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DMV Policy for Drivers with Heart-Assist Devices

The policy of the Department of Motor Vehicles for drivers with heart-assisted devices, based on guidance and recommendations from the Medical Advisory Board, is as follows:

Implantable Defibrillators

If DMV has been notified in writing that a driver has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD or AICD), the customer must provide a Customer Medical Report (MED-2), with Parts C and F in the Customer Information section completed by the driver's cardiologist. This report must submitted annually to DMV.

If DMV is notified that the device has activated, the driver's driving privileges will be suspended for a period of 3 months unless an identifiable remedial cause has been adequately addressed by the cardiologist. After 3 months, the driver may resume driving once DMV receives an updated Customer Medical Report completed by a cardiologist and documenting that the driver is stable and the device has not activated within the last 3 months. The report must be approved by DMV before the driving privilege can be reinstated.

Left Ventricular Assist Device/Ventricular Assist Device

If DMV has been notified in writing that a driver has a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or ventricular assist device (VAD), DMV will allow the driver to continue driving, provided that the driver has had the device for two (2) months or longer. Drivers who have had the LVAD for 2 months or longer must submit a Customer Medical Report (MED-2) each year, with Parts C and F completed by a cardiologist.

If the driver undergoes surgery for a heart transplant, the driver may furnish a Customer Medical Report in order to be released from filing periodic medical reports. The report must be approved by DMV before the driving privilege can be reinstated. To find out more about ventricular assisted devices, refer to the Mayo Clinic's Ventricular Assist Devices.

Total Artificial Heart Device - e.g. Syncardia or Freedom Driver

Drivers with a total artificial heart device are disqualified from operating a motor vehicle of any kind.

Commercial Drivers

If DMV is notified in writing that a commercial driver has a LVAD, the commercial driver's license (CDL) will be canceled. The driver may downgrade to a regular driver’s license if he/she meets the above criteria.

DMV adheres to the medical advisory criteria under §391.41(b) (4) set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for rules and regulations governing commercial drivers with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator,. Currently, FMCSA’s ruling is that a driver is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce if he/she has an ICD. For more information, contact the Physical Qualifications Division of FMCSA at (202) 366-4001.

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and Pacemaker Implantation

Currently, DMV adheres to guidance from the Medical Advisory Board and FMCSA relating to coronary artery bypass surgery and pacemaker implantation. Both are considered to be remedial procedures and thus do not disqualify regular or commercial drivers from driving.

Additional Documentation

DMV reserves the right to request that a driver provide additional information from a specialist in order to determine the severity of the condition and to assess the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

DMV may also impose additional requirements on the individual depending on the information received.