Q. We recently bought a van from a used car lot. Since I use a wheelchair and needed to get hand controls installed at a place that has certified installers, I called a company that sells them to get a quote. They said they would not do the work unless I gave them a certificate from my driving school showing that I am legal to drive with hand controls. My driving school closed about 15 years ago, and the back of my driver’s license already states that I must drive with hand controls.

A nearby dealer also said that they would not do the hand control installation unless I have the training, and it doesn’t matter that my current sedan has them. Fortunately, I found another business that did the installation, without any problems or additional documentation of training beyond what was on my driver’s license.


When did this start happening? Is this a recent requirement? I have since heard that it is a state law. I’ve had five prior vehicles and a clean driving record and never been challenged in this manner. What advice would you give if this should happen again?
Michael Collins
— Frustrated in California

A. Seeking an answer for you required an extensive search involving dozens of individuals who drive with hand controls or the