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Driving & Stroke

Mary Free Bed's Stroke Driver Rehabilitation Process

Driver Rehab Referral for Stroke Patients

A physician's prescription for a driving assessment is required for entry into the driving and stroke program. The prescription must include a medical diagnosis.

Driver's License Status

Most individuals referred for a driving assessment after having a stroke (cerebral vascular accident) hold a valid Michigan driver's license. If the client's driver's license has expired, we can assist in obtaining a temporary restricted license for the purpose of completing the driving evaluation and any training required.

Who needs a driving evaluation after a stroke?

A stroke has the potential to alter a person's visual, perceptual, and cognitive skills, which may impair the ability to drive safely. In addition, physical changes such as the loss of use of an arm or leg may make driving difficult and possibly unsafe. The effects of a stroke vary tremendously from one individual to the next, and potential problems with driving may be difficult to identify without an objective assessment that includes an actual driving experience.

What does the driving evaluation for stroke patients consist of?

At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, the driving evaluation includes a clinical assessment to check for visual, perceptual, cognitive, and physical skills, as well as a behind-the-wheel driving assessment.

What are the usual recommendations for stroke patients following completion of the driving evaluation?

Pass: The driving evaluation was successful and no adaptive equipment is required.

Training with adaptive equipment: The evaluation was successful, but adaptive equipment is needed to compensate for the loss of functional use of an arm or leg. A steering knob, a left-foot accelerator, and/or turn signal extension on the right might be required. We will recommend training in a vehicle equipped with this equipment, and a road test with the Secretary of State to add the equipment to the driver's license as a restriction. Training is separate from the evaluation process and additional charges will be incurred.

Fail: Not recommended for driving due to significant problems encountered during the evaluation that may make driving unsafe.

The results of the evaluation are shared with the client and his or her physician. The Driver Rehabilitation Program staff does not report the results to the Secretary of State as they are acting as an advisor to the client and to the physician.

Contact the Driver Rehabilitation Program

616.242.0343 or 800.528.8989


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