Occupational therapy and driving

Information and resources for occupational therapists to support managing a patient's fitness to drive.

The primary aim of assessing fitness to drive is to assist drivers with medical conditions or disabilities to continue to drive safely, independently and legally, and to identify if driver and/or public safety may be compromised. Fitness to drive is an important consideration that influences a patient’s community mobility and independence. Occupational therapists support patients to maintain mobility independence. They can provide advice to patients, carers and families about the impacts of health conditions and disabilities on driving and to make recommendations for management and monitoring. VicRoads has fact sheets for patients describing how the medical review process works and how some common health conditions may impact driving abilities.

The VicRoads Medical Review process provides a mechanism for assessment and decision making about licensing and for facilitating ongoing review if required. It aims to optimise driver mobility and capacity to drive in conditions that suit driver capabilities providing they are safe to do so. VicRoads supports people maintaining their mobility and capacity to drive for as long as they are safe to do so. This is achieved through mechanisms such as conditional licences and regular medical reviews to monitor health conditions.

Occupational therapists can assist a patient to self notify to VicRoads about long term health conditions or disabilities that may affect driving safety. They can also support medical practitioners to be aware of fitness to drive obligations and how to refer to VicRoads Medical Review.  

While health professionals are not legally mandated to notify directly to VicRoads, they are ethically obliged to act in the interests of public safety if they are aware a patient is continuing to drive despite advice to the contrary. Health professionals making such reports to VicRoads are indemnified under Victorian Road Safety Law. 

Information for occupational therapy driver assessors

Occupational therapy driver assessors evaluate the ability of a person with physical, behavioural or cognitive impairments to drive safely, consistently and independently. They also make recommendations about driver rehabilitation, vehicle modifications and licence conditions to VicRoads Medical Review. 

As the driver licensing authority, VicRoads is solely responsible for issuing, renewing, suspending, refusing or cancelling, and reinstating a person’s driver licence, including a conditional licence. 

VicRoads makes a risk assessment and licensing decisions on a case-by-case basis with reference to the national Austroads assessing fitness to drive guidelines. VicRoads will write to the customer to advise the outcome.

Guidelines have been developed to provide occupational therapy driver assessors with information about licensing, essential in dealing with clients involved in the driving assessment process.

The guidelines aim to:
  • provide occupational therapy driver assessors with guidelines to follow when conducting an assessment
  • standardise the driver assessment process with respect to driver assessments, by documenting the expected practices, procedures, legislative framework and business rules under which occupational therapists operate
  • provide the business rules and legislative framework under which VicRoads operates
  • provide essential licensing information to occupational therapists in their role as driver assessors
  • assist occupational therapy driver assessors to explain to clients what to expect in an assessment.

Read the guidelines for occupational therapy driver assessors [PDF 806 Kb].

Other forms for occupational therapy driver assessors

How to locate an Occupational Therapy Driver Assessor

To see a list of occupational therapists conducting driving assessments in Victoria, refer to the Victorian occupational therapy driver assessors [PDF 200 Kb]

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Call: 03 8391 3226

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