DMV Medical Review of Drivers
The Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) Medical Review Services is responsible for reviewing the abilities of individuals who may have a physical or mental condition impairing their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Overall medical review requirements are based on the Code of Virginia §§ 46.2-322, 46.2-311 and 46.2-312 and guidance from DMV’s Medical Advisory Board.
In reviewing drivers' abilities, 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 consciousnessa/alertness
- Judgment/cognitive function
- Reaction time
- Motor skills/range of motion
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 to 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 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 operate motor vehicles.
If the driver is reported by a relative or healthcare provider, Va. Code § 46.2-322 prohibits DMV from releasing information on the source of the report concerning the person's ability to drive safely.
Submiting an Impaired Driver Report
DMV promptly reviews all initial reports of hazardous or impaired drivers. Reports must be submitted to DMV in writing or by sending the Medical Review Request (MED-3).
- By fax: (804) 367-1604 or (804) 367-0520
- By mail:
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Medical Review Services
- Post Office Box 27412
- Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001
- Voice: (804) 367-6203
All reports of impaired drivers must include:
- Information that will help DMV identify the impaired driver (such as name, address, date of birth, etc.),
- Specific information about the patient's physical and/or mental condition and why the person should be reviewed by DMV, and
- The name, address, telephone number, and signature of the person reporting the impaired driver, so that DMV may follow up, if necessary.
- Health care providers also have the option of beginning a medical review by furnishing a completed DMV Customer Medical Report (MED-2). Providers need only complete the parts of the MED-2 that pertain to their patient and sign and complete Part F along with the report.
Virginia law prohibits DMV from releasing information on the source or reason for the report submitted by a relative or medical professional treating the driver. Information on the source of other reports may be released, if requested.
Virginia is not a mandatory reporting state; however, in an effort to protect public safety, the statute provides confidentiality and immunity to family members and to health care providers who are treating and/or prescribing medication to the driver. This may include nurses, physician assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, pharmacists, as defined in Va. Code § 38.2-602.
Health care practitioners; reporting disabilities of drivers. Provides that any doctor of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, or podiatry or any nurse practitioner, physician assistant, optometrist, physical therapist, or clinical psychologist who reports to the Department of Motor Vehicles the existence, or probable existence, of a mental or physical disability or infirmity of any person licensed to operate a motor vehicle that the reporting individual believes affects such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely is not subject to civil liability or deemed to have violated the practitioner-patient privilege unless he has acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.
DMV may impose several requirements as part of the Medical Review Process.
Commercial Driver's License Waivers and Exemptions
Commercial drivers who have loss of vision in one eye or diabetes treated with insulin and are otherwise qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) may apply to DMV for a disability waiver to transport freight or property originating and ending in Virginia (i.e., intrastate commerce) or passngers. To do this, a CDL driver must complete and submit the following:
- a completed Customer Medical Report (MED-2)
- an Application for a CDL Disability Waiver or Hazardous Materials Variance (MED-30)
Commercial drivers who have a missing or impaired limb and are otherwise qualified to operate a CMV under the FMCSR may apply to DMV for a Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE) to operate a commercial motor vehicle in intrastate or interstate commerce.
Bioptic Telescopic Lens
Persons who meet the following vision requirements may apply for a learner's permit or driver's license to operate a motor vehicle with a Bioptic Telephone Lens.
- Visual Acuity: must be 20/200 or better in one or both eyes through the carrier lens (eyeglasses), AND must be 20/70 or better in one or both eyes through the bioptic telescopic lens, which must be mounted to the carrier lens.
- Horizontal Vision (without field expanders): must be 70 degrees or better. If one eye only, standard is 40 degrees or better temporal and 30 degrees nasal.
Procedure for Contesting a Medical Review
Pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (Va. Code § 2.2-4019), if a driver disagrees with an action or requirement, the driver may make a written request for an informal fact finding proceeding with a DMV Hearing Officer. A driver may contest any action or requirements that DMV imposes by requesting an informal fact-finding proceeding in writing. Medical hearings are normally held by teleconference; however, the driver may choose to appear in person at DMV Headquarters in Richmond for the proceeding.
If you are a health care provider, you may call DMV Medical Review Services at (804) 367-6203 for assistance. Please identify yourself as a provider, and your call will be transferred to one of our professional nursing staff.