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Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm
Losing your driver’s license can be a scary thing. For some folks, driving is their livelihood – how they get to work or run errands. For others, it’s a rite of passage and a taste of freedom. Whatever driving means to you, having your license suspended hits hard.
There are many reasons licenses can be suspended or revoked. Getting too many tickets, failing to pay fines, or getting charged with a DUI are some common ones. But what happens when your license is taken away because of a health issue? Let’s take a closer look at license suspension due to physical or mental disqualification.
Most states require drivers to meet certain medical requirements. The goal is to keep unfit drivers off the road for everyone’s safety. Conditions like epilepsy, dementia, sleep disorders, and vision or hearing loss can impact driving ability.
So if the DMV finds out you have one of these conditions, they may require you to prove you can drive safely before renewing your license. You may need to get a doctor’s note, take a road test, or pass a vision exam for example. If you can’t meet their requirements, your license may be suspended.
There are a couple ways the DMV can take away your license for medical reasons:
Suspension is usually the first action taken. But if your condition is serious enough or you can’t get reapproved to drive, your license may ultimately get revoked.
So when do you have to tell the DMV about medical issues that could impact driving? It depends on the state, but generally:
The DMV may also require a doctor’s referral if they receive reports that your driving seems impaired. So family, doctors, or the police could trigger a medical review of your license.
If the DMV is notified you have one of the above conditions, here’s generally what happens:
This process aims to thoroughly evaluate if health conditions impair your driving ability. The goal is to keep the roads safe, not punish people.
What if you disagree with the DMV suspending your license? You have the right to appeal and request a hearing. Some points to know:
It’s a good idea to consult a traffic attorney for advice with appeals. They can help prepare your most compelling case.
If your license is suspended, taking steps to improve your health and prove you can drive safely is key. For certain conditions, your doctor may need to submit medical reports before the DMV reinstates your driving privileges. Or you may need to pass vision, knowledge, and road tests.
Showing the DMV you’ve got your condition well-managed and under control is important. For example, if you had a seizure disorder, showing you’ve gone 6 months to a year without a seizure on medication can help. Or if alcoholism was involved, completing treatment and showing sobriety.
Never drive while your license is suspended – it’s illegal! You could face jail time, fines, extended suspension, or other penalties if caught. Plus, driving uninsured can get you in financial hot water if an accident occurs.
Instead, look into transportation options in your area like public transit, rides from family/friends, taxis, or services like Uber. You can also request a restricted license for things like work, school, or medical appointments.
Having your license suspended for medical reasons can make getting car insurance tricky down the road. Insurers may view you as high-risk and jack up your rates.
Some strategies that can help are:
And if you need to drive for work, look into commercial policies as they may offer better rates.
Beyond the logistical headaches, losing your license can take a real emotional toll. For many, it represents a loss of freedom, independence, and identity.
Feelings like anger, depression, shame, and hopelessness are common. But don’t bottle it up – lean on loved ones, connect with others dealing with license loss, and talk to a counselor if needed. And focus on the steps you can take to eventually regain your driving privileges.
Having your license suspended for medical reasons can be scary and frustrating. But it’s intended to keep everyone safe, not punish you. Be proactive with the DMV, get evidence you can drive safely again, and know your rights if you want to appeal. With patience and effort, your key to independence can be restored again.
At the end of the day, all that matters is getting healthy. So work closely with your doctor, take care of yourself, and driving will follow.
Here are some resources with more information on license suspension for medical issues:
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