FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1995

CR (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

DOLLAR RENT A CAR TO ALLOW PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO RENT CARS UNDER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AGREEMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Persons with disabilities will be able to rent cars from Dollar Rent A Car under an agreement reached today with the Justice Department. The agreement requires Dollar to modify a policy that prevented people with disabilities from renting a car even if they intended that it be driven by a licensed companion. Before today's agreement, Dollar required the licensed driver to be the financially responsible party under the rental agreement. The policy made it impossible for people with disabilities who cannot drive to rent cars, even when they had a licensed driver accompanying them. Under today's agreement, individuals with disabilities who choose to be financially responsible must meet standard credit requirements applicable to all Dollar car renters. A licensed driver must accompany such a renter. As Dollar licensees renew existing contracts, or enter into new contracts, they too will have to adopt conforming policies. "This marks another important step forward on the road to independence for people with disabilities," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval L. Patrick. "We will continue to vigorously enforce the ADA and give people with disabilities the same opportunities available to all Americans, including the opportunity to be responsible for their own means of travel." The Justice Department began looking into Dollar's policies after receiving complaints from two individuals who are blind. The two wrote to the Department separately after each was refused the opportunity to rent a car in his or her name, at different locations, on separate occasions. Each presented his or her own credit card to pay for a rental car, while a licensed driver accompanying each of them produced a valid driver's license. Both were informed that company policy required that the credit card used to pay for the car and the driver's license for the driver of the car be in the same name. The individuals complained that such a policy was discriminatory against people with disabilities. The agreement with Dollar is the second Justice Department agreement reached with a major car rental company in the past four months. In September, Avis, Inc. agreed to provide hand controls for people with disabilities and make policy changes similar to those in the Dollar agreement. The Department is continuing to investigate complaints against several other car rental companies, including complaints alleging discriminatory policies similar to the one addressed in today's settlement. Dollar cooperated fully with the government's investigations, entered into negotiations promptly after being notified of alleged violations, and began implementing the new policy at Dollar Rent A Car locations before the agreement was reached. # # # 94-006