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Since 1973, The Driving Rehabilitation Service has been providing driving evaluations to clients whose illness or disability may affect their ability to drive.

Our occupational therapist assesses motorized-vehicle operation ability and determines if clients have the potential to improve from driver training. The Driving Rehabilitation Service also assists clients with adaptive driving equipment and altered driving techniques.

The service is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and La Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.

Our Services

The program offered by The Driving Rehabilitation Service is suitable for:

  • Patients whose physical, cognitive and/or behavioural impairments may interfere with the safe operation of a vehicle.
  • Patients who have experienced a visual-field impairment and have been MTO-approved to proceed with a driving evaluation through the vision-waiver program.

Patients are first assessed by an occupational therapist that specializes in driver rehabilitation. Our occupational therapist is certified by the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) and is also a member of the following associations:

  • National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
  • Standing committees affiliated with Transport Canada’s Transportation Development Centre
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

All patients must also undergo a driving evaluation, which consists of two parts:

  • The pre-driving evaluation takes place in the Occupational Therapy Department and takes approximately two hours to complete. The patient’s physical and cognitive abilities are evaluated, as is their knowledge of the rules of the road. A driving simulator is used as a part of the pre-driving evaluation.
  • The in-car evaluation is completed by an occupational therapist who specializes in driver rehabilitation in collaboration with a licensed driving instructor. The in-car evaluation is done in a vehicle equipped with a dual brake and any necessary adaptive driving equipment. It takes approximately one hour to complete.

The results of the driving evaluation and all recommendations regarding the patient’s ability are discussed with the client before being forwarded to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario or La Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec. Those agencies make the final decision regarding the status of the client’s license.

Making an Appointment

Patients must obtain a referral to The Driving Rehabilitation Service from their physiatrist or a physician.

They must also submit the results of a recent eye examination showing that their vision meets all necessary provincial requirements.

OHIP does not cover the cost of a driving evaluation; fees vary depending on the assessment required.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

The Occupational Therapy Department
The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre
505 Smyth Rd., Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M2
Tel.: 613-737-7350 ext. 75359

Last updated on: December 2nd, 2016