Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a medical driving assessment?
A. A driver trained Occupational Therapist looks at the impact of your disability, illness, or ageing on your ability to drive to the required standard and will make recommendations for your safety. The recommendations may include a remedial driving programme, a restricted licence or the need to stand down from driving.
Q. What is the difference between a standard driving test and a medical fitness to drive assessment?
A. A medical fitness to drive assessment is to determine the impact of your medical condition on your ability to drive safely. A standard driving test is designed to determine your knowledge of the road code and how well you follow it.
Q. Why would I need a driving assessment?
A. A lot of people require a driving assessment, and there are a wide range of reasons why your GP or specialist may have referred you. A common reason is having a medical condition that may affect your ability to drive. The assessment is a way of determining your ability and safety to continuing driving.
Q. How do I know if my driver licence is current and valid?
A. Check the back of your licence which should list the Classes of licences held and the expiry dates of these. Alternatively, If Waka Kotahi NZTA have written to you asking that you surrender your licence then your licence will be invalid from the date they provide in their letter. If you are still unsure about your licence status, you can contact NZTA or we can do so on your behalf.
Q. How do I book a driving assessment?
A. The first thing we need before booking a driving assessment is a referral from your GP or specialist who recommended the assessment. Once we receive your referral, we will contact you to discuss the details and provide you with a quote for your assessment. Once you accept the quote, the admin team will assist you with booking the assessment.
Q. Will I need to redo any memory test that I have already done?
A. Yes. The assessment consists of two parts, an off road assessment and an on road assessment. The occupational therapist will complete a series of tests during the off road assessment which will include a memory test.
Q. Do I need to know/learn the road code?
A. A medical fitness to drive assessment is focused on the impact of your medical condition or injury on your ability to drive. There is an expectation that you drive to the required standard but the assessment does not set out to test your knowledge of the road code.
Q. What happens when the assessment finishes?
A. The occupational therapist will give you feedback based on their observations throughout the assessment including both the off road aspect and the on road drive. The recommendations may be that you continue driving, or have a restricted/endorsed licence or that you may need to stop driving. A formal report will follow the assessment with copies going to you, your referrer and Waka Kotahi NZTA.
Q. Do I find out my results straight away?
A. Yes, you will be told the outcome of the assessment on the day. There are three possible outcomes a) continue to drive without restrictions b) restricted licence (examples of this may include only being able to travel a certain distance from home e.g. 5km, only being able to drive in 50km speed zones, or only being able to drive between the hours of 9am – 3pm), or c) having to stop driving entirely.
Q. Can I drive straight away, or do I need to get clearance from my GP?
A. You will still need clearance from your Doctor, and if your licence has expired you will need to wait until you get a replacement licence from Waka Kotahi NZTA. Your occupational therapist will tell you if you are able to get a temporary licence and how to go about obtaining this.
Q. Where is OTRS?
A. OTRS has two offices in the North Island, one in Hamilton (07 838 0153), and one is Wellington (04 939 7942). We also have occupational therapists in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hawkes Bay and Wellington who do the assessments.
Q. Why choose OTRS?
A. OTRS is led by a strong ethos – “Enabling Independence”. Our team are committed to providing care above and beyond expectations in order to obtain the best possible outcome for our clientele.