U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section

 Department of Justice seal

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Business BRIEF: Assistance at Gas Stations

People with disabilities may find it difficult or impossible to obtain gas for their vehicle because they are unable to use the controls, hose, or nozzle of a self serve gas pump. At stations that offer only self service, they may be unable to purchase gas. At stations that offer both self service and full service, people with disabilities may have no choice but to purchase the more expensive fuel from a full-service pump.

photo - man pumping self-service gas

People with disabilities may require assistance
to purchase fuel at self-service pumps.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires gas stations to provide equal access for their customers with disabilities. If necessary to provide access, stations must —

  • Provide refueling assistance upon the request of an individual with a disability. A service station or convenience store is not required to provide such service at any time that it is operating on a remote control basis with a single employee, but is encouraged to do so, if feasible.

  • Let customers know (e.g., using signs or notification on or near pumps) that individuals with disabilities can obtain refueling assistance by honking their horn or otherwise signaling an employee). Some stations provide a call button.

photo - close up of button on gas pump with access symbol
A pump may have a button to notify the attendant that assistance is needed.

  • Provide the refueling assistance without any charge beyond the self-serve price, if the customer wants only fuel. The attendant may provide assistance at a self-service pump or at a full-service pump. In either case, the customer must be charged the self-service price.

If you have additional questions concerning the ADA and gas stations, please call the Department of Justice’s ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY) or visit the ADA Business Connection on the ADA web site at archive.ADA.gov.

Duplication is encouraged. June 2002

photo - directions near pump honk twice for assistance
A sign located next to pumps tells customers to honk their horns for assistance.

The Americans with Disabilities Act authorizes the Department of Justice (the Department) to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This document provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA and the Department's regulations.

This guidance document is not intended to be a final agency action, has no legally binding effect, and may be rescinded or modified in the Department's complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Department's guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.

Acrobat PDF version for printing | Acrobat PDF version for viewing (screen resolution - faster download)



June 25, 2002