The OT Assessment & Modified Vehicles

By Ronak


Your driving capacity can be severely reduced by factors such as disabilities, serious injuries, and or any medical condition. In NSW any of these factors which affect your driving need to be declared to the RMS, before you are able to drive. There may be medical tests and assessments which need to be completed to clarify your driving ability. 

If there are any concerns about any medical issues or if you have been diagnosed with new medical conditions, you need to notify your doctor so that they can conduct an assessment of your condition. If there are any concerns or issues regarding your ability to drive then the doctor will inform the RMS of your condition via a medical fitness assessment form. After the completion of the assessment, your driving condition will be determined, and usually, an Occupational Therapy (OT) driving assessment is recommended by the doctor. 

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What happens in an Occupational therapy (OT) assessment?

Upon the completion of the OT assessment, you will be informed of the results and of any other requirements. The outcomes of the assessment are the following three possibilities: 

  1. You have passed the assessment – Your condition or disability is not affecting your driving capacity and you can return to driving.

  2. You have failed the assessment – You made crucial errors in the assessment and require specialised driving lessons to help improve your driving. You will have to do a driving reassessment. If you require vehicle modifications, the OT will prescribe these during the assessment, and you will undergo lessons to learn how to drive with the modifications in all traffic forms.

  3. You have failed the assessment – Your condition is severely affecting your driving and it is assessed that further lessons or modifications will be of no benefit. Your license will be cancelled. 

It is important that you remember that recommendations for cancellation of a license are only done in cases of serious cognitive conditions such as intellectual disability, brain injuries, dementia, or impairment disorders. Although, in the case of physical disabilities there are modified vehicles that can be suitable for your needs. 

RMS Disability driving test 

Any disabilities or physical conditions that you have which affect your driving ability the OT will prescribe suitable modifications, which you are required to trial during the on-road driving assessment. Examples of physical conditions and disabilities can include; cerebral palsy, limb amputations, and or congenital deformations. 

These modifications will be addressed on your license application and therefore you will take lessons with your prescribed modifications installed to the vehicle. After these modifications are installed you will be required to attempt your provisional license and then undertake the RMS disability test.  Once you have passed the RMS driving test, the modifications that you require will be endorsed onto your license as a condition, which indicates that you must always drive with the prescribed modifications. 

How do I get vehicle modifications installed?

Once your conditions have been endorsed onto your license, you can organise a vehicle modified to your specifications, which also ensures that the legal specifications are set by the RMS. The OT assessor will recommend a modified vehicle to you, which is also a part of the assessment process.

If you require any further information, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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