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Am I Eligible to Drive with My Disability?

power wheelchair user is eligible to drive handicap van

If you have a medical condition or disability, and if you could find a company that can convert a minivan for accessibility, you likely want to know if you're eligible to operate a vehicle. A medical condition or disability doesn't necessarily mean you can't or won't be allowed to drive.

In most states, people with certain medical conditions and disabilities must take a standard battery of tests at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine whether or not they can operate a vehicle safely. If you pass the tests, you're good to go. If you're unable to pass the tests, you still have options.

Often, it's simply a matter of having your vehicle outfitted with adaptive equipment. For instance, people with a disability that affects the legs are often able to drive using hand controls installed in the driver's position.

A person with a disability who wants a driver's license follows the same process as anyone else. In most states, you must first pass a knowledge exam and vision exam to obtain a learner's permit. This temporary permit allows you to drive with a licensed driver in the front-passenger seat. At this point you should make the DMV aware of any medical conditions or disabilities that may affect driving, including epilepsy, strokes and other neurological conditions, mental health problems, physical disabilities, and vision and hearing impairments. Your state may require your physician to fill out additional paperwork identifying which, if any, mobility equipment is necessary for you to drive safely (AMS Vans has a large inventory of accessibility minivans for sale), as well as if you can utilize a handicap placard that would permit you to park your mobility vehicle in designated handicap spaces. Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles' website should have the required forms online for downloading and printing. It's possible the DMV will put a restriction on your permit, allowing you to drive only vehicles upgraded with specialized driving aids.

Father and son entering a van

Once you know the adaptive equipment you need to safely drive, you'll need to obtain a vehicle with the adaptive equipment you'll be using to take your driving test. You'll also need to get car insurance that covers drivers with disabilities and special riders. Then, you'll be directed to take a driver's education course. Many driver's education companies cater to drivers with disabilities and have accessible vehicles available to train you in. They'll teach you everything you need to know to drive with your mobility equipment to pass both the written and driving parts of the license exam.

Laws have also been put in place to further accommodate drivers with disabilities. Most people don't know that, when a handicap driver pulls into a self-serve gas station, a station attendant is required to pump the gas for you at no charge. There should be signage explaining how to get the attendant's attention without having to exit the vehicle, like honking the horn. The only exception to this law is when there's only one attendant on staff at the gas station, although it's still strongly recommended they accommodate you.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

2005 Used 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SE Wheelchair Van

USED Dodge Grand Caravan SE
USED AMS Legend Conversion

$19,999 $20,999


  • Stock #: 225700B
  • Mileage: 85,487 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: N/A
2017 New 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Wheelchair Van

NEW Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$43,495 $44,995


  • Stock #: 855453
  • Mileage: 23 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: Backup Camera, Bluetooth, Leather, 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Driver Pwr. Seat Base
2011 Used 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE Wheelchair Van

USED Volkswagen Routan SE
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$29,995 $30,690


  • Stock #: 766798T
  • Mileage: 85,285 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: Backup Camera, DVD Player, 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Driver Pwr. Seat Base

Vehicle Exterior


Exterior Appearance Inspection

  • Panel alignment/fit
  • Headlamp, taillamp/lens condition
  • Windshield/glass condition
  • Paint chips and scratches
  • Body damage/dents/dings
  • Trim and moldings

Vehicle Identification

  • In place and matching
  • Inspect certification label (federal requirement)
  • Check VIN label to paperwork
  • Check for non-completed recalls

Exterior Lights Function Properly and Illuminate as Designed

  • Headlights hi/low (including aim)
  • Parking lights/fog lights
  • License plate lights
  • Side marker lights
  • Tail lights / backup lights
  • Turn signal and cornering lights
  • Brake and high-mount stoplights
  • Emergency Flashers

Keys

  • Vehicle has 2 master key with remote entry (if applicable) and 2 valet key, flat key
  • Programmed to immobilizer

Door Lock System

  • Door opens/closes smoothly using interior and exterior door handles
  • Doors cannot be opened when lock button is in lock position
  • 2-turn unlock feature functions properly
  • Remote entry system operates properly
  • Theft-deterrent system functions properly
  • Child safety locks
  • Wireless door lock operation

Vehicle Interior


Interior Appearance Inspection

  • Seats: front/rear
  • Steering wheel/airbags
  • Armrests/door handles
  • Lower door and sill plates
  • Gearshift selection handle
  • Radio/AC control markings
  • Headliners/sun visors

Seat Belts

  • Extend/retract smoothly
  • Free of twists, cuts or signs of wear
  • Buckles lock securely

Seat Operation

  • Lumbar support operation
  • Memory control operates properly*
  • Headrest functions properly
  • Heaters function properly*
  • Seat cushion angle and height adjustment
  • Seatback angle adjustment

Power Windows / Locks

  • Function Properly

Trunk/Fuel Lid Release

  • Functions Properly (interior)

Glove Compartment

  • Contains portfolio, owner's manual, supplement

Steering Wheel

  • Tilt/telescopic functionability
  • Horn functions properly
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Warning chime (key in -- door open)

Windshield Wiper

  • Functions in hi/low/intermittent
  • Wiper blades clean properly
  • Rain sensing wipers*

Dashboard Lights Illuminate as Designed

  • Turn signal: left/right
  • High beam indicator
  • Emergency flashers
  • Instrument panel control knob
  • Waring lights: oil pressure, brake, fuel, charge, seatbelt, open door, engine check, rear light failure, ABS, SRS
  • Check operation of guages

Rear Defogger

  • Functions properly

Air Conditioner / Heater

  • Climate control system functions properly for both heating and cooling

Interior Lights

  • Dome/map/vanity mirror/courtesy lamps/foot function properly

Audio/Navigation System

  • Power/volume switch functions properly
  • Preset station indicator
  • Cassette/CD function (scan, seek, rewind, fast forward) operates properly
  • Navigation system operates properly*
  • Speakers sound clear
  • CD cartridge (if applicable)

Sunroof

  • Tilt/slide operates properly

Clock/Cigarette Lighters/Ashtray/Cupholders

  • Function properly

Outside/Inside Rearview Mirrors

  • Power controls function properly

Luggage Compartment


Luggage Compartment

  • Spare tire size, sidewall condition, tread depth and air pressure
  • Spare tire and attaching hardware, cover, jack, jack tools and wheel lock (if applicable) are present, properly installed and secure
  • Manual fuel lid release operates

Under The Hood


Engine Hood Release

  • Interior release operates properly

The Following Fluid Levels Meet Industry Standard

  • Engine oil replaced and proper level
  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake fluid level
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Engine coolant fluid level
  • Washer fluid level

Engine Mechanical

  • Excessive fuel pump noise
  • Cooling system (radiator, overflow tank, hoses, coolant level)
  • Water pump (noise/leaks)
  • Air filter (replace as necessary)
  • Inspect oil for contaminants
  • Engine noise (knocks, rattles)
  • Transmission noise (whines, clunks)
  • Belts (wear or damage)
  • Check engine diagnostics

Battery

  • No damage or leakage and proper group size/amp rating
  • Tests to standards

Engine Fans

  • Function properly

Under the Vehicle

Tires (Minimum tread depth 5/32")

  • FL: _______/32"
  • RL: _______/32"
  • FR: _______/32"
  • RR: _______/32"
  • Sidewall condition
  • Proper size, type and match
  • Tire pressure

Wheels

  • Condition/size/fit
  • Check wheel lug-nut torque

Brake Inspection (Minimum 6mm of pad material required)

  • FL: _______mm
  • RL: _______mm
  • FR: _______mm
  • RR: _______mm
  • Rotors show no signs of excessive wear, warpage or heat damage
  • Calipers, lines, and hoses show no sign of excessive wear or leakage
  • Parking brake assemblies, cables, and attaching hardware show no sign of excessive wear or damage

Chassis Inspection (No sign of damage or excessive wear)

  • Frame rails and floor pan
  • Subframe
  • Engine mounts and oil pan for leaks
  • Brake lines and couplings
  • Transmission case/pan for leaks
  • Drive shaft boots and CV joints
  • Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and protectors
  • Steering rack, linkage, bushings, control arms and dust boots
  • Differential assembly, drive shaft and related components
  • Exhaust system (including leakage)
  • Transmission mounts
  • Tie rods, ball joints, idler arm
  • Catalytic converter
  • Struts/shocks for operation/leaks

Under Vehicle Fluid Levels

  • Differential lubricant level -- check for contaminants

Road Test (Vehicle Operation)


Engine

  • Start-up
  • Idles normally
  • While driving, engine performs normally
  • Starter system operates normally
  • Shift Lock

Brakes

  • Brake and parking brake function normally
  • Brake and clutch pedal height, free play and travel meet specs.

Indicator Lights

  • No warning lights illuminate during road test

Transmission

  • T/M shifts properly (both power/normal mode)
  • TRAC/VSC and ECT control functions and indicator lights function properly

Steering/Suspension

  • Steering operation is normal
  • Off-center psecifications meet standards
  • Handling, straight-line operations

Cruise Control

  • Functions properly

Noise or Vibration

  • None present

Squeaks or Rattles

  • None present

* -- If Applicable

Service Guarantee

AMS Vans promises to deliver the best wheelchair accessible van available on the market today..... simply put if you are not fully satisfied with your wheelchair accessible van upon delivery---you can refuse it at no cost to you.

With nearly two decades of experience; manufacturing, selling, and delivering over 12,000 vans nationwide, our dedicated team of certified technicians will not allow your van to leave our Atlanta facility until its right!

Please contact one of our experienced Mobility Specialists today and ask about our three step quality control process.

AMS Vans looks forward to serving your family by providing you with a van that is worthy of our own.

Contact AMS Vans



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