The Disabled Drivers & Disabled Passengers Scheme provides relief from Vehicle Registration Tax and VAT on the purchase and use of an adapted car, as well as an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant.
The Scheme is open to severely and permanently disabled persons as a driver or as a passenger and also to certain charitable organisations. In order to qualify for relief, the applicant must hold a Primary Medical Certificate issued by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer (SAMO) or a Board Medical Certificate issued by the Disabled Driver Medical Board of Appeal. To qualify for a Primary Medical Certificate an applicant must be permanently and severely disabled, and satisfy at least one of the six medical criteria.
I have no role in relation to the granting or refusal of PMCs and the HSE and the Medical Board of Appeal must be independent in their clinical determinations.
A new Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal is being established following the resignation of all 5 members of the previous board. An Expression of Interest seeking suitable candidates for the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal is now published on gov.ie - Expression of interest for appointment to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (www.gov.ie).
Requests for appeal hearings can be sent to the DDMBA secretary based in the National Rehabilitation Hospital. New appeal hearing dates will be issued once the new Board is in place. Assessments for the primary medical certificate, by the HSE, are continuing to take place.
I gave a commitment that a comprehensive review of the scheme, to include a broader review of mobility supports for persons with disabilities, would be undertaken. I am working on this matter with Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It has been agreed that the DDS review should be brought within a wider review under the auspices of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, to examine transport supports encompassing all Government funded transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities.
We believe that this the most appropriate forum to meet mutual objectives in respect of transport solutions/mobility supports for those with a disability.
The NDIS Transport Working Group, chaired by Anne Rabbitte, Minister of State for Disability, met on 26th January 2022. Officials from my Department will contribute to the Working Group to progress the review and to bring forward proposals for consideration by Government.