DAV vans: Transportation for Veterans
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides free van rides to and from Puget Sound health care facilities to Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Find out how to schedule a DAV van ride.
About DAV services
DAV operates a fleet of vehicles around the country to provide free transportation to VA medical facilities for injured and ill veterans. The vans are driven by volunteers, and the rides coordinated by voluntary Hospital Service Coordinators.
Arrange a ride
COVID-19 pandemic impacts: DAV van service is limited during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by safety precautions and availability of volunteers, which impacts the places and times DAV can provide transportation services. Currently DAV van rides are only scheduled to and from the American Lake and Seattle VA medical centers.
If you’d like more information about DAV or to schedule a DAV van ride, contact the volunteer Hospital Service Coordinator at 253-583-1343. Transportation appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance to ensure there is a seat reserved for you on the DAV/VTS vans along major road networks where existing vans are available. All other routes require a minimum of 1 week to schedule.
Please note that DAV vans can only provide rides to ambulatory passengers (passengers who are able to move around without the driver’s help). For information on accessible transportation options, review our other Veteran shuttle services.
Guidelines for using DAV vans
DAV van passengers are expected to follow certain guidelines, established by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the DAV National Headquarters. These guidelines include the following:
- All riders must be ambulatory (able to board and exit the van without the driver’s help).
- The DAV van driver is only allowed to stop the van for rest stops, emergencies, and to pick up and drop off passengers. Passengers should not ask the driver to make side trips to take care of their personal business.
- Passengers are not permitted to smoke, chew tobacco, drink alcohol, use foul language, or bring weapons, drugs, or any illegal substance on the van. Van drivers are not required to provide transportation to any Veteran who is intoxicated, abusive, or who poses a threat to the driver or other passengers.
- Passengers should not do anything to distract the driver.
- Passengers should wear seatbelts at all times. Any passenger who refuses to wear a seatbelt will be denied transportation.
- If a Veteran needs another individual (for example, a caregiver) to ride in the van with them, they need to get authorization from their VA attending physician or VA-certified nurse practitioner.
- Veterans being discharged or granted passes can ride on a DAV van during the van's trip back to its home county only if space is available. The Veteran must be ready to leave when the van leaves the VA medical center.
- Veterans should be dressed and ready to leave for the hospital at the time specified. Drivers can’t wait for Veterans who aren’t ready to leave at the appointed time.
- Veterans can only bring with them items that they can hold on their lap or store under the seat.
- The DAV van is not an emergency vehicle. The driver may refuse to transport any Veteran who appears to be too ill to ride the van.
- Veterans who use the DAV Transportation Network will not be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses.
(M-1, Part 1, Chapter 25, July 8, 1991)