Dartmouth Police announces “blue envelope” program for autistic drivers

Feb 15, 2024

Joining a number of departments across the country and state, Dartmouth Police will begin to offer “blue envelopes” for drivers on the autism spectrum to use during a traffic stop. The envelopes, which are designed to hold a license, insurance and registration, notify officers that the driver is on the spectrum and whether they are verbal or nonverbal. 

Dartmouth Police’s announcement comes at the same time that Senate Bill 2542 is moving through the legislature — The bill, which was passed by the Senate and moved to the House in January, would ask the registrar of motor vehicles to design blue envelopes to be made available to drivers. 

Youth with autism interact with police at higher levels, and autism advocates have been pushing for increased education and training, both for police and autistic individuals, for years.

In addition to notifying police that they’ve stopped an autistic driver, the blue envelopes generally include the individual’s name and a guardian or friend’s phone number, along with reminders to the officer for how to interact with a person on the autism spectrum. 

The new envelopes will be available “24/7” in the main lobby of the Dartmouth Police station, according to a release from the department.