This page explains what is involved in the occupational therapy assessment process. Sometimes you are required to provide a medical certificate as part of your driver licensing application. Your health practitioner may want you to do an occupational therapy assessment to confirm your fitness to drive.
Sometimes you're required to provide a medical certificate as part of your driver licence application.
You need a medical certificate from your health practitioner if you:
The health practitioner could be your usual doctor (GP), a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or a specialist if appropriate.
If your health practitioner is not satisfied with your fitness to drive the classes or endorsements you are applying for, he or she may refer you to an occupational therapist for a driving assessment.
A driving assessment by an occupational therapist is a medical check, requested by your health practitioner or the Transport Agency. If you are assessed as medically fit to drive, after completing the driving assessment, you must still complete the driver licence application process before any new or renewed driver licence may be issued.
Driving assessments are carried out by registered occupational therapists.
First, you'll have an assessment in the therapist's office. (This is called an off-road assessment.) Then they'll take you out for a practical driving assessment. (This is called an on-road assessment.)
This part of the assessment will take up to two hours. The occupational therapist will carry out a thorough check of:
The therapist may use a computer-based tool for part of this assessment.
Occasionally, a driver's off-road assessment suggests they should not be driving. If this happens, the occupational therapist may still want you to proceed with the on-road assessment, to confirm the off-road assessment results.
The on-road assessment further assesses the impact that any disability or illness, or aging, might be having on your ability to drive safely.
During the on-road assessment, you'll be accompanied by the occupational therapist. Sometimes a specially trained driving instructor will be there as well.
You'll tackle a range of driving situations - for example:
The on-road assessment may involve approximately 40-60 minutes of driving.
If you don't have a current driver licence, make your assessor aware of this at least one week before the assessment, so they can get one on your behalf. Without a temporary licence, you'll be unable to sit the on-road assessment.
When you've finished both parts of the driving assessment, the occupational therapist will write a report outlining their observations and providing a professional recommendation.
This report will be sent back to the health practitioner who asked for you to be assessed.
The health practitioner will read the report then decide whether or not they consider you medically fit to drive the classes or endorsements that you wish to apply for or renew.
If the health practitioner gives you a medical certificate confirming you are fit to drive, you can continue with your driver licensing application.
If you want more information, you could: