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New license designation will help deaf, hard-of-hearing Oregonians in traffic stops

New Oregon driver license designation for deaf, hard-of-hearing
Oregon DMV
New Oregon driver license designation for deaf, hard-of-hearing

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers, being pulled over by police can cause more anxiety than just getting a ticket.

The worry: The officer approaches the car, the driver doesn't respond to commands, and the situation escalates.

That’s one reason many states, including Oregon, are setting up ways to alert law enforcement that a driver is deaf or hard of hearing – before an officer approaches the driver.

As of Monday, Oregonians can add an indicator that they are deaf or hard of hearing to their vehicle registration, driver license, permit or ID card through DMV2U.Oregon.gov.

The option places an indicator on their record, allowing Oregon officers to see the indicator from their patrol vehicles when they run the license plate or license number.

The indicator is voluntary, and you can sign up any time through DMV2U. If you want to add an indicator to both your license/permit/ID card and your vehicle registration, you will need to do each separately at DMV2U.

“This significant milestone is geared to build trust and cooperation between more than one million Oregonians with hearing loss and our law enforcement,” said Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director of Bridges Oregon, “It will foster a better understanding of communication needs while protecting and facilitating a strong relationship with law enforcement officers.”

Ludwig said over half (51.7%) of deaf and hard-of-hearing Oregon residents had difficulties communicating with police, according to a survey by Denise Thew Hackett, a Ph.D. at Western Oregon University. WOU published the survey results in a Community-Based Needs Assessment of Oregon's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities in 2016.

This new DMV service is part of ODOT’s commitment to transportation safety and a direct benefit of new technology investments that have accelerated DMV’s ability to launch new services and better serve Oregonians.

Now you can! At DMV2U

Before you visit a DMV office, see if you can get the DMV service you need at DMV2U.Oregon.gov.

DMV has added over 20 new services to DMV2U including driver license renewal, and you can make an appointment for services that must be done in person – such as applying for a new license or the Real ID option for air travel.

Get ready for air travel now

If you travel by air or might in the future, make sure you have identification acceptable at airport security checkpoints. Starting in May 2023, you will need a Real ID-compliant form of ID for all flights such as a Real ID-compliant state driver license, passport, passport card or U.S. military ID.

Don’t wait until the rush for Real ID licenses and passports! If you want the Real ID option on your Oregon driver license or ID card, you must apply in person – walk in or by appointment.

To make sure you have all you need for Real ID, create your own checklist of documents you’ll need to bring to DMV with our online tool at Oregon.gov/RealID.

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For DMV media inquiries contact: David House at david.j.house@odot.state.or.us or 503-945-5270.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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