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FFDL 40

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Diabetes And Driving (FFDL 40)

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Diabetes and Driving

It is not surprising that many individuals know at least one person with diabetes. An estimated 29 million people in the United States have diabetes.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition that affects how the body uses digested food for growth and energy. The body breaks down food into glucose, which is a form of sugar in the blood. Glucose, the main source of fuel for the body, passes into the bloodstream where it is used by the body’s cells. Insulin must be present for the cells to use the glucose. In some cases, insufficient insulin or an overabundance of insulin can affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Can I Get a Driver License (DL) if I Have Diabetes?

It depends. Additional medical information may be required when you apply for or renew your DL and indicate you have diabetes. The following list briefly outlines what occurs when a person with diabetes applies for or renews a DL:
A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) field office representative will:

  • Review your application for completion.
  • Ask you to briefly explain your medical condition.
  • Determine if further review by the DMV Driver Safety Branch is necessary.
  • Explain to you if your condition requires a referral to the DMV Driver Safety Branch. If so, you may take your vision and knowledge tests, but may not be able to take your driving test, if applicable, until you have been cleared by Driver Safety.
  • Send your DL information to the DMV Driver Safety Branch nearest to your residence for further review, if applicable.

What Does The Driver Safety Branch Do?

The Driver Safety Branch, as authorized by California statute, is responsible for controlling the driving privilege by identifying high risk drivers.

1. Before contacting you, Driver Safety will review the information sent from the local DMV field office.

  • If it is determined that your medical condition does not affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, no further information is necessary. You will be sent a Driver Safety clearance letter instructing you to return to your local DMV field office to complete your application.
  • If additional information is necessary to determine if your medical condition affects your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, you will be sent a Notice of Reexamination (DS 2011) form and a Driver Medical Evaluation (DS 326) form. Driver Safety usually mails these forms within 7 days of your referral from the local DMV field office.

2. If you receive the DS 2011 and DS 326 forms from Driver Safety, you will need to have a physician complete the medical professional portion of the DS 326 form. You or your physician must send the DS 326 form back to the Driver Safety Office indicated on the form within 24 days.

NOTE: If the DS 326 form is not returned to Driver Safety within 24 days, your driving privilege will be suspended until you provide the DS 326 form.

3. After receiving and reviewing your DS 326 form, Driver Safety may:

  • Determine that your medical condition does not affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and no further information is necessary. You will be sent a Driver Safety clearance letter instructing you to return to your local DMV field office to complete your application.
  • Determine that your medical condition does affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and take one of the following actions against your driving privilege:
    • Impose a driving restriction(s).
    • Impose medical probation that requires the submission of periodic medical reports to DMV on specified dates.
    • Suspend or revoke your driving privilege (California Vehicle Code §§12806 and 12809).

NOTE: If an action against your driving privilege is taken, a notice will be sent to you with instructions regarding your appeal rights.

  • Schedule you for an in person or telephone reexamination appointment, if a determination of your driving ability cannot be made from a review of your DS 326 form. If you do not appear, or do not complete your reexamination appointment, your driving privilege will be suspended until you appear and/or complete your reexamination appointment.

4. During reexamination, the hearing officer:

  • Will ask you questions about your medical condition, medication(s), treatment regimen, and driving needs.
  • May require you to take a vision, knowledge (if you have not already done so), and/or driving test.

5. After the reexamination, the hearing officer will review your medical evaluation, test results (if any), and testimony. You will be notified of the decision regarding your driving privilege within 30 days of the reexamination hearing. Driver Safety will notify you of the licensing decision for your case.

  • If no action is necessary, the notice will advise you to return to your local DMV field office to complete your application.
  • If the hearing officer determines your diabetes impairs your ability to drive safely, one of the following actions will be taken against your driving privilege:
    • Impose a driving restriction(s).
    • Impose medical probation that requires periodic medical reports to be submitted to DMV on specified dates.
    • Suspend or revoke your driving privilege (California Vehicle Code §§12806 and 12809).

NOTE: If an action against your driving privilege is taken, a notice will be sent to you with instructions regarding your appeal rights.

6. When you return to the local DMV field office to complete your application, a DMV representative will:

  • Review your Driver Safety clearance letter or other Driver Safety notification.
  • Issue you a DL permit, provisional DL, or interim DL, as appropriate.

NOTE: A DL permit will be issued if you are a first time applicant and need to complete a drive test. A provisional DL will be issued if you are under 18 years old. An interim DL will be issued if all testing is complete while you wait for your DL to be mailed to you.

Where Can I Get More Information on Diabetes?

Your healthcare provider is the best source for information that is specific to you. The following websites provide more information on diabetes, nutrition, diet, fitness, lifestyle, prevention, statistics, research, and community programs.

National Diabetes Education Program
www.ndep.nih.gov

American Diabetes Association
www.diabetes.org

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
www.jdrf.org

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov

FFDL 40 (REV. 12/2017)

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