DMV Reexamination is a term used by DMV personnel when an evaluation must be made of a person’s driving skills. A person with a recent physical or mental (P&M) condition, or a poor driving record, could prompt the need for a reexamination. Reexaminations are generated from many sources including the following:
- Your physician. Physicians are required by law to report medical conditions or disorders that are characterized by loss of consciousness or control, along with other medical conditions that may affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- An emergency technician. Emergency personnel who treat you in an emergency facility because you experienced a sudden loss of consciousness, awareness, or control, are required by law to report your medical conditions.
- A family member. Letters from concerned family members, friends, or neighbors who may report to DMV that in their opinion you are no longer able to drive safely.
- A peace officer. Any law enforcement officer who stops you for a traffic violation or who works at an accident scene in which you were involved may report to DMV that you appear to be an unsafe driver. The law enforcement officer would be reporting what he/she observed about you that made him/her believe you are an unsafe driver.
- Your driver license renewal application. Your DMV application asks if you have a disease, disorder, or disability that affects your ability to drive safely. “Yes” answers require further investigation by DMV.
- Your driving record. Your driving history, which includes accidents, traffic convictions, reckless or negligent driving habits, fraudulent use of a driver license, or other grounds which would cause DMV to not issue a driver license to you.
A Priority Reexamination (also called a “priority reex”) is the immediate evaluation of an individual by a DMV Driver Safety hearing officer. A Request for Priority Reexamination starts with a report from a peace officer who has observed your driving and believes you are an unsafe driver. A peace officer will start the priority reexamination process if he/she observes a driver:
- Committing a violation of the “Rules of the Road” (Vehicle Code §§2100-23336)
- Exhibiting evidence of physical or mental incapacity, and
- Potentially posing a significant traffic safety risk.
The peace officer may also issue the person a citation for the driving offense and give you the Priority Reexamination Notice. You may be referred to DMV even if you were not cited for a driving offense.
After the officer issues you the Priority Reexamination Notice, you must contact your local DMV Driver Safety office within five days or your driver license will be suspended. Instructions are included on the Priority Reexamination Notice.
What happens during the reexamination process?
At the reexamination, the DMV hearing officer will ask you many questions. These may include your driving history and specific incidents on your driving record. You may be asked about the “Rules of the Road” and how you would handle specific driving situations. The DMV hearing officer will definitely ask you about your health and medical history. You may also be asked to provide medical information from your physician.
The reexamination process may include a vision test, a written test, and a driving test. After the reexamination, the DMV Hearing Officer will review the evidence and decide what action, if any, would be the best solution for your situation. If an action is taken against your driving privilege, it could be a restriction, probation, suspension, or revocation. DMV personnel will notify you in writing of the decision. If you feel the decision is unjustified, you have the right to challenge it by requesting a hearing. Your notice will explain how to request a hearing.
Vehicle Code sections regarding Priority Reexamination authority and notice.