Diabetes And Driving FFDL 40

Applying for a Driver License when you have Diabetes

Diabetes and driving

It is not surprising that many individuals know at least one person with diabetes. An estimated 20.8 million people in the United States (U.S.) 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’s license if I have diabetes?

It depends. Additional medical information is required when you complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form and check the “Yes” box in section 4, question C. The following list briefly outlines what occurs when a person with diabetes applies for a driver license:

A field office technician will:

  • Review your DL 44 form for completion.
  • Ask you to briefly explain your medical condition.
  • Determine if further review by the Driver Safety Branch is necessary.
  • Explain to you if your condition requires a referral to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driver Safety Branch. If so, you may take your vision and written tests, but you may not be able to take your behind-the-wheel driving test until you have been cleared by Driver Safety.
  • Send your driver license application to the Driver Safety office 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 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 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 and a Driver Medical Evaluation form (DS 2326). Driver Safety usually mails these forms within 7 days of your referral from the field office.

2. If you receive the Notice of Reexamination and Driver Medical Evaluation form from Driver Safety, you will need to have a physician complete the Driver Medical Evaluation portion of the form. You or your physician must send the Driver Medical Evaluation form back to the Driver Safety Office indicated on the form within 24 days.

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

3. After receiving and reviewing your Driver Medical Evaluation 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 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 hearing, if a determination of your driving ability cannot be made from a review of your Driver Medical Evaluation. If you do not appear, or do not complete your reexamination hearing, your driving privilege will be suspended until you appear and/or complete your reexamination hearing.

4. During reexamination, the hearing officer:

  • Will ask you questions about your medical condition, medication(s), treatment regimen, and your driving needs.
  • May require you to take a vision test, written test (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 any 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, he/she will take one of the following actions 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 DMV office to complete your application, a field office technician will:

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

NOTE: This is only an example of what may occur. The circumstances of your individual case may require additional contacts with Driver Safety.

Where can I get more information?

Your healthcare provider is the best source for information that is specific to you. The following internet websites provide more information on diabetes, nutrition and 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. 9/2011)