DMV Seizure/Blackout Policy
It is the policy of the Department of Motor Vehicles, based upon guidance and recommendations from the Medical Advisory Board, that an indivisual must be free of seizures for at least six months in order to establish that medication is effective and/or that none of the medical conditions that may have caused the seizure have reoccurred.
Monitoring and Review of the Driver
If an individual has a history of seizures, the individual and his/her physician must complete a Customer Medical Report (MED-2) before a Virginia driver’s license may be issued. Once the medical report is received by DMV, it is reviewed to determine if the individual may be licensed to drive a motor vehicle. DMV reserves the right to request additional information from a specialist in order to assess the person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Based on the medical information received, the individual will be placed on periodic medical review with DMV and will be required to furnish medical reports every three, six, twelve or twenty-four months.
If an individual is currently licensed and DMV is notified that this individual has experienced a seizure, his/her driving privilege will be suspended for a period of 6 months from the date of the last episode. At the end of the 6-month period, a DMV Customer Medical Report (MED-2) with Parts A, F and the Customer Information Sections completed) is required to determine if the individual’s driving privilege may be reinstated.
Unexplained Blackout/Loss of Consciousness
If an individual suffers an unexplained blackout or loss of consciousness (negative medical work-up with no defined cause), DMV will suspend the driving privilege for a period of 6 months from the date of the unexplained blackout or loss of consciousness.
At the end of the 6-month suspension period, the driver is required to furnish a medical report to indicate that the driver was examined exactly 6 months from the date of his/her last blackout or loss of consciousness and has not suffered a subsequent blackout or loss of consciousness since that date.
If an individual suffers a breakthrough seizure, defined as a seizure due to non-compliance (missed medication), physician manipulation of the drug regimen/dosage due to side effects, pregnancy, sleep deprivation, or concomitant illnesses, the individual may resume driving 3 months after the seizure. Proof of compliance may be requested.
Isolated (Single-Event) Seizures
If an individual has an isolated (single-event) seizure with a clearly identified cause for which treatment has been completed and there is no risk of reoccurrence, the suspension period may be reduced to 3 months provided that there is documentation that the individual is now stable and no unfavorable conditions were noted. Unfavorable conditions include, but are not limited to:
- A positive family history of seizures
- The seizure was focal in origin
- The EEG showed focal or generalized spikes
- Neurological deficits were noted before the seizure
If the isolated seizure is due to withdraw from alcohol or other substance, the individual will remain suspended for 6 months and the substance abuse policy should be applied.
Documentation is required from the individual’s neurologist on Parts A, F and the Customer Information Section of the Customer Medical Report (MED-2.
If a driver is on anti-seizure medication and has been seizure-free for a period of 10 years, DMV may cease to require periodic medical reports from these drivers.