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Being disabled and driving [View All]

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lunamagica Donating Member (430 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 03:46 PM
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Being disabled and driving
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I can't walk at all. in 2001 I received my driver's license. I then drove with a perfect record for all my driving history. Not even a parking ticket.

Then I had to renew.

Here's a letter I wrote about what happened then:

Two years ago I went to renew my driver's license. I have a completely, totally spotless driving record. When I got there, a DMV officer started asking me what medications I took, and asked me to explain my disability. She did it in an extremely rude manner, yelling at me from across the room. I was really taken aback, and started answering her about the disability, but she didn't understand, so she then told me to write it all down on a piece of paper, and demanded that I take my driving test again. I refused to write anything down, felt pretty shaken up and decided to leave.

I went to another office where they told me I had to take the driving test. I think the woman at the previous office wrote it down on the computer as I had renewed my license before with no problem. I didn't take the test as I felt it was wrong to force people with a spotless record to take the test again

The following day I emailed several people about what had happened. The supervisor of the office I went called me, and I thought she'd set things right, but soon in the call I could see she only wanted to protect the employee. She told me that asking me to write my disability down was a "kind gesture" from the clerk, as "she didn't want to embarrass me", and then she had the gall to ask me if I had ever taken the driving test, as if she didn't know the answer to that. I felt she just wanted to confuse me.

My life has really deteriorated since my license expired. So I bit the bullet and went again to try to renew.

Someone (a supervisor, I think) reviewed the whole matter and told me that the problem was that no one had made a note that I was in a wheelchair. She told me to take the test so they could write the note. I've used a wheelchair since I was ten yrs old.

Then I went for my vision test. I couldn't reach the machine, so they looked around and in a corner there was an old, different looking machine and they had me take the test there. With my glasses on, I could see the letters clearly, but they told me I was "getting too many of them wrong". I couldn't understand what happened, and how could I be getting them wrong when I could see them just fine. I failed the test, and they gave me a form for the Dr. to fill. I went, I have the form saying that my corrected vision is 20/20. The Dr. doesn't understand how I failed the test. One of the questions on the form is "On the basis of your clinical observation, visual or otherwise, do you recommend applicant be required to pass a driving test? The Dr's reply is "NO".

So I wonder why if THEY made a mistake no noting I was in a wheelchair, why am *I* being penalized? How can that be right? Why isn't my driving record enough evidence that I'm a safe driver, who passed the driving test and was issued a safe driver's license by the state? I know people who have tickets, collisions, who renew without being asked to take the test again.

On page ten of "The Official Florida Driver's handbook, it says that driver's who have a conviction -free record for the past three years, and no suspensions or revocations for the past seven years will be issued a "safe driver" license. I belong in that group. I don't think it's fair that I'm being singled out just by perception, when the reality, the facts, and the record are in my favor. That's just wrong. Please help.


I sent this email to a state representative. (I live in FL). An assistant to the representavive spoke to a "liason" (sorry, I don't really know what that means) of the DMV and she told him I HAD to take the test. Couldn't give her a reason why. Said it was all up the discretion of the examiner.

Now, you might say, just take the test. The truth is that I'm terrified to. After all this hassle I feel they want to take my license away. The truth is that the tought of having this person (the examiner) next to me has me shaking. Sometimes I just want to forget the whole thing, but my life without my license has deteriorated. Im now a shut-in, getting more depressed anyway.

I posted this to get your opinions. Opinions from people who live life with a POV similar to mine. I'm I wrong here?

What can I do?

Thank you.

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