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  • Michigan drivers

    I'm just getting the drivers license process going. It expired since I got hurt and I need to get back on the road now. I've faxed sec of state my doctors health/physical letter (Di4p) couple weeks back and was wondering when/how/what "they" do next. Anyone gone through this?

    After I get my license, I have a script from the doc to go through a drivers eval. The company said to contact them when I get my license valid from the state (I assume w/ drivers eval restriction on it). So, I'm trying to be patient, but was looking for a ball park time. Or if their is anything else I might need to know. Thanks

  • #2
    Being that 1) I am an impatient person and 2) gone the route of faxing things and nothing got done, I would go down to the Sec. of State office with the letter and speak to someone directly. Good luck.
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    Stay safe my son. See you around thanksgiving!

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    • #3
      It's been nearly 10 years, but if I recall correctly, my process also started by obtaining a temporary or learner permit so that I could go thru driver training at Mary Freebed in Grand Rapids. They helped me with getting the temp, but I don't recall how long it took. I don't think it was a really long wait.

      After completing my training, Mary Freebed helped arrange an on-road evaluation conducted by a Sec. of State driver evaluator. After successfully completing the written and on-road tests, I was given a valid license.

      On a side note, the annoying part has been being flagged in the "system" by the Sec. of State as a driver with a condition which may impede my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This happened because the evaluator, in my opinion, was kinda freaked out by the EMC "fly-by-wire" controls I was using. He approved my license, but wanted to evaluate me again after one year.

      A year later, I got an evaluation notice and medical form for my doctor to complete. I again passed the on-road eval, but because my doctor had answered "Yes" to the question on the form asking if I should be evaluated periodically, the evaluator was forced to required another evalution, this time in two years. Two years later, another form and another eval. I begged the doc not to require periodic evaluations, but no luck. Nobody wants to be the doctor who signed off on a cripple who ends up plowing into a group of nuns.

      So, every couple of years I get a letter from Sec. of State wanting to check to be sure I'm safe to drive. I get the forms completed, take the wriiten test, check my vision, then drive around the block with an evaluator. He approves my license, then flags me in the computer, requiring me to do it all again in two years. Wash, rinse, repeat.

      Anyway, sorry to ramble. And good luck getting your license back.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by SteveGIMP
        Nobody wants to be the doctor who signed off on a cripple who ends up plowing into a group of nuns.
        Heh. That's funny. Except it's not.

        Do you have a degenerative condition or a SCI? I would be pissed off if my doctor insisted on treating me this way. AB people who have tickets and accidents don't have to go through a driving evaluation every couple of years, why should you? Hel, it sounds like it's easier for me to renew my racing license even though I haven't even been on track in over 6 months.

        C.

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        • #5
          Important note, the State of Michigan will pay for almost any vehicle mods for the disabled, if you need a vehicle to drive to/from work. This includes hand controls, seat/door modifications, and even a car-topper if it is deemed necessary. I guess they figure they'll get their money back eventually in state income taxes vs. leaving you unemployed.

          They'll also pay for the driving lessons like the ones offered at Mary Free Bed (where I plan to go as soon as I'm ready).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tiger Racing
            Do you have a degenerative condition or a SCI? I would be pissed off if my doctor insisted on treating me this way.
            I'm SCI. And my trouble was not having a doctor who really knew me well. It was a catch-22 of being healthy enough to only need to see residents for prescription refills. Unfortunately, my health isn't what it use to be, and I rarely drive anymore anyway.



            Originally posted by Zero
            Important note, the State of Michigan will pay for almost any vehicle mods for the disabled, if you need a vehicle to drive to/from work.
            That's a rather broad statement, and I'm not sure it's as true today as it once was, especially if you require expensive mods, like quad driver controls. It's definitely worth opening a case with voc. rehab and exploring the options, but making a case for expensive mods (mine were around $50,000) is not an easy task, and in my situation, required a boss who called in a few favors.
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            • #7
              So Zero and Steve, I've got a voc rehab case open and when I brought up the vehicle/mod last year my consoler said something to the effect of - I don't know if we can help you there, maybe try a pass plan (which I'm planning on trying). Situation is that I've got a good full-time job lined up for mid-july so thats a definite time line I'm on. Any suggestions on how or if I should press voc rehab more or may it be simply beyond what they can do?

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              • #8
                I wouldn't give up without pressing your case, especially if you'd be unable to take the job without a vehicle. But I'm afraid the days of MRS spending tens of thousands of dollars on vehicle mods are long gone.
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                • #9
                  Like Steve says, it doesn't hurt to push. I spoke directly with the State of Michigan social worker for this program less than a year ago, and she definitely hinted that a car-topper for a folding wheelchair should be do-able. How much do those things cost with installation? They can't be cheap.

                  She did indicate that one factor in determining how much you can get depended on which county you were working in, and what their individual budget for the program is that year.

                  At the very least you should be able to get part of the mods covered, I would think.

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                  • #10
                    I just came back from my first driver's training session at MFB. It went well I think. After just an hour behind the wheel the hand controls felt natural. The instructor and I were actively chatting the whole time and I was able to maintain concentration on my driving without trouble. I only made one small mistake: I misjudged how hard to push down on the handle during a left turn and spun the tires, snapping the car around the turn quite suddenly.

                    The instructor says I'll need two more two-hour sessions like this before they'll take me to my driving test with the state. The driver's rehab department at MFB is apparently closely tied to the State, so it doesn't appear I have much say in the matter. This is fine except that they're short-staffed at MFB right now, so there's a minimum six-week wait between sessions, possibly longer. So it's going to be at least three months before I'm ready to take the test. And I have to pass the test before I can get the hand controls installed. I'll be lucky to be driving again before the snow flies!

                    As always though, I have to praise the folks at MFB, they really have an excellent program there with a lot of great people. It was nice to wheel around there a bit and see a few of my old PTs/OTs again.

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                    • #11
                      I can relate Z. It took almost a year from the first "Ok, I think I am ready to do this" phone call, until I was actually driving my own car with an official "hand control" rider on my liscense.

                      But it is worth it!

                      Hang in there .....
                      T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JMILLER11
                        I'm just getting the drivers license process going. It expired since I got hurt and I need to get back on the road now. I've faxed sec of state my doctors health/physical letter (Di4p) couple weeks back and was wondering when/how/what "they" do next. Anyone gone through this?

                        After I get my license, I have a script from the doc to go through a drivers eval. The company said to contact them when I get my license valid from the state (I assume w/ drivers eval restriction on it). So, I'm trying to be patient, but was looking for a ball park time. Or if their is anything else I might need to know. Thanks

                        One way to do this would be:
                        1) Have your doctor fill out the form (which you've already done)
                        2) Get a prescription for drivers ed with hand controls
                        3) Take and pass a drivers ed course with certified hand control trainers. Drivers ed duration will vary based on previous driving experience and your ability to use the hand controls.
                        4) Make an appointment for driving test with Secretary of State
                        5) Take the road test at the Secretary of State

                        When you take the road test make sure you read the brochure which tells you what the driving evaluator will be looking for while you are driving. There are a few things I learned reading it that I would have certainly been marked down for. One of those things is leaving enough distance between your car and the car in front of you at stops. If you can't see the tires of the car in front of you you are too close.
                        Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
                        2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
                        Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FasterNow
                          There are a few things I learned reading it that I would have certainly been marked down for. One of those things is leaving enough distance between your car and the car in front of you at stops. If you can't see the tires of the car in front of you you are too close.
                          That's going to be the toughest thing for me. The hand controls are easy, it's the 20+ years of bad driving habits that will get me. I forget to stop before the white line, roll through stop signs, etc.

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                          • #14
                            I was back on the road driving while still in the hospital at MFB right after injury (like 4 wks after). I had my license to drive with hand controls like a month after I got out. The only wait I had was having a vehicle to drive...which was like 6 months later!
                            Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gurly2356
                              I was back on the road driving while still in the hospital at MFB right after injury (like 4 wks after). I had my license to drive with hand controls like a month after I got out. The only wait I had was having a vehicle to drive...which was like 6 months later!
                              Cripes, I'm jealous! I had my first driver's eval while I was in rehab too, but I couldn't turn the wheel properly with my shell on, so they said I had to wait until it came off. Then I had a bad DVT, then I broke my leg... by the time I felt ready to drive again it was nearly Winter. So I decided to wait until Spring to make the call, then this six-week scheduling business started. They only have one full-time and one part-time instructor there right now so I have no idea how long this will take.

                              I don't have a car yet either though Hopefully I will by the time I have my license so I don't have to wait.

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