Frequently Asked Questions
Click on questions to see the answer.
A: FDEs may be appropriate for a wide range of health conditions that impact an individual’s cognitive, physical, visual, or emotional abilities. Below are some examples, although this is not a comprehensive list.
- Cognitive impairment related to stroke, trauma, dementia, or other neurological conditions
- Stable physical conditions such as spinal cord injury, amputations, or general leg or arm weakness
- Mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and anxiety with driving
- Visual deficits such as low vision, visual field deficits, monocular vision etc.
A: There are many variables to consider when determining if an individual is able to drive. A functional driving evaluation is the best way to determine an individual’s capacity to drive. Prior to participating in a driving evaluation, a medical clearance form will be required from your doctor.
There are some episodic health conditions that usually preclude one from driving, such as:
- uncontrolled epilepsy
- sleep apnea
- hypoglycemic events related to diabetes
For health conditions that cause persistent functional impairments, a functional driving evaluation may be required to determine one’s fitness to drive. Examples of health conditions that cause persistent functional impairment include:
- Cognitive decline and dementia
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
A: No – Referrals for FDEs should not be made until a client is medical stable, meaning that there is no significant change in function as it relates to driving, anticipated. It is a lengthy process to have adaptive driving equipment installed in a vehicle, requiring not only an FDE, but licencing restrictions to be added to one’s licence as well, which can take on average 3 or more months.
A: Prior to installing adaptive equipment that modifies the primary controls of a vehicle (steering, accelerator, or brake), an individual must have the corresponding restriction on their driver’s licence. Given this, a FDE is required prior to the installation of equipment such as spinner knobs, hand controls, or a left foot accelerator. We work with NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) vendors to enable safe, and reliable vehicle modifications.
A: Below is a list of possible funders and information that will help you figure out which, if any, may apply to you.
- RoadSafetyBC – if you have received a letter from RoadSafetyBC indicating that a Functional Driving Evaluation (FDE) is required AND that RoadSafetyBC will reimburse you for the assessment fee.
- ICBC – If the medical condition that may be negatively impacting your ability to drive was a result of a motor vehicle collision, you may have ICBC funding. Talk with your file handler to discuss your specific situation.
- WorkSafeBC: If the medical condition that may be negatively impacting your ability to drive was a result of a workplace accident, you may have WorkSafeBC funding. Talk with your WorkSafeBC Case Manager to discuss your specific situation.
- Other Third Party Funders/Insurance companies (could include Veteran’s Affairs, Desjardins)
- Private Pay – You may choose to pay privately for the FDE.
If none of the above funding sources apply to you, but you have concerns about your ability to drive safely or I know that you require adaptive driving equipment such as hand controls – Consult with your doctor on your driving fitness. Your doctor can advise you on next steps.
A: Individuals must have a valid class 7L or N, Class 5 or higher driver’s licence. If an individual doesn’t have a valid licence – they must be eligible to obtain a Learners Permit, with Restriction 51 (REHAB ASSESSOR DUAL CONTROL) from RoadSafetyBC for the on-road portion of the evaluation. If you are eligible for a Learners Permit with a Restriction 51, you will have received a letter from RoadSafetBC stating that you are; you will be required to provide a copy of this letter prior to booking a FDE.
You will be required to send a copy of your valid driver’s licencing or Learners Permit to our office, 5 days prior to your FDE assessment in order to hold your spot.
If you have any questions regarding your licencing status or eligibility, please contact ICBC at 1-800-950-1498.
A: All referrals start with filing out a referral form. If you are having problems filling out your referral form, there is an option to set up a consultation with one of our administrative staff. Note that the consult is a private pay service. To set up a consult please contact our front desk at 250-542-3089.
A: No, you do not need to study for your driving assessment.
- A valid driver’s licence
- Glasses if you need them to drive
- Appropriate footwear for driving
Please note, generally funders do not cover travel or accommodation costs. Check with your funding source for more information. The link below shows hotels and hotel prices in the Vernon area.
A: If following the FDE a return to driving is recommended:
- The evaluator will inform you of their recommendation (typically a recommendation is communicated on the assessment day or shortly afterwards)
- If you have a valid licence, you will be told by the evaluator that you can continue with driving,
- If you do not have a valid licence, you will be advised by the evaluator not to drive until you hear from RoadSafetyBC and obtain a valid licence.
- Your evaluator will send a report outlining the assessment findings to RoadSafetyBC
A: If following the FDE assessment, the evaluator does not recommend a return to driving, the evaluator will:
- Inform you of their recommendation (typically the recommendation is communicated on the assessment day or shortly afterwards)
- Advise you not to drive until you hear from RoadSafetyBC
- Send a report outlining the assessment findings to RoadSafetyBC
A: While the evaluator will provide recommendations to RoadSafetyBC, the final licencing decision is made by RoadSafetyBC. If you disagree with the decision, you can contact RoadSafetyBC.
A: Potential funding sources for driver rehabilitation or adaptive driving equipment could include:
- BC Rehab Foundation: BC Rehab offers individual grants for individuals with physical disabilities who are unable to acquire needed equipment through other means. They may funder driver rehabilitation lessons. This is typically a grant that an individual would complete following an FDE if driver rehabilitation was recommended, and they require financial assistance with the recommended rehabilitation sessions. Visit BC Rehab’s website for more information: https://bcrehab.com/applications/individual-grant/