Return to driving

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To return to driving following a spinal cord injury the person may require medical clearance and may be required to undergo further assessment.

The return to driving process

  1. Notify Transport for NSW
    • A licensed driver has a legal obligation to notify Transport for NSW of a spinal cord injury as it can affect their ability to drive.
  2. Medical clearance
    • A NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment form must be completed by a medical specialist or general practitioner.
    • There are two potential outcomes: the medical specialist may provide clearance for return to driving with no further assessment required or may recommend a driving assessment with a driver-trained occupational therapist.
    • The person’s licence is temporarily replaced with a learner licence during the period of assessment and/or lessons and driving test.
  3. Driving assessment
    • The driving assessment will consist of an off-road and on-road component and will determine the need for vehicle modification and driving lessons.
    • The driver-trained occupational therapist will advise the Transport for NSW of the assessment outcome.
  4. Test with Transport for NSW 
    • The test with Transport for NSW is undertaken with the recommended modifications that can be completed in a driving assessor’s car.
  5. Modification
    • The recommended modifications will need to be installed into the person’s vehicle.
  6. Return to driving
    • Once deemed appropriate, the person can return to driving and their licence will be updated with conditions specific to their needs and vehicle modifications.
    • The person may also be eligible for an Australian Disability Parking Permit.


  • Method of getting in and out of the vehicle
  • Funding for assessment and lessons
  • Stowing the wheelchair
  • Potential side effects of medications
  • Pressure injury prevention.
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