How to Become a Driver Rehab Specialist

A Step by Step Guide to Becoming a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist

Your Guide to the Best Career as an Occupational Therapist!

Driving is one of the most valued instrumental activities of daily living. Clients tell me that it is only once they return to driving that they feel like a whole person again. As an OT driver rehabilitation specialist, I get to help clients regain their freedom! I absolutely love being a DRS, but the path to becoming a DRS is not always clear.

  • Are you like me? Do you love driving rehab?
  • Are you confused about how to become a DRS?

Read on for my insider tips on how to get into the field of driving rehab.


Follow these 3 steps to become a Driver Rehab Specialist

Step 1: Learn to Complete a Driving Clinical Assessment

First, do your research to find education to help you build & expand your OT skills! Look for education that is for OTs by OTs. Comprehensive clinical assessment education should include not just the skills on how to do a clinical assessment, but information on how to set up your clinical based driving program.

Adaptive Mobility Services, Part 1 In the Clinic: Building Blocks is a perfect example of the education you need! This bundle includes 10 courses, 25 hours of education, focused on building a solid driving rehab foundation.

 Part 1 In the Clinic: Building Blocks  includes:

  • OT for Driving & Community Mobility (1.5 hours)
  • Overview of the Driving Evaluation & Rehab Process (1.5 hours)
  • Initiating the Eval Process (2.5 hours)
  • Evaluation using the Clinical Interview (1 hour)
  • VISUAL & Hearing Performance Skills for D&CM (2.5 hours)
  • PHYSICAL Performance Skills for D&CM (3.0 hours)
  • COGNITIVE Performance Skills for D&CM (3.0 hours)
  • Summarizing the Clinical Process (5 hours)
  • Population-Specific Considerations for Driving (4 hours)
  • Foundational Driver Rehabilitation Resources to guide OT Practice (1 hour)

Adaptive Mobility has been providing high-quality education to practitioners for over 30 years. OTs who complete our Building Blocks Bundle gain a strong understanding of how to provide, interpret, & analyze a clinical driving evaluation.  OTs that complete Part 1 Building Blocks are then ready for Part 2: Take the Wheel Bundle.


Step 2: Learn to Complete a Behind-the-Wheel Evaluation & Training

Next, find hands-on training that will teach you the skills of a DRS. I think we can agree that there is no replacement for hands-on training AND when it comes to risk management, having formalized training is an advantage. Find a workshop that gives you experience in a driving rehab car as the client & as the DRS. Practice your new skills from the passenger seat and gain experience with basic adaptive equipment. A good course should also provide you with tips on documentation, strategies for mitigating risk, evasive maneuver practice, and considerations for setting up your own behind-the-evaluation – including vehicle select, driving route set up, etc.

Adaptive Mobility Services offers this training in Part 2 In the Car: Take the Wheel Bundle. Take the Wheel includes 7 online courses & 3 days of hands-on training, for a total of 35 hours of in-vehicle focused work. All of our instructors are OTs & Certified Driver Rehab Specialists AND we are the ONLY workshop format.

Part 2: Take the Wheel Includes:

  • Complete a behind-the-wheel evaluation
  • Understand the connection between clinical tests & in-car performance
  • Recognize basic driver education principles, terminology and task sequencing
  • Create a driving route based on goals for each individual client
  • Use key DRS skills including verbal, visual, & physical cueing
  • Practice evasive & defensive driving maneuvers
  • Practice basic adaptive equipment
  • Learn to control the car from the right side
  • Select & provide client-specific driver rehab training strategies
  • Identify features of a driving rehab vehicle
  • Review documentation tips & strategies
  • Discuss strategies for mitigating risk


Step 3: Join a Mentorship Program to Build Your Driving Practice

Now it’s time to start building your program. Whether you are building a private practice, expanding a practice, or starting a hospital-based program, Adaptive Mobility is ready to help! Join our Part 3 Mentorship Program to start & grow your own practice. Learn industry-tested tips, strategies, & methods! Benefit from our experience to save yourself time & money. Let us help you navigate the process to make it easy & efficient!

Mentorship Program Includes:

  • Establishing your private practice
  • Regulatory considerations
  • Developing your business team
  • Risk management & liability considerations
  • Profit & loss
  • Documentation & office management strategies
  • Developing sustainable referral sources
  • Marketing
  • Managing persona considerations
  • Explore opportunities for advancing credentials


Adaptive Mobility is proud to support occupational therapy practitioners expanding into driver rehabilitation. We would love to help you reach your calls. Email to schedule your complimentary exploration & goal setting phone call. Let us help you plan out your path!


Click here to learn more about Susie Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS

Explore all of Adaptive Mobility educational course offerings.

Read more How to Become a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (DRS)


Adaptive Mobility is an AOTA Approved Provider and ADED CHAP Education Provider.

Susie Touchinsky

Susie Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS is an occupational therapist and certified driver rehabilitation specialist offering decades of experience, knowledge, and professional support for drivers, families, caregivers, and practitioners.