Driver assessment program: Helping evaluate a safe return to driving

With aging or after a serious illness or injury, the UW Health Driver Assessment Program can help you see if you have the skills necessary to continue or return to driving.

Overview

About the program

As we age, our driving skills might not be as sharp as they once were. A serious illness or injury can also affect driving abilities. In addition, there may be questions about the skills of teens/young adults with special needs who are interested in becoming new drivers. The UW Health Driver Assessment Program can work with you to see if you have the skills necessary to become a new driver, return to driving or continue driving.

Who should get a drivers assessment?

New and existing drivers who have:

  • A condition such as stroke, head injury, brain tumor, spinal cord injury, amputation, etc.

  • Ongoing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc.

  • Physical or cognitive challenge from aging as well as those caused by learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder, etc.

How is the assessment done?

We test:

  • Strength

  • Coordination

  • Reaction speed

  • Visual perception

  • Visual scanning

  • Memory

  • Attention

The results are given to your referring clinician to assist in the final decision about your ability to drive.

How to schedule

Appointments

A referral is required for this program. Please speak with your clinician about getting an Instrumental Activities of Daily Living referral (IADL). Once you have a referral, please call the UW Health University Avenue Rehabilitation Clinic at (608) 263-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Insurance

Fees for the Driver Assessment Program are billed as an occupational therapy service and are reimbursed by most health insurance providers. Please check with your insurance provider regarding specific coverage.

Additional information

Important information about the program

  • The Driver Assessment Program does not include a behind-the-wheel assessment. If this is needed, we will refer you to a qualified community agency that specializes in these assessments There may be an out-of-pocket cost to you.

  • UW Health cannot grant or take away a driver’s license. This falls under the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT).

  • We are not authorized to evaluate requirements to operate commercial vehicles or to obtain or maintain a commercial driver's license (CDL). We can evaluate whether a driver may be safe driving a standard car, which is the first step in returning to drive with a commercial license.

  • We encourage you to bring a support person with to the assessment with you. Decisions about driving are important to both you and your loved ones.