Do you have to register at the CARA for an assessment of your ability to drive? Or are you a physician and you need to make a decision concerning the ability to drive of one of your patients? You may have some questions in mind.
You can contact us, but beforehand please read the frequently asked questions and their answers.
Who is granted access to my personal information at the CARA ?
Your personal information, essential to make a decision on your ability to drive, is strictly medical. They are thus protected by the obligation of medical secrecy and are not given to any outsider.
Is it possible to assess my ability to drive at home ?
No. The assessments are carried out in CARA's offices. You can either visit us at our head office in Brussels, or at one of our 'mobile branch offices'. The location is determined by your medical condition and therefore the necessary examinations and medical equipment. If the CARA schedules a medical examination or a neuropsychological examination for instance, the assessment has to be carried out at our head office.
What do I have to take for an assessment ?
Your driving licence (if you still / already have it) and your identity card. If you wear glasses, a prosthesis or a brace, you must wear them or take them with you. In short, you must be in the same conditions as when you are driving.
Can I use my personal vehicle for the practical evaluation ?
No, the practical evaluation (driving test) must be done with a vehicle provided by the CARA. We provide you with adapted vehicles, with either a manual or automatic transmission. All our vehicles are equipped with 'dual control', which enables the expert in technical adjustments to react immediately if necessary.
How much does a CARA assessment cost ?
All the assessments carried out by the CARA at our offices are free of charge. However, you will have to pay for potential additional examination by your general practitioner or specialist medical practitioner and for the driving lessons.
What documents will I receive from the CARA and what should I do with them ?
The CARA issues 2 documents: a Model XII certificate and a technical specifications sheet. Go to the 'driving licence' department of your city with the Model II certificate. There, they will adapt your driving licence according to the clauses notified on that document. You can use the technical specifications sheet to ask for a potential financial assistance to a competent institution (VAPH, AWIPH, PHARE, Dienstelle für Personen mit Behinderung…). The company that will adapt your vehicle may consequently deduce the adjustments made.
Will the CARA deliver me a new driving licence ?
No, the CARA delivers a medical certificate so that the 'driving licence' department of your municipality can provide you with a new driving licence or an adapted licence. Your personal physician also receives a copy of the certificate. In some cases, the final decision is made by another institution (courthouse, medical expert).
I have the code 10.01 on my driving licence. Am I allowed to drive a vehicle with an automatic gearbox ?
Yes, you can. The code 10.01 indicates that you are allowed to drive with a manually operated gearbox. This means you are also free to opt to drive an automatic vehicle. That is permitted. So the code 10.01 represents no restriction.
I have the code 10.02 on my driving licence. Am I allowed to drive a vehicle with an ‘ordinary’ gear change (i.e. manual) ?
No, you cannot. The code 10.02 indicates a restriction. So you cannot choose between a manually operated vehicle or an automatic. You must drive an automatic.
I disagree with a decision made by the CARA. What can I do ?
In principle, there is no possible recourse. Of course, it is always possible to be reassessed, which is basically the same thing. A decision concerning the ability to drive is made at one point, in a relatively short period of time and with the information provided to us at that time. This decision was based on medical and psychological elements, and elements related to your driving practice. Therefore, you must prove that your medical or psychological situation or your driving practice has evolved favourably or that the decision was perhaps made on incorrect or incomplete information. Talk it over with the person in charge of your file at the CARA and ask him / her what your options are: new external opinions, reassessment by other experts, the CARA cannot make any other decision, etc.
The CARA assessed me. I have received a certificate with a limited period of validity. Is the CARA the only one entitled to extend its validity or is my general practitioner ( or specialist medical practitioner) entitled to do it as well ?
It depends on the cases. Ask your physician for advice. In view of the medical criteria, he will be able to determine if you need to return to the CARA or not.
I must take a number of driving lessons before the CARA can make a final decision. Which vehicle and driving school are the most appropriate ?
The choice of the driving school is yours entirely. The driving school must contact the CARA to receive the '10-hour driving sheet'. This document lays down the requirements the vehicle should meet, and also the specific elements the instructor should take into account during the lessons. This document also has a sub-section (driving lessons report) the driving school must give back to the CARA.
The driving school I have selected does not have any adapted vehicle. What should I do ?
A certified driving school can borrow an adapted vehicle from the CARA. This vehicle is provided freely. To reserve a CARA vehicle, the driving school must complete a reservation document beforehand.
My car needs to be adapted. Can the CARA operate the adjustments ?
No. You will find a list of accredited companies which perform the adaptations for disabled people in the golden pages, category automobile - adaptations for handicapped.
My vehicle was adapted. Is a MOT test compulsory? If yes, who is permitted to do so ?
After a vehicle has been modified for a person with a disability, that modification has to be inspected and approved.
Prior to 1st September 2014 such vehicles were modified and driven directly by the customer to an inspection centre of his/her choice.
Since 1st September 2014, this procedure no longer applies and the modification of such a vehicle is subject to a separate inspection carried out either by an authorised engineer or by a technical service.
Certain authorised engineers/modification companies are allowed to inspect and approve such modifications.
These companies must be in possession of a COP licence (Conformity Of Product), aimed specifically at vehicle modifications carried out for individuals with a disability.
There is only one list of all the companies in Belgium that have a COP licence (dated 07/11/2016). This list does not clarify on it which companies are specifically intended for certain vehicle modifications for individuals with a disability.
We recommend that you contact the authorised engineer/modification company of your choice and request the details of their COP licence.
Not every technical service is permitted to inspect and approve these modifications. Only certain technical services are authorised to do so. The list below, broken down by province, shows those technical services that are authorised (dated 07/11/2016):
Province of Antwerp
Province of Limburg
Province of East Flanders
Province of Flemish Brabant
Province of West Flanders
Province of Hainaut
Province of Liège
Province of Luxembourg
Province of Namur
Province of Walloon Brabant
Brussels Capital Region
Can the CARA grant me an exemption from wearing a seat belt ?
No. For that, you have to contact the SPF Mobility and Transport.
Does the CARA issue a parking card for people with a disability ?
No. For that, you have to contact the SPF Social Security.
I am blind or visually impaired. Do I have the right to a discount if I travel by public transport ?
Blind or visually impaired people have the right to a national discount card for the public transport. You can travel for free by bus, by underground, by tram, by train (2nd class) or travel by plane at reduced tariff on some flights of Brussels Airlines. This card is personal and valid for life.
For blind and visually impaired people with a permanent invalidity of at least 90% recognised by the Federal Public Service Social Security.
Federal Public Service Social Security
You ask for the application form at the town hall of your municipality. You fill in this form and sign it. Then you ask your ophthalmologist to fill in the back of the form or you deliver together with the form a certificate indicating that you suffer from a permanent visual impairment of at least 90%. You send the request to Federal Public Service Social Security, Direction générale Personnes handicapées, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique, 50 B-150 à 1000 Bruxelles. You will receive your card by post, the delivery time lasts at least one month.
The national discount card gives the right to:
-travel for free by bus, by metro or by tram (De Lijn, MIVB/STIB, TEC), you have to pay when you resort to some services (for instance “minibus” of De Lijn or “bus 105” of TEC) ;
-travel for free by train (2nd class) in Belgium (NMBS/SNCB) ;
-buy your ticket in 1st class on the train without any surcharge (for the journey, you only pay the normal tariff for 1st class) ;
-possible special measures for you and your companion if you travel by TGV, by Thalys, by Eurostar or by other international trains, consult the NMBS/SNCB ;
-a discount of 25% on the lowest available tariff for some flights of Brussels Airlines (“b.light to or from Europe, “economy” to Africa, Tel Aviv, Helsinki, Moscow). You have to book your ticket by phone and pay at the counter at the airport ;
-the free travel for your guide dog (on a leash).