Texas Driving with Disability

Texas Driving with Disability logo with Samuel Allen holding a driver license


On This Page:

What is the Texas Driving with Disability Program?

This Texas trail-blazing program focuses on improving the interaction between law enforcement and drivers with disabilities with unique communication needs. Texans now have the option to disclose “Communication Impediment” directly on the front of their Driver License or State ID or when registering their vehicle through the DMV. This will alert the trained officer of an individual who may be slower to respond or one who is deaf or hard of hearing. 

Requirements for Texas Public Schools

Effective September 1,  2023, Texas public schools must provide information about the Texas Driving with Disability program to students who:

This information must be provided annually to each student who is 16 years of age or older until graduation or until their 21st birthday. The information about the Texas Driving with Disability program must also be provided to the parents or guardians of eligible students. It may be provided with any transition planning materials that the school provides. 

The information on this page may be used by schools to share with students and parents. In addition, the Texas Transition and Employment Guide will be updated to include information about the Texas Driving with Disability program as it applies to students receiving special education services in Texas public schools. 

Driving with a Communication Disability? Texas Driving with Disability Billboard

What diagnosis is considered a “communication impediment” under the Texas Driving with Disability Program?

Medically, each disorder lends itself to its own category. However, for law enforcement coding and training purposes, the term "Communication Impediment" is divided into two groups.

Group One

Think of this group as having a slower processing speed. Similar to a computer that takes a little longer to load content. Allow time for individuals to respond. This group includes:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Brain Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Mild Intellectual Disability
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Speech and Language Disorders (mutism, stuttering, speech delay aphasia, and spasmodic dysphonia)















Group Two

Think of this group as using a different language. There is no mental impairment but an individual communicates differently than you. This group includes:

  • Deaf
  •  Hard of Hearing








What are my choices and how do I get started?

Communication Impediment on Driver License & State ID

Communication Impediment with a Peace Officer is an optional indicator offered by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on the Texas State ID and Driver License for those wanting to alert law enforcement of a potential challenge with communication. Ask your doctor to complete form DL-101 and present it at the driver license office. "Communication Impediment" will appear on the front of your card.

Samuel Allen showing his driver license stating communication impediment

Communication Impediment in Vehicle Registration

The Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (TLETS) provides authorized law enforcement personnel with query access to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) registration system. Returns of vehicle and driver information are presented through authorized TLETS terminals. The option for disclosure of a communication disability/impediment when registering a vehicle through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Communication Impediment or Deaf/Hard of Hearing will then be privately placed in TLETS thus alerting the officer of communication need prior to approaching the vehicle in a pull-over scenario. There are two forms that are available:

Form VTR-215 Deaf Driver Awareness (with specialty license plate)

Form VTR-216 Communication Impediment (without specialty license plate)

An approved medical provider will need to complete your preferred form. Present the completed form when you register or update your vehicle with Texas DMV.

Driver Education Options

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) oversees the Driver Education & Safety program. In an effort to educate student drivers, Texas Driver Education & Driving Safety Providers must update their curriculum to include information relating to the Texas Driving with Disability Program

TDLR also offers Driver Education curriculum in American Sign Language (ASL) and with captions.  

Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals can request driver education schools to use this curriculum as a substitute. If the driver education school prefers to use their own curriculum, the school will be required to provide an ASL interpreter or captions requested as a reasonable accommodation.

Downloadable Resources

Texas Driving with Disability Booklet (coming soon)

Texas Driving with Disability Tri-fold Brochures (English/Spanish)

Downloadable Tri-fold Brochure in English       Downloadable Tri-fold Poster in Spanish

Texas Driving with Disability Poster (English/Spanish)

Texas Driving with Disability Poster in English Texas Driving with Disability Poster in Spanish

Law Enforcement Training 

In an effort to educate all Texas Law Enforcement agencies on how to interact with people that have different communication needs, there are courses now available online on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) website for officers to utilize for continuing education hours.

TCOLE Course 4055: Understanding Communication Impediment for the Peace Officer (online continuing education training for law enforcement officers)

TCOLE Course 7887: Interacting with Drivers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (mandatory training for law enforcement officers)

Links are to posted curriculum for trainers. Log in to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement or contact your training academy for more information on how to register.


Emma Faye Rudkin and Samuel Allen Announce the Program

Public Service Announcement









About Texas Driving with Disability Program

This Texas trail-blazing program focuses on improving interactions between law enforcement and drivers with a communication disability (or who are Deaf) with the optional code 'Communication Impediment' directly on the front of the Texas Driver License, State ID, or when registering your vehicle through the DMV. The program was created by Texas resident, Jennifer Allen, who saw the need when her son Samuel reached driving age. Together, they have forged this program into law. The program is now carried through the Texas Governor's Commitee on People with Disabilities.

Jennifer Allen standing behind a podium in the Governors Press Conference Room.

Texas Governor's Press Room: Jennifer Allen announces the Samuel Allen Law

Legislative References

  • Senate Bill 2304 (88th Legislative Session) - relating to the regulation of driver education courses and driving safety courses and the provision of information regarding the Texas Driving with Disability Program to certain public school students.
  • Senate Bill 976 (86th Legislative Session) - relating to the notification of a peace officer through an indication associated with vehicle registration that a person has a health condition or disability that may impede effective communication.
  • House Bill 1434 (85th Legislative Session) - relating to displaying certain informational materials and videos in driver license offices.

Participating Agencies

Texas Department of Public Safety LogoTexas Department of Motor Vehicles LogoTexas Commission on Law Enforcement Logo