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 individual must be free of seizures for at least six months in order to establish that medication for the seizure or underlying cause of the seizure 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 in order to assess the person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Once the individual is licensed to operate a motor vehicle, he/she will be placed on periodic medical review with DMV based on the medical information received, and will be required to furnish medical reports to DMV every three, six, twelve or twenty-four months. DMV may impose additional requirements on the individual depending on the information received by the agency.
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 six months from the date of the last episode. At the end of the six-month period, the individual must submit a Customer Medical Report (MED-2) to DMV with Parts A, F and the Customer Information Sections completed so that the agency may determine whether the individual’s driving privilege may be reinstated. DMV may also impose additional requirements on the individual depending on the information received by the agency.
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, alteration of awareness, 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 he/she 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. DMV may also impose additional requirements on the individual depending on the information received by the agency.
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 three 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 with no risk of reoccurrence, the suspension period may be reduced to three months provided there is documentation from the individual’s neurologist that the individual is now stable and no unfavorable conditions have been 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 or loss of consciousness event is due to withdrawal from alcohol or another substance, the individual will remain suspended for 6 months and the DMV Substance Abuse Policy will 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. DMV may also impose additional requirements on the individual depending on the information received by the agency.
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.