Monday, March 08, 2010

Are deaf people allowed to drive?

Are deaf people allowed to drive?

Q: Are deaf people allowed to get drivers licenses? If so, are there any additional restrictions or classes?

A: The answer comes from State Department of Licensing spokesman Tony Sermonti:

The quick answer is yes, folks that are deaf or hearing impaired can get a driver license. There are no special requirements or classes that they're required to take. Extra time is set aside for the driving test, so examiners can use flash cards or other methods of communicating.

Depending on the attention the applicant gives during the drive test, we may impose a restriction on their driver license requiring outside mirrors on both sides of the vehicle and a rear view mirror to ensure they can see emergency vehicles approaching from behind.

In terms of a commercial driver license, individuals who are deaf do not meet federal medical standards. If a deaf individual is interested in obtaining a commercial driver license, they would need to apply for a waiver through our agency. We are not aware of anyone who has applied for a waiver during the last five years.