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Planning for your return to driving

 

How does a stroke change my ability to drive safely?

A stroke can affect key driving skills such as:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Judgment
  • Insight
  • Reaction time
  • Sight
  • Range of motion
  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Hearing
  • Control over emotions

 

Why did my driver’s licence get suspended?

This is for your safety. Your doctor is required by law to tell the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) about your stroke. The MTO may suspend your driver’s licence until it is safe for you to drive again.

Watch this video about driving after stroke to learn more:

Video credit: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

How do I get my licence back?

The MTO will send you a letter telling you what to do to get your licence back.

They may need:

  • A doctor’s report
  • Report from other specialists (for example, neurologist, ophthalmologist)

These reports must show that you have healed enough to drive safely.

The MTO will review these reports and send you a letter with a decision. This may take several months. If you do not agree with the decision, you can appeal.

 

Where can I get training to help me drive safely after a stroke?

Visit the MTO website to see a list of approved assessment centres.

You can sign up for driving training at these centres. You will need to pay for this service.

Watch this video to learn more about driving training after stroke:  

Video credit: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

Where do I go for a driving test after stroke?

Visit the MTO website to see a list of approved assessment centres.

 

Will I need to make changes to my car to drive safely? 

Some people are able to drive even if they have physical changes after a stroke. You may need to make some changes to your car so you can drive. Visit an approved driving assessment centre. Ask for an assessment from one of their experts. They will tell you what adapted driving equipment you need.

Examples of changes to your car include:

  • Special hand controls
  • Special steering knob
  • Left foot accelerator

 

Who can make changes to my car?

Here are some companies that adapt cars for people with disabilities:

GM Canada Mobility Program
Program for persons with disabilities

 

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
Adaptive transportation solutions

Savaria Vehicle Group
Van conversion company

 

Shoppers Home Health Care
Automative Division

 

Can I get funding to help pay for changes to my vehicle?

March of Dimes Canada's Home & Vehicle Modification Program

This program helps people living in Ontario pay for basic car adjustments. There is a set amount of funding for this program. Learn more about this program on the March of Dimes website.

 

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

There are tax credits or tax deductions for people with disabilities and their families. You can submit your receipts with your next tax return. Learn more about tax credits on the CRA website.

 

I cannot drive safely right now. What other options do I have?

Here are some options you can try instead of driving:

  • Asking family and friends for a ride

  • Wheel-Trans. This program provides door-to-door accessible public transit service to people with disabilities. Learn more about this program on the TTC website. Wheel-Trans: 416-393-4111.

  • Volunteer driving services. Provide assisted door-to-door transportation services to seniors and adults with disabilities for a small fee. See a list of services in the Greater Toronto Area.

 

How can I get an accessible parking space?

You can apply for an accessible parking permit on the Service Ontario website. You and your healthcare team will need to fill out the forms together. Service Ontario Toll-free:1-800-387-3445. 

 

Where to learn more about this topic:

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Returning to Driving Patient Education PDF

Toronto Central Healthline
Getting Around

Toronto Ride
416-481-5250 

Wheel Trans
416-393-4111 

Service Ontario

Get an accessible parking permit
Toll-free: 1-800-387-3445