories below).
  1. Current License Holders requiring a change in license type and/or restrictions added or removed will receive a corrected license through the mail from the DMV.
  2. New (First Time) Drivers must appear at a DMV Hub Office for issuance of photo license, upon payment of the photo-license fee. The BRS DTP certification must be sent directly to the DMV Hub Office. Therefore, you must inform your DTP Instructor of the DMV Hub Office where you plan to obtain your license to avoid any delay in the process.
Unfavorable: If you are unable to demonstrate to the DTP Instructor sufficient skills to safely operate a motor vehicle, you may apply for a CT non-driver ID card.
  1. Current License Holders can choose to voluntarily surrender their operator’s license for medical reasons to the DTP Instructor and receive the CT non-driver ID card through the mail at no charge from the DMV. If you do not surrender your license, the DMV may take action to withdraw your privilege to maintain an operator’s license, as the DMV is now aware that you have a condition that may affect your abilities to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  2. Unlicensed Drivers must pay the required fee for the CT non-driver ID at a DMV Hub Office.

Special Adaptive Equipment
If you were trained using one of the DTP vehicles, the DTP Instructor will provide a prescription for the special adaptive equipment to be installed on your vehicle. The DTP Instructor will provide you with a list of vendors who supply and install adaptive equipment required for driving safely. The vendor you select must have knowledge of the contents of the prescription in order to install the equipment you require in your vehicle.
 
Limitations (Restrictions) On an Operator’s License
A limited license may contain one or more of the following limitations (restrictions), which shall be noted on your license:
• B - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only when the person is using corrective lenses, not including telescopic lenses, as prescribed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist;
• C - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only with a motor vehicle having special controls or equipment;
• D - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only while using a prosthetic aid;
• E - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only with a motor vehicle having an automatic transmission;
• F - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only with a motor vehicle equipped with external mirrors located on both the left and right sides of the vehicle to reflect to the vehicle operator a view of the highway of at least two hundred (200) feet to the rear;
• G - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only during the period of daylight beginning one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise and one-half (1/2) hour after sunset;
• R - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only on highways that are not limited access highways;
• U - Operation of a motor vehicle is permitted only when the person is using an operable hearing aid.
Completion of the driver training program alone does not entitle you to operate a vehicle. Securing your operator’s license is the final step in this process towards enabling you to drive. Once your limited (restricted) license has been issued to you, you must drive only under the conditions identified on your restricted license. You should not operate a vehicle that does not comply with the limitations (restrictions) on your license.


Resources

BRS Information
Visit the BRS website at http://www.ct.gov/brs/site/default.asp for more detailed information regarding vocational rehabilitation services that may be offered to people with disabilities who need help with employment.
 
DMV Information
Visit the DMV website at http://www.ct.gov/dmv/site/default.asp for more detailed information regarding motor vehicle licensing requirements for all ages.
 
DMV Hub Office Locations
To find the most convenient DMV Hub Office for you, visit http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=808&Q=244586.

Possible Funding Sources
Funding may be available for the purchase of required adaptive equipment through:
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
CT Tech Act project
Veterans’ Administration
• Contact Infoline – 211 for civic or disability-related organizations who my assist with funding.




Content Last Modified on 10/31/2013 10:54:51 AM