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DMV's Reexamination Process (FFDL 27)

A General Guide for Drivers Required to Appear for a Reexamination

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DMV's Reexamination Process

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is providing this information as a general guide for drivers required to appear for a reexamination to demonstrate their continued fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely. Not all cases are the same and this information only provides the basics necessary to prepare for a reexamination.

How Does DMV Determine if I Need a Reexamination?

DMV is required by law to investigate and reexamine your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely due to a the reporting of a physical or mental condition or certain entries on your driving record. DMV receives information from many sources, such as:

  • Your physician or surgeon who is required by law to report to DMV certain conditions or disorders characterized by loss of consciousness or control, including Alzheimer's disease. The law also allows them to report other conditions which, in their opinion, may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • Emergency medical personnel who may see you in an emergency facility due to a sudden loss of consciousness, awareness, or control.
  • Unsolicited letters from family members, friends, or neighbors who report that you may no longer be able to drive safely.
  • A law enforcement officer who stops you for a traffic law violation, or is at a collision scene in which you were involved, and you appear to be an unsafe driver.
  • A request for a priority reexamination from a peace officer who has observed your driving and believes you are an unsafe driver and should not continue driving.
  • Your driver license application or renewal-by-mail notice where you indicate that you have a disease, disorder, or disability that affects your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • Your driving record which indicates collisions, traffic law convictions, reckless, negligent or incompetent driving habits, fraudulent use of a driver license, or other grounds which would cause DMV to refuse a driver license.

What Happens if DMV Decides I Should Be Reexamined?

Once DMV is made aware that you have a medical condition that may cause a potential driving risk to yourself or others, or your driving record indicates negligent driving activity, DMV will evaluate you to ensure you can drive safely. DMV may do one or more of the following:

  • Request medical information from you. If it is clear from the medical information that you do not present a driving risk, DMV's investigation may end and no action will be taken against your driving privilege.
  • Conduct a "regular" reexamination. The reexamination may be in person or conducted over the telephone. You may be required to present medical information and submit to a law, vision, and driving test, if appropriate.
  • Conduct a priority reexamination. If you were served with a notice of priority reexamination, you must contact Driver Safety within five days. If you do not contact Driver Safety, your driving privilege will be suspended. You are required to submit to a law, vision, and driving test and present medical information
  • Take an immediate suspension or revocation action of your driving privilege, if your physical or mental condition presents an immediate threat to public safety.

What Decision Can DMV Make After a Reexamination?

After a reexamination, the DMV hearing officer will take one of the following administrative actions:

  • No Action: Your condition or driving record does not warrant an action against your driving privilege.
  • Medical Probation (Type I): You must comply with your medical regimen and report to DMV any changes in your medical condition.
  • Medical Probation (Type II): Your physician must submit periodic medical reports to DMV on specified dates.
  • Calendar Reexamination: You are required to appear for a follow up reexamination.
  • Restriction: You may only operate a motor vehicle under specific conditions and circumstances, such as: driving during daylight hours only, driving within certain geographical areas, or having your vehicle equipped with specialized equip-ment.
  • Suspension: Your driving privilege is suspended for an indefinite period of time. Your driving privilege can be reinstated if you can show that you are compensating for a physical or mental condition, or your driving behavior no longer presents a safety risk and there is no other action in effect.
  • Revocation: Your driving privilege is terminated. Generally this action is taken when your physical or mental condition is so severe it does not appear likely that your condition will ever improve, or a driving incident is so severe that you present a safety risk.

What if DMV Takes an Action Against My Driving Privilege?

DMV will notify you in writing of:

  • Any action taken.
  • Your legal rights, including the right to a hearing.

NOTE: For additional information on DMV hearings, please refer to Driver Safety Administrative Hearing Process (FFDL 26). Fast Facts brochure is available on DMV's web site at

What Happens if I Do Not Appear for the Reexamination?

If you do not personally appear for and complete the reexamination as scheduled (either by telephone or in person), your driving privilege will be suspended. The suspension will remain in effect until you appear, provide the requested information, and/or submit to any required tests.

Another person cannot appear on your behalf, but may accompany you. Can DMV Reexamine Me if I Do Not Have a Medical Problem But My Driving Skills are Deteriorating?

Yes. DMV can reexamine you when information suggests that you no longer have the knowledge and/or skill necessary to drive safely.

Does DMV Automatically Reexamine Drivers After a Certain Age?

No. DMV will not reexamine a driver solely based on age.

How Long Will My Driving Privilege Be Suspended or Revoked After a Reexamination?

Generally, the length of a suspension or revocation is indefinite. However, DMV will consider reinstating your driving privilege when:

  • Additional information is available to indicate that any physical or mental condition has been controlled and is no longer a potential threat to safe driving.
  • Your driving record no longer indicates negligent driving activity.

What if I Need an Interpreter?

If you need a sign language or foreign language interpreter, DMV will provide one. You must contact DMV immediately so an interpreter will be available on the date of your reexamination.

The California Code of Regulations (CCR) §100.01 and the California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§12818, 13800, and 13801, govern Driver Safety (DS) reexaminations conducted by DMV. The CCR and CVC can be found in public libraries and are available from DMV DS Branch offices. The CVC can also be found on DMV's web site at

Driver Safety Offices

Contact DMV Driver Safety Offices for Driver Safety Office information, locations, and hours.

Phone (661) 833-2103
Fax(661) 833-2102

Phone (530) 224-4755
Fax (530) 224-4737
City of Commerce
Phone (323) 724-4000
Fax (323) 724-9262
Phone (916) 227-2970
Fax (916) 227-2901
City of Orange
Phone (714) 703-2511
Fax (714) 703-2525
San Bernardino
Phone (909) 383-7413
Fax (909) 383-7439
Phone (626) 974-7137
Fax (626) 974-7118
San Diego
Phone (858) 627-3901
Fax (858) 627-3925
El Segundo
Phone (310) 615-3500
Fax (310) 615-3581
San Francisco
Phone (415) 557-1170
Fax (415) 557-7375
Phone (559) 445-6399
Fax (559) 445-6379 or 445-6396
San Jose
Phone (408) 229-7100
Fax (408) 229-7128 or 229-7129
Phone (510) 563-8900
Fax (510) 563-8950 or 563-8951
Van Nuys
Phone (818) 376-4217
Fax (818) 376-4215
Phone (805) 988-3050
Fax (805) 988-1420

FFDL 27 (REV. 2/2013)


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