View Full Version : Has anyone taken the VA test to get hand controls?
03-09-2011, 07:39 PM
I've found myself recently wanting a set of portable hand controls. I have my hand controls on the right side (due to to the fact that all my cars were standard before) So, getting a rental car is generally an adjustment, driving with the "wrong" hand. Now, here is my concern. If I go through the VA, I have to take a road test. Now, is this a state test or a VA, "we gotta make sure you're not going to kill yourself with these things" test? I ask because I'm an incomplete T8, and I still have toys that I'd like to still drive legally. (note: If I wasn't safe driving my toys, I wouldn't even consider it) So, I'd rather buy my own hand controls than deal with the possible fight over the license changes. So, can anyone tell me if going through the VA will effect the status of my drivers license?
03-12-2011, 07:04 PM
Its been 25 years since I did it so things might have changed, but all I did was take a ride with the OT. I didn't scare her to death or kill anyone, so I was stamped OK. The thing she was really looking at was if the hand controls were good for me. In case they needed to put something different on.
I didn't know the VA would give you portable hand controls. I've been making my own for all these years.
i never had to get anything except drive w/DMV to get license. CA, WA. i drove rentals in other states. np. C7, btw.
03-14-2011, 10:08 AM
Thank you for the responses.
baldfatdad, I really can't tell you whether or not they will give me portable hand controls... I just always got whatever I asked for. So, I didn't really question it. I figure since I put my own in the truck, they owe me a pair. :: laughs:: The VA here has an awesome sci unit, and I haven't had any problems getting any equipment I needed or wanted. Now, I must admit, they do tend to get more for their sci patients than the other ones. I think a lot of that is just due to the fact that most of us get all our regular care there, and it's most likely a forever thing. I've noticed that the sci unit is the only one that has regular visitors. I still find it odd how everyone at the VA knows me, yet of course, I don't know all of them. Serves me right for stickin' out like a sore thumb, huh? ;-)
cass, believe it or not, I've had my license renewed several times since my accident, and no one has said a thing about hand controls. I don't have the use of my hip flexors, but if a car has a lower pedal (that doesn't require me to lift my leg/foot up), I can still drive it safely. Of course I don't do this for any long distances or stop and go traffic. The one vehicle I'm referring to is a "toy" of mine that I like to take out on nice sunny days for short drives. I can't even consider having to give her up. I'm a bit of a car fiend. :: laughs::
I forgot to throw in that I am rated at 100%. So, that could be why I get my equipment so easily. I don't know your situation. So, no tellin'. I'd call and check it out if I were you.
03-14-2011, 09:03 PM
The policies, laws and regulations about the need to be driving tested again using hand controls vary from state to state.
In addition, different VA facilities have different policies and procedures regarding hand control purchases. Some require you to have an evaluation through a certified adaptive driving instructor who actually is the one who writes the recommendation for the specific product. This may be done in-house or contracted out. Some do not have this specific requirement. It varies widely and is not established by VHA policy, but rather by facility and/or VISN policy.
You can talk to your PVA NSO for more information, or discuss it with your facility's Prosthetics & Sensory Aids chief (since that is who pays for them).
the dmv has never blinked at my hand controls. neither have rental companies. i've driven all over u.s. so, again, i don't understand what VA really has to do w/anything. unless you're asking them to pay, which i never did.