Deactivation Requests 

To obtain deactivation approval, put your request in writing and fax to NHTSA at 202-493-2833 or mail to the following address:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Attention: Air Bag Deactivation Requests
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC, 20590

The request letter must contain the following:

  • Name and address of the vehicle owner.
  • The justification for the request. The letter should be as specific as possible about the justification and state whether the request applies to the driver or passenger air bag, or both.
  • A description of the facts creating the need for deactivation.
  • A statement from a physician based on a medical condition - only if the condition is not one for which the National Conference on Medical Indications for Air Bag Deactivation recommended deactivation.
  • If a physician's statement is required, it must identify the particular condition of the patient and include the physician's judgment that:
    1. Air bags pose a special risk to the person with the medical condition, and
    2. The potential harm from the air bag outweighs the potential harm from turning off the air bag and allowing the person's head, neck, or breastbone to hit the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. Note: Hitting the vehicle interior is likely in a moderate to severe crash, even if the person is using a seat belt.

If the request concerns a child who must ride in the front seat to enable the driver to monitor the child's medical condition, the supporting physician's statement must identify the condition and state that frequent monitoring by the driver is necessary.

The agency will respond in writing, enclosing a copy of an informational brochure, labels to be attached to the vehicle interior for alerting vehicle users about the deactivated air bags, and a form to be filled out and mailed back to NHTSA regarding the deactivation.