Step-by-step plan for driving license application for people with autism

How does the driving license test work in practice for people with a diagnosis in the autism spectrum? What steps do people with autism spectrum disorder or ASD have to take in order to ultimately be able to apply for that coveted paper, the driving license? A practical step-by-step plan, aimed at those who do have an ASD diagnosis but have not yet obtained their driving license.

Step-by-step plan for driving license application.

Step-by-step plan for persons with autism spectrum disorder, who (want to) apply for their driving license for the first time.
Since the amended Regulation on suitability for 2000 has come into force for people with autism spectrum disorder, this means that this group of adults must first undergo an extensive inspection procedure before the driver's license can be obtained. This procedure is relatively lengthy, with many steps to be taken and costs incurred. For many people with a form of autism and their environment, this can be a complicated process, in which it is not clear what they should or should not do, when, in which order or with which body you should be for what. With the help of this step-by-step plan, it will hopefully become a little easier to find your way in the complex forest of rules. This article provides a guide for those who already have an ASD diagnosis and not yet have a driver's license. In the related article "Step-by-step plan to renew the driving license for people with autism" there is a step-by-step plan for those who already have a driving license and need to renew or renew their driving license at some point.
Step-by-step plan for adults with a form of autism
  • (want to) apply for the driver's license for the first time
  • or maybe even have to start driving lessons.

(Want to) apply for your driver's license for the first time

1) Application for a Certificate of Fitness

A Declaration of Suitability is a statement that states that someone can take a medical and practical approach to the road. The Central Driving License Agency (CBR) issues this statement.
To apply for a Declaration of Suitability, send the completed form "Personal Declaration" to the CBR. This form contains questions about your physical and mental condition. You must purchase this Personal Statement from a driving school, the municipality or one of the CBR theory exam centers.
Costs: purchase Own Declaration, postage costs (sending by registered mail is wise).

2) Send additional information

If you have answered one or more of the questions in the Self-Declaration with 'yes', you must send additional information to the CBR. This is a note from a doctor to your Personal Statement, which describes the nature and severity of your medical situation. And your own letter, in which you explain your problem, question or doubt yourself.

Cost

Costs of visiting a doctor or general practitioner for obtaining a doctor's note with your own statement. Sometimes covered by health insurance, for example if it is part of a regular visit to your doctor.
The note on the Self-Declaration must be from a doctor. This can be any type of doctor, including a doctor. Sometimes this is not enough and more information is needed. In that case, the CBR medical adviser will send you to a medical specialist. This is the case with people with ASD.

3) Inspection by medical specialist (psychiatrist)

With regard to autism spectrum disorders, the law stipulates that the assessment of fitness to drive always requires a specialist report prepared by a psychiatrist with knowledge and experience in the field of ASD in adults. The psychiatrist who performs the check makes use of a checklist with possible risk factors for people with a form of autism.

Cost

The examination by a psychiatrist costs (a lot of) money. The rates can vary considerably per psychiatrist. Sometimes the inspection takes less than 10 minutes.

4) Practical driving test

As soon as all medical documents have been received by the CBR, the CBR decides whether further follow-up examinations are needed to determine your fitness to participate in traffic. When someone with an autism spectrum disorder wants to apply for his or her driver's license for the first time, he or she must always take a practical driving test. You take a driving test under the supervision of a CBR expert, usually in a training car. During the practical driving test, an expert from the CBR assesses, based on a detailed protocol, whether the person with an ASD is also fit for driving in practice. We will look into whether you can drive responsibly and independently with your disability.
N.B. This practical driving test is not the same as the practical driving test! You must pass the practical driving test in order to obtain the right to take the official driving test later.

Cost

The driving test itself is free. When you have to rent a lesson car at a driving school, there are costs involved.

5) Decision

If, after completing these steps, you are declared fit by the CBR medical adviser, you will receive a Certificate of Fitness. Restrictive provisions or a limited period of validity may be attached to this statement. For people with autism spectrum disorder, this statement is valid for a maximum of 3 years. The entire procedure must then be repeated.
You will receive the result of the fitness to drive assessment (the decision) by letter from the CBR, which also communicates the decision to the Road Traffic Service (RDW) for the Central Driving License and Moped Certificate Register.
Steps 1 to 5 are preferably completed first, so before you start driving lessons. The declaration of (driving) suitability must in any case be received before the driving test may be taken. It is advisable to have this Declaration in your possession before you take the theory test, because the theory test is only valid for one year. The procedure for applying for the Declaration of Suitability often takes a long time, usually a few months. If you are unlucky, your theory test has expired in the meantime and you will have to take another theory test (and incur additional costs).

6) Taking the theory exam

Passing theory test for driving license.

Cost

There are costs associated with taking the theory test.

7) Taking the practice driving test

With both the Declaration of Suitability and your theory test in your pocket, you may take a driving test (practical exam). Hopefully you will pass your driving test. When you have passed your driving exam, you will receive a certificate of driving ability from the CBR. The CBR does not issue driving licenses itself.

Cost

There are costs associated with taking the (practical) driving exam.

8) Apply for a driving license at the municipality

With both the Declaration of Suitability and the Declaration of Driving Ability in your possession, you go to the counter of your municipality. You can apply for your driver's license there. The municipality will give you your driver's license, usually after some waiting time. This driving license will have a maximum period of validity of 3 years for people with autism spectrum disorder, due to the limited period of validity of the Certificate of Fitness to Drive. After approximately 2.5 years you will therefore start again with step 1.
To apply for a driver's license, you also need a passport photo that must meet all kinds of specific requirements. See the information from your municipality for this.

Cost

Costs for applying for a driving license (rate varies per municipality), costs for passport photos.
If you then own a car, a car insurance is also required (at least a third-party insurance). In that case, steps 9 and 10 also apply.

9) Take out car insurance

Compare different car insurance policies and choose an appropriate insurance policy.

Cost

Costs for purchasing and maintaining the car. Costs for car insurance.

10) Request written confirmation of car insurance

Send your insurance company a copy of the decision of the CBR containing the restrictive provisions and a copy of your new driver's license. Ask the insurance company for a written response to your letter and keep it with your policy.

Cost

Insurance costs. Risk of higher insurance premium due to mention of illness / limitation.

No driver's license yet and still have to start driving lessons

The CBR advises you to send a Personal Statement before you start taking driving lessons. This is called the "Information Own Statement". You and your driving school know exactly where you stand. Moreover, this prevents the candidate from being told after many lessons and many driving exams that the driver's license is unfortunately unreachable. You can find more information in the brochure "With a handicap safely behind the wheel" of the CBR. If you have questions about fitness to drive, you can also contact the medical adviser of the CBR by telephone (www.cbr.nl, 2012).

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