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Promising Practices/DOT Funding Recipients

Below are examples of how recipients of DOT funding have offered LEP services and language services in their programs and offerings.

DOT recipients have provided a variety of language access services, reflecting the flexibility that recipients have in addressing the needs of the LEP populations they serve. Although DOT does not endorse a particular approach and instead evaluates situations on a case-by-case basis, the examples below show how recipients have moved toward providing meaningful LEP access.

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation provides a Spanish version of the Commercial Driver’s License knowledge test using a touch screen computer, and study guides of the Iowa Driver’s Manual in Albanian, Bosnian, Russian, Vietnamese, and Korean. The department also established a liaison with a local community college to provide education for Bosnian refugees concerning the Commercial Motor Vehicle driving course in order to enhance LEP accessibility.
  • The New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles administers driver’s license tests in more than 15 languages, including Arabic, French, Greek, Korean, Portuguese, and Turkish to strengthen language access.
  • New York City Transit MetroCard vending machines are located in every station and contain software that allows them to be programmed in three languages in addition to English, based upon area demographics in order to ensure LEP access. Currently, these machines are capable of providing information in Spanish, French, French Creole, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Greek, and Polish.
  • The Idaho Office of Traffic and Highway Safety implemented a Spanish-language safety belt media campaign to educate its Hispanic community on the statewide “Click It, Don’t Risk It!” program to boost seat belt use. Information appeared in Unido, Idaho’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, and advised all motorists to buckle up.
  • The Salt Lake City International Airport maintains a list of 35 bilingual and multilingual employees who speak one of 19 languages (including three dialects of Chinese) and their contact information. The list is published in the Airport Information Handbook and provided to all airport employees. The airport also contracts with a telephonic interpretation service to provide on-demand telephone interpretation services to beneficiaries.

In preparation of its 20-year planning document, the Transportation Concept Report, the California Department of Transportation held a public meeting titled “Planning the Future of Highway 1” in the largely Hispanic city of Guadalupe, through which Highway 1 runs. To ensure LEP access, the meeting was broadcast on the local public access channel since many of the Spanish-speaking residents potentially affected by Highway 1 projects rely on the channel to receive public affairs information. The department provided a Spanish-language interpreter during the meeting and also made its Spanish-speaking public affairs officer available to meet with participants individually.