Vehicle modifications for drivers with a disability
Vehicle modifications might be needed for some drivers with a disability to enable them to drive legally and safely. Some passengers with a disability might also need vehicle modifications to enable them to access and travel in a vehicle.
Vehicle modifications are any alteration to a vehicle, and can be minor or major. Examples of minor modifications include spinner hand-grip devices and back support cushions, whereas major modifications may include installing a ramp or hoist and special steering systems.
Before modifying a vehicle there are many things to consider, such as costs, registration and licensing requirements and whether modifications are the best option for you.
Download RACV’s Keeping Mobile brochure for further information about modifying a vehicle for drivers and passengers with a disability.
More information on vehicle modifications for drivers and passengers with a disability
Independent Living Centre (ILC) - The ILC provides a free internet database, telephone advisory line, and also runs special display days. Visit the ILC website for more information.
Disabled Motorists Association (DMA) - The DMA is a volunteer run self help and advocacy group which assists individuals with disabilities to gain driving independence. They can advise on a range of issues and many of their members are drivers with disabilities who have practical firsthand experience.
Transport Accident Commission (TAC) - The TAC can provide information for people who are injured in traffic accidents. Information includes eligibility for compensation, application forms, and vehicle modifications.
VicRoads - VicRoads are responsible for ensuring that all drivers can drive safely. VicRoads provide advice and information about driving with long-term or permanent medical conditions or disabilities and occupational therapy driver assessment. The Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) is also apart of VicRoads, which aims to ensure all modified vehicles meet construction and safety standards.
OT Australia (Vic) - OT Australia (Vic) can provide information on how to find an OT generalist or driver assessor.
Royal Children’s Hospital - The Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne) has a Safety Centre which provides information about safety issues for all children – including those with special needs.
Vehicle Modifications Subsidy Scheme (VMSS) - The VMSS is part of the Victorian Aids and Equipment Program and is funded by the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS). Eligible drivers/passengers with permanent disabilities living in Victoria may receive a subsidy of up to $10,000 (over a seven-year period) for the cost of certain modifications.
There are also several advocacy and support groups for people with different medical conditions and disabilities:
MS Australia - MS Australia has been supporting and helping people with multiple sclerosis since 1956. MS Australia informs people with MS how best to live as full and healthy a lifestyle as possible while managing the symptoms of MS.
AQA – AQA is a provider of support and services for people who sustain spinal cord injuries (quadriplegia and paraplegia) and similar physical disabilities. AQA is a member based organisation who enable people affected by physical disability to achieve maximum independence.
Independence Australia – Independence Australia is a not for profit organisation that supports people with a disability or other physical needs to achieve their optimal quality of life.