Civic Engagement

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LAJAC-voteHow and when can I vote?

Every citizen is eligible to vote in an election as long as he or she lives in California and is:

  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Not in prison or on parole for a felony
  • Not told by a court that he or she cannot register to vote

To register to vote, click here.

The 2016 Presidential election process is in full swing! For information about where the candidates stand on issues affecting the disability community check out the RespectAbility Report.  Our voices…and our votes matter!

 

What is Selective Service and do I have to register?

Selective Service is a system maintained by the federal government that keeps track of all Americans who can serve in the military. If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26 living in the United States, you must sign up for Selective Service, even if you have a disability. Just because you are registered with Selective Service doesn’t mean you will have to serve in the military. In our country, people volunteer for military service. This system is in place just in case there is a big emergency requiring the government to call on all eligible citizens to serve.

Click here for more information about who has to sign up and for online registration.

 

Can I get a California Identification Card?

Yes! The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues ID cards to anyone who wants one. The ID card looks like a driver’s license, but it is used only for proof of who you are. An ID card is valid for six years, but if you are 62 years or older, your card will be good for 10 years.

To apply for an ID card:

  • Visit a DMV office and fill out a DL 44 application form. To save time, click here to make an appointment at your local DMV field office
  • You will be asked to give a thumb print and to have a picture taken.
  • You must provide your birth certificate and social security number, which will be confirmed while you are at the DMV.
  • Pay the $28.00 application fee (There is no fee for someone 62 years-old or older).
  • Confirm the address on the application.
  • The new ID will be mailed within 60 days. If you don’t get your card in 60 days, call 1- 800-777-0133 to check on it. Have the receipt and/or old ID card with you when you call so you can give any information the staff needs to help you.

 

LAJAC-driverCan I get a driver’s license?

Some people who have disabilities can get a driver’s license. Driving can be difficult for individuals with developmental disabilities, so it’s important to talk with your caretaker to see if it’s a realistic option for you.

The process for obtaining a driver’s license is the same for people with special needs as it is for everyone else. After driver’s training, passing both a written and driving test is required. The DMV will make reasonable accommodations as might be necessary for the written exam.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires driver’s training companies to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Driver rehabilitation specialists work with people of all ages and abilities, exploring options for drivers with special needs.

To locate a professional in your area, call the Association for Driver Rehabilitation at 1-866-672-9466.

If driving is not for you, click here for information about other transportation options in the Greater Los Angeles area.

 

What is Emergency Preparedness?

Although it can be scary to think about, it is important to prepare for different kinds of emergencies because having a plan is the best way to be sure you will pull through a bad situation.

Here in southern California, it is a good idea to have an emergency plan in case of earthquakes or other kinds of disasters. Click here for The American Red Cross website about earthquake safety. Click here for  disaster preparedness information specifically for people with disabilities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, called FEMA for short, publishes a brochure that helps people with disabilities prepare for emergency situations. Click here to download a copy.

 The Specific Needs Awareness Planning (SNAP) Registry is a voluntary disaster registry for people who live in Los Angeles County.  It helps emergency workers find people that might need extra help during a disaster due to special needs or a disability.

For more information about voting, driving, selective service or emergency preparedness, click here to be connected with an LAJAC Case Manager or Intake Specialist.

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