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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 9, 2019 09:07 AM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Communication Impediment Notation on Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards
In the future, I will be introducing legislation that will allow individuals diagnosed with health conditions that may impede their ability to communicate to have a special designation placed on their driver’s license or identification card. This legislation will be similar to SB 307 introduced last legislative session.

At times, individuals diagnosed with health conditions, like Autism Spectrum Disorder, can experience difficulties communicating with strangers; especially, in stressful circumstances involving law enforcement or other first responders. By placing a communication impediment notation directly on a driver’s license or identification card, law enforcement and other first responders will be able to quickly link the individual’s communication difficulties to a health condition and provide the individual with more appropriate care.

Some states and organizations have opted to create special identification cards for individuals with Autism or other developmental disabilities; however, Pennsylvania’s current law already allows for individuals to attach information relating to their medical history on the reverse side of their driver’s license or identification card. This legislation will take current law one step further by providing those who may experience difficulties communicating the option of highlighting that impediment on their driver’s license or identification card without having to present any additional cards or information as well as maintain a level of privacy regarding their specific diagnosis.

I hope you will join me in supporting this important legislation.

Should you have any questions, please contact Ardie Griffin in my office at 717-783-7313.