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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

J88 Driver's License Designation

After I heard about J88 through this news broadcast, I had it put on my drivers license. In the process of getting my new license, I asked about having my Restriction F for hearing aids removed. I was told if I could pass a vision test, I could have it taken off as the restriction requires a motorist to have 2 outside mirrors and can also apply to drivers with visual problems. I had no problem passing the test. Best of all, my new license was given to me free of charge.
Here's more information on the “J88” — Deaf/Hard of Hearing Driver’s License courtesy of the Secretary of State's A Guide to Services: Serving Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Veterans.
“J88” is a notation on a driver’s license that alerts law enforcement officers before approaching a vehicle that a motorist is deaf or hard of hearing. Following is how the “J88” notation works:
  • Request the “J88” notation be added to your driver’s license at any Secretary of State Driver Services facility. “J88” will appear on both the front and back of your driver’s license.
  • Include your driver’s license number on your vehicle registration to link the two together.
  • If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, he/she will run your license plate or driver’s license number, and a “Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Uses Alternative Communication” message will appear. The officer will then know to use alternative communication.
  • You must request the “J88” notation. No forms or Secretary of State personnel will ask you to include it on your driver’s license.

What do you think of this program?


Anonymous said...

Yes. It helped me when I was stopped by police for speeding . I showed the police the code on the card..Immediately she believed I am deaf..She wrote up and gave me the instruction...What state are you from? Cuz I had to pay my licence....

PinkLAM said...

I think that if I were to request it, no one would have any idea what I was talking about!

When I got my license renewed last year, I decided to request that something be on my license aboutt having trouble hearing/communicating. When I asked, there was quite a bit of confusion among the DPS workers. Fist, they didn't understand what I wanted. Then, once they understood, no one had any idea where the form for this restriction was kept. Finally, they gave ma some form that a doctor is supposed to fill out (complete with Medical Record number, dr.'s signature, etc.) By this point, I was so annoyed I wrote my phone number on record number blank and signed my own name... and they put the restriction on my license, haha!

But in all seriousness, I think there really needs to be some better training (at least at my DPS) for handling special situations such as those.

Kim said...

Personally I think it's a great idea! Especially if there are ways of notating other medical problems associated with your hearing loss, such as that you wear a cochlear implant and can't have an MRI if you're in a car accident, or that you have vestibular problems and may wobble if asked to walk a straight line with eyes closed. Is there a way to do that?

SpeakUp Librarian said...

I'm from Illinois. The employee had to verify with a supervisor that there was no charge. That's why I included that in my story so people will know that there should be no charge for making this change to their license in Illinois.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi PinkLAM,

I included the link to the guide for services which describes what J88 is all about as it would probably be a good idea to have a printout in hand when you go to the license bureau (in Illinois). That's what I did because I was sure I would run into the same situation you did.

As far as I know, this is a new program and not available nation wide yet. I don't know what services are available in other states. A good starting point would be Looking at your state's Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Thanks for your comment!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Kim,
I don't think J88 is quite as comprehensive as that. A good alternative might be to have that information printed on a card in your wallet and your glove compartment. A medical ID bracelet can alert emergency personnel to a cochlear implant.
Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

I am wondering where I could find information about something like this in Ontario,Canada.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

This link might be a good place to start.