Medical Review Process for Health Care Providers
The Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) Medical Review Services is responsible for the review of individuals who may have a physical or mental condition that impairs their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Overall medical review requirements are based on the Code of Virginia and guidance from DMV's Medical Advisory Board.
In accordance with Va. Code § 46.2-204, DMV's Medical Advisory Board consists of seven licensed physicians currently practicing medicine in Virginia. The Governor appoints Board members with various specializations, for four-year terms and designates the chairperson. The Board: establishes policy and guidelines regarding the overall medical review requirements, and medical issues related to other DMV programs; and reviews cases that are more complex, those where the driver is contesting medical review action or requirements, and those where the driver has specifically requested review by the Board.
In reviewing drivers, DMV's goal is to allow individuals to drive for as long as the driver can exercise reasonable and ordinary control over the vehicle. Although each case is evaluated on its own merits, DMV is concerned about any condition that alters the driver's:
- level of consciousness
- perception (vision)
- judgment, or
- motor skills
DMV's Seizure/Blackout Policy, which is based on recommendations from our Medical Advisory Board, states that a person must be seizure-free or blackout-free for at least six months to establish medication and regain proper medical control before driving. If a person is currently licensed and DMV is notified that the person has experienced a seizure, loss of consciousness or blackout, DMV will suspend the person's driving privilege for a period of six months from the date of the last episode. Once the driver has been free of seizures, blackouts or loss of consciousness for six months, he/she may submit a current medical report for DMV to consider reinstatement.
For a list of medications requiring review by the Medical Advisory Board, please refer to List of Medical Conditions .
Reporting an Impaired Driver
DMV relies strongly on information provided by physicians, law enforcement, judges, relatives and other reliable sources to help identify drivers who may be unable to safely a motor vehicle. If the driver is reported by a relative or physician, Va. Code § 46.2-322 prohibits DMV from releasing information on the source of the report concerning the person's ability to drive safely. See attached copy of statute. In addition, Va. Code § 54.1-2966.1 provides that if a physician reports a patient to DMV, it does not constitute a violation of the doctor-patient relationship unless the physician has acted with malice.
Customers applying for or renewing a driver's license are required to provide information on any physical, visual or mental condition that may impair their ability to drive safely. On the driver's license application, applicants must respond to questions that help determine if the applicant:
- has a vision condition;
- has a physical and/or mental condition that requires taking medication;
- has ever experienced a seizure, blackout or loss of consciousness; and/or
- has a condition that requires the use of special equipment in order to drive.
DMV promptly reviews all initial reports of hazardous or impaired drivers. Reports must be submitted in writing or using the Medical Review Request (MED-3) to:
- DMV Medical Review Services
- Post Office Box 27412
- Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001
- Fax: (804) 367-1604
The Medical Review Request (MED-3) form is available on DMV's website under Forms and Publications.
All reports of impaired drivers must include:
- information that will help DMV identify the impaired driver (such as name, address, date of birth, et cetera),
- specific information about the patient's physical and/or mental condition, and why the person should be reviewed by DMV, and
- the name, address and telephone number of the person reporting the impaired driver, so that DMV may follow up.
In accordance with Va. Code § 46.2-322, DMV may require the driver to comply with any one or more of the following as part of the medical review process:
- submit a medical and/or vision statement from his/her physician or nurse practitioner
- pass the two-part driver's license knowledge exam
- pass the road skills test
- undergo a driver evaluation with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist
DMV sends the driver a notice advising them of the requirement to submit a medical/vision report and/or to pass driver-licensing tests. The customer must comply with this requirement within 30 days. If the initial requirement is a medical or vision report and it is approved, DMV may follow up by requiring the driver to successfully complete driver license testing. The driver is notified in writing and given an additional 15 days to comply.
Based on DMV's evaluation of the medical information, the customer's driving record and/or test results, DMV will determine whether to:
- suspend the customer's driving privilege;
- restrict the customer's driving privilege; or
- require the customer to submit periodic medical and/or vision reports
In cases where the driver's physician submits the initial impaired driver report and it recommends that the person no longer drive, DMV will send the driver a suspension order which is effective in five days. When the driver's physician is not sure of whether it is safe for their patient to drive, the physician may recommend that DMV require the person to pass the knowledge and/or road skills tests, or refer the patient for a complete driver evaluation conducted by a driver rehabilitation specialist.
Restrictions imposed by DMV range from driving with corrective lenses or during daylight hours only, to driving within a certain radius and no interstate driving. If DMV places the driver on periodic review, medical and/or vision reports may be required every three, six, twelve or twenty-four months. The frequency of required reports may change or even be discontinued depending upon the merits of the case. DMV notifies the driver in writing once the evaluation is completed, and if the driver is required to submit periodic medical and/or vision reports.
For additional information and forms related to the medical review of drivers, please refer to Medical Information or contact Medical Review Services at (804) 367-6203.
Since 2007, Medical Review Services has received medical review requests on and reviewed the following number of drivers: [Back to Top]
|Medical Review Requests||7,800||8,975||7,439||???||???|