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Driving with Multiple Sclerosis

Addresses questions and concerns about how MS might affect a person’s ability to drive now or in the future. Includes information about driving evaluations and different types of auto adaptive equipment.

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In this article
Featured Video

Staying Independent: Driving with MS

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis doesn’t have to prevent you from staying independent. Learn about adaptations—such as hand controls—to keep you in the driver’s seat.


Ongoing management of symptoms caused by MS is essential for maintaining mobility, productivity and involvement. Many MS symptoms can interfere with mobility, including fatigue, spasticity, dizziness and vertigo, pain, numbness, and problems with walking, coordination, and vision, among others. Even depression, which is very common in MS, can interfere with a person’s ability to stay mobile and active.
Talking with the healthcare team about symptoms and the impact of those symptoms on one’s personal goals and priorities, is the starting point for staying active.

Automobile adaptations

When symptoms of MS such as fatigue, weakness, incoordination, sensory changes in feet or hands, vision problems, or cognitive changes interfere with driving safely, an occupational therapist or certified ADED driving specialist can assess your needs and recommend adaptations and tools (.pdf), and vehicle or van modifications to help keep you driving as long as possible. Your consultation will result in a prescription for the precise equipment you need, and may result in driving lessons with the new equipment.

While used wheelchair vans, SUVs, trucks and cars are ideal options for some, a custom-built mobility vehicle can offer more comprehensive or personalized conversion options. Consult with a mobility equipment dealer, such as those accredited by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), to determine which option is best for you.

Mobility aids

Mobility aids can help you get where you want to go while conserving energy and preventing falls. Learn how to choose the aid that is right for you and meet the rehabilitation professionals who can assess your needs and recommend the most appropriate aid(s). Mobility aids can:

  • Make shopping trips manageable and visits to a museum or zoo a pleasure
  • Make a new sport possible or reopen the door to an old favorite. People who use scooters and wheelchairs bowl, fish, ski, and play golf, tennis or basketball.
  • Enable you to go places without having to rely on others.
  • Prevent falls and show others that the problem is medical—not substance abuse.
Video Series

Choosing the Mobility Device that's Right for You

Two part video series featuring Jean Minkel, Senior Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, at the Independent Care System of NY addresses the importance of selecting the wheeled mobility device that best fits your needs.

Part 1:  The Assessment

Part 2: Wheeled Mobility Options

To activate the closed captions when playing the videos on YouTube, click on the CC button on the toolbar that appears below the video, and select on.

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Assistance animals

Service dogs can be trained to perform an impressive range of tasks, including:

  • guiding
  • alerting to sounds
  • opening and closing doors
  • retrieval
  • pulling wheelchairs
  • providing balance support
  • turning lights on and off and more

Here are some things you should consider if you're thinking about getting a service dog:

  • Do you have the funds, time, and support to meet your service dog’s needs?
  • Are you able to exercise a dog and clean up after him or her? Do you have a reliable person willing to do this when you can’t—come rain, snow, sleet, hail, summer heat, or an MS flare?
  • Do you have or can you raise funds to pay for regular veterinary care, as well as food, accessories, and training aids? If funds are tight, have you researched potential financial resources? (Help may be available.)
  • Will you be consistent in working with your service dog and use the training techniques you will learn? Can you be patient if a training routine is not going well, and figure out ways to turn it around?
  • Are you willing to make a ten-year, or more, commitment to a dog?

To help you think about whether a service dog may help you improve your mobility, contact Assistance Dogs International.  Members of ADI educate the public about assistance dogs, advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs, and help to set standards and establish guidelines and ethics for the training of these dogs. View ADI-accredited assistance dog programs throughout the world.


Momentum Magazine Accessible Driving
  • Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) -ADED promotes excellence in the field of driver rehab. Use the search tool to locate rehabilitation specialists, certified driver rehabilitation specialists and mobility equipment dealers that install equipment.
Explore Transportation Options Purchase or Rent an Accessible Vehicle Funding Resources
  • Digital Federal Credit Union - Federal insured national credit union, which offers private loans to persons with disabilities, including:
    • Access Loans for the purchase of products, devices or building modifications designed to assist someone with a disability.
    • Mobility Vehicle Loans for vehicles with equipment/modifications to assist persons with disabilities. Loan may be used for new or used vehicles, purchase or refinance, but not solely for modifications.
  • Job Accommodation Network - Search for your local vocational rehabilitation office, which provides resources related to employment options for people with disabilities, including transportation options.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - The VA offers financial assistance to eligible Veterans or service members with certain disabilities to obtain a specially adapted vehicle or modify an existing vehicle with adaptive equipment.
  • Learn about funding, rebates, financing and more in NMEDA's Consumer Resources and VMI’s Resource Center.
Video Series

Free From Falls

Some MS symptoms and treatments may increase your risk of falling. Falls can be more than just a nuisance — they could lead to serious injuries. This two part vidoe series offers comprehensive fall prevention strategies.

Part 1

Part 2

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Driving Evaluation: A Step Towards Independence

Learn how a driving evaluation can be a step towards maintaining your independence as a driver after a diagnosis of MS.


The National MS Society is Here to Help

Newly Diagnosed
If you or somone close to you has recently been diagnosed, access our MS information and resources.

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© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.