FACT CHECK: Would A Rhode Island Bill Force Autistic People To Have Visible ‘Autism’ Decals On Their Cars?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Twitter claims RI HB 5503 would force autistic drivers to have markers on their car and license to identify them as autistic.

Verdict: False

The claim is fabricated. The bill is about an opt-in program for autistic drivers.

Fact Check: 

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania has launched a “Blue Envelope” program aimed to improve communications between autistic drivers and law enforcement, according to local news outlet The Mercury. The program’s goal is to lower stress for people with autism or other conditions during a traffic stop or other on-the-road interaction with police officers, another Pennsylvanian news outlet reported.

The Twitter post purports a Rhode Island bill would have autistic drivers have identifying marks on their car and license. The post shares a screenshot of the alleged bill from Feb 2023.

“I don’t why people aren’t raising enough hell about this but Rhode Island is about to pass a bill that forces autistic drivers to have visible ‘autism’ decals on their vehicles and as a restriction on their physical license,” the tweet reads. “Totally not discriminatory! Nope! RI HB 5503.”

There is no evidence for the claim, however. The program is not mandatory, according to Rhode Island publication The Providence Journal. If enacted, the bill would allow autistic people to be identified with the word “autism” on their driver’s licenses and car decals, the outlet reports. It would also provide them with a blue envelope instructing police officers on how to improve communication with the person.

The bill’s text clarifies that the program is “strictly voluntary.” The bill was introduced in 2023 and would take effect in January 2024 if passed. It is currently in committee, according to BillTrack50(RELATED: Did Egyptian Scientists Find That Vaccines Cause Autism?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to multiple sponsors for the bill for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter