Print Posted By California Drivers Advocates on 06/08/2017 in DMV

What is an Area Driving Performance Evaluation at the DMV

What is an Area Driving Performance Evaluation at the DMV

What type of driving tests does the DMV conduct? The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government entity empowered with ensuring that all new applicants for the California Driver License are properly vetted before they are awarded the privilege to operate motor vehicles in our state.  What few people realize, however, is that the DMV is further empowered with the obligation of ensuring that a person who already holds a driver license remains capable of driving as they move their lives.

As part of the original examination process and as part of any re-examination process, the DMV has the authority to test a driver in a variety of different applications to ensure they have and maintain the skills and knowledge to drive.

One of the most common methods used by the DMV to determine the driving worthiness of a person is to evaluate them in a “behind the wheel” driving test.  A DMV employee with the title of Driving Examiner will ride with a driver to evaluate their ability to safely drive during an orchestrated series of driving maneuvers.

The most common type of “behind the wheel” driving tests is:

  • Driver Performance Evaluation (DPE): The DPE is the “basic” driving test administered for new applicants for the driver license.
  • Supplemental Driver Performance Evaluation (SDPE): The SDPE is most frequently used as part of a DMV “Re-Examination” to determine if the holder of a driver license still has the requisite skills to drive a vehicle.  This is common when the DMV is seeking to suspend a person’s driver license for a “Lack of Skill” or any number of Physical or Mental disorders.
  • Area Driving Performance Evaluation (ADPE): The ADPE is a special driving test most often used to evaluate senior drivers or other people who may no longer qualify for full driving privileges; or for those drivers who only require a restricted driver license permitting them to drive to certain locations at certain times of the day.
  • Special Drive Test (SDT):       The SDT is the least known and most infrequently used of all driving tests.  Most often the SDT is reserved for those drivers who suffer with a unique physical or mental condition such as dementia where the examiner is placed in the unique position of evaluating a person’s cognitive impairment.

What is the Area Driving Performance Evaluation (ADPE)?

In some instances a driver may only require the ability to drive to specific locations and during certain times of the day.  We see this most frequently with mature drivers or with other age groups who suffer with particular physical or mental disorders.  In these specialized situations, the driver may ask the DMV to issue a “restricted” driver license so that he or she may drive to the market, the bank and necessary medical appointments.   The specific goal of such a restricted driver license is to find a happy medium between an individual driver’s rights and the DMV’s need to protect the public.

If the DMV agrees to provide you with an ADPE, it will require that you provide the department with an accurate list of the most common locations you travel to for basic necessity.  It will require that you provide information on the most commonly traveled roadways you travel and the estimated distances to your specified destinations.  As a general rule, the department seeks to limit such a “restricted” driver license to locations of necessity that are less than 5 miles from the home.  The most commonly approved destinations are:

  • Grocery Stores, Department Stores, or Home Improvement Centers.
  • Doctor’s Offices.
  • Bank
  • Church
  • School
  • Golf Course
  • Library
  • Club houses or locations of frequent social events.

If approved, the ADPE drive test will cover a specified route that was pre-approved by you and your examiner.  The actual driving test is primarily centered in the areas around your home and to specific areas of need.  Because you are applying for a “restricted” driver license, driving at night and on the freeway is generally excluded; therefore, this type of driving does not occur during the ADPE.

How do I request an Area Driving Performance Evaluation?

If you are at the stage of asking the Department of Motor Vehicles for an Area Driving Performance Evaluation, you’ve probably already been dealing with the DMV with little success.  The best possible advice is to call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates.  The decision to downgrade to a “restricted” driver license is a big step and should be considered carefully.  Once you downgrade your license status, it becomes exceedingly more difficult to return to a full driving privilege, so great care should be exercised in making such a choice.

Many times when we speak with drivers who are asking to downgrade to a “restricted” driver license it isn’t what they really want, but they feel brow-beaten by the DMV and have given up.  Don’t let the DMV get away with this.  Call CDA today.  We can help you objectively assess what is best for you and then guide you to success.

If the DMV is your problem….California Drivers Advocates is your solution!

For more information about our services visit our website here: California DMV Defense.

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