Arizona DOT Launches ID Program for Autistic Motorists

The Arizona Department of Transportation is launching a program through which motorists on the autism spectrum can place their credentials in special blue envelopes to help enhance communication with law enforcement officers during traffic stops. 

[Above photo by Arizona DOT]

The blue envelope is a voluntary way to hold important vehicle documents such as insurance and registration, while also being a communication tool between the driver and law enforcement during an interaction.

The envelope will have instructions for the driver and law enforcement officer to follow and advise the officer that the driver may respond differently to instructions in situations that can increase anxiety, the agency said.

The Arizona DOT noted that this voluntary program, which includes an education module for law enforcement officers, follows a model established successfully in Connecticut in 2020.

The Arizona DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and University of Arizona are collaborating to provide the necessary groundwork and training for this program.

“When I heard about this program in Connecticut, I was extremely fascinated and intrigued to see if we could incorporate it here in Arizona,” Eric Jorgensen, director of the Arizona DOT’s MVD, explained in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering [on a program] to help calm what can otherwise be potentially stressful situations.”

The blue envelopes are expected to be available through Arizona DOT MVD offices, various law enforcement offices, and other locations statewide starting in May.

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